At USC, the coaching staff prides itself on keeping the energy and intensity levels at a maximum. Pete Carroll has been quoted in the past that his staff spends a lot of time preparing for practices to ensure the high energy they exude is present from start to finish. Their approach for the Rising Seniors Camp was no different and Everson Griffen, a five-star defensive end prospect who attended the camp, said," We wore out, but they didn't." The Trojan coaching staff also makes sure the kids are having fun.
"They're a young bunch of guys and even if they're not, they're young at heart," O'Dowd said about the USC coaching staff. "They play around with each other like they're brothers and they all get along. They joke with each other, but I can tell when it's time to get serious, they make the switch."
Word was that O'Dowd was a heavy lean to Ohio State, but it's doubtful he's still a heavy lean after his latest visit to USC. He was asked what the difference was with his latest visit.
"I got a look at the facilities a little more in depth than I did before and I learned a lot more about what their plan is for me," O'Dowd said. "I had the opportunity to talk with the players about how they like it out there, especially talking to the out-of-state kids. I asked them what some of the differences are with the climate and stuff like that."
One of the current Trojans O'Dowd spent a large chunk of his time with was Jeff Byers, who was the No. 1 prospect from the 2004 recruiting class. O'Dowd and James Wilson both spent time with Byers at the Rising Seniors Camp, and at USC's varsity workout. Dallas Sartz and Patrick Turner also introduced themselves. Turner asked with a smile, "Did you guys commit?" They said no, but Byers replied," They will by the time I'm done with them."
"Good kid," O'Dowd said about Byers. "He has a really good head on his shoulders and he's a bright kid. He's a fun guy to talk with and James is cool kid, too. I had fun with those two, so it was all good stuff.
"I also met with Mark Sanchez, the quarterback," O'Dowd said. "Of course, he was outgoing and nice and I got to talk with Ryan Kalil. That was a lot of fun talking to him because he's going to be pretty good next year."
O'Dowd isn't ready to single out a top-five or anything yet but he does have a few schools he's looking at a little closer than others.
"By August, I can focus on just a couple," O'Dowd said. "I'm looking at USC, UCLA, Ohio State, Nebraska, Tennessee, Arizona, and Boston College. They've all offered me a scholarship." Earlier this year O'Dowd indicated he was thinking about possibly committing early, but he said he would take all of his official visits this fall. He doesn't have any visits set up at this point, but Scout.com will follow up and update you on his fall itinerary.