USC Skills Camp recap

The buzz throughout the day at the USC skills camp was the playmaking ability of Carson tight end Morrell Presley so it came as no surprise to hear afterwards that Presley had been offered a Trojan scholarship following his performance.

Presley accepted the offer on the spot to become the 2nd commit for the USC Class of 2009 along with Dominguez LB Marquis Simmons. Presley's athleticism is there for all to see, he is tall and wiry with very nice hands and he plays with a confident swagger. He reminds me of former Trojan tight end Kori Dickerson with his frame. Carson coach Mike Christensen (a former USC walk-on) has been saying for over a year that he had a special prospect in Presley so perhaps Trojan fans would be interested to hear that Christensen told us today that he has a young defensive back who will be the next Mark Carrier. Let's hope Morrell is the beginning of a nice little pipeline to Carson in the coming years.

Of course, Presley wasn't the only talented player in attendance. Here's position by position look at other players who stood out.

QB
Dominique Blackman is Presley's quarterback at Carson and he was the most physically impressive player at his position. Dominique has made a lot of progress as a quarterback in the past year and he should find a home playing Pac-10 football in the future. Tate Forcier, a junior to be at Scripps Ranch HS, arrived for the 2nd part of the camp and quickly showcased the best arm of any thrower there. Tate can really zip it and he should have no trouble staking his claim among the best of the talented QB class in So Cal for 2009.

RB
One Class of 2009 fullback candidate who made some plays was Jayson Allmond from Bloomington HS in Riverside. Jayson is a barrel-chested 230 pounds and stands 6-2, he showed some nice speed on a wheel route that went for a long gain. He also had a big smile on his face as he waited in line for a picture with Pete Carroll after the camp. Darrell Scott from St. Bonaventure was in attendance but did not take part due to a minor injury suffered earlier this week.

WR
Keep an eye out for another Class of 2009 prospect in Birmingham receiver De'von Flournoy. He runs crisp routes and showed a nice ability to catch the ball with his hands in front of his body. De'von is 6-1, 180 and everything he does is smooth. Another polished receiver was Mark Urbina from the defending state champion Canyon Cowboys. Mark was arguably the most fundamentally sound receiver of the day and he made his share of plays. Kevin Greene of Sacred Heart Cathedral was the most physically impressive player in attendance, he played receiver in the morning session and then flipped over the linebacker in the afternoon.

TE
This was a good group today. In addition to Presley, we saw fellow Class of 2009 prospect Levine Toilolo from Helix. Levine is tall (6-7) with a good frame but he simply did not make the amount of plays that Presley did today. Raphael Washington from St Bonaventure is a wide load at 265 lbs and he definitely has the ability to play for somebody in the Pac-10. In one early drill we saw Washington call out Maurice Simmons to face him in a rep so you have to like his competitiveness. Cody Augheny from Green Valley in Nevada has a similar frame and playing style to incoming USC freshman Rhett Ellison.

LB
Maurice Simmons only attended the morning session but when he was in there he showed a pretty physical nature in pass coverage. His brother, Marquis, was also there but he did not participate. Another physical backer was Ryan Panapa from St Bonaventure and one running back found out just how physical Ryan can be when he caught a wayward elbow to the side of the head and the running back was seen trying to shake the cobwebs out of his head on the way back to the huddle. Brandon Magee from Corona Centennial also was solid.

DB
The best corner of the day arguably was Austin Daniels from Muir. Daniels was aggressive and displayed strong cover skills. J.D. Bock from St. Bonaventure also looked good at corner while one safety who stood out was Tony Burnett from Mayfair.

All in all it was good camp, not a spectacular one in terms of talent, but still exciting to watch with guys like Presley and Simmons leading the way. Tomorrow the headliners for the lineman camp include Matt Kalil and Matt Meyer (who was in attendance today as a spectator) and it should be a lot of fun watching those two in the one on one drills.


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