Rising Junior Competes At USC

"I just always loved USC," Kennard said. "That's why I've worked so hard to get to their level. It was an awesome experience for me today. I was out there playing and stuff, but I was surprised I was even there the whole time. It was a great experience."

Devon Kennard (6-3, 230) from Desert Vista High in Phoenix, was one of the standout performers on defense at USC's Linemen Camp (June 10). He showcased a quick first step, a nonstop motor and an aggressive pursuit of the quarterback in the one-on-one drills. And he gave two Trojan commits all they could handle, at times.

"Matt Kalil and Matt Meyer were two of the guys I went up against, and I definitely held my own with both those guys," Kennard said. "I was really happy about that."

Matt Meyer had high praise for Kennard when asked which lineman was the most difficult to compete against. "Devon Kennard is a very good player," Meyer said. "I'd say he was the toughest competition I faced today. Once he gets past you, he's gone. He needs to add some size and strength, but he's only a sophomore, and that shouldn't be a problem."

Today's camp was his first of the year and Kennard was impressed with the coaching, the energy and organization on the field.

"I think the camp was great," Kennard said. "I learned a lot and think I improved my game. The intensity from the get go was real high. Pete Carroll and his staff made sure our intensity was up, everything was run smoothly and we ran to every drill. I think that‘s how you should play and it was good to see how things are run at the college level. It was a good experience for me."

At the conclusion of the camp, Kennard and his father spoke with a few of the coaches, including Pete Carroll. "They congratulated me and said I had a good camp," Kennard said. "They said they appreciated my hard work, so I was proud of that. Hopefully they'll look at me more."

Kennard certainly isn‘t the first out-of-state prospect to compete at a USC camp, but we don't often see a rising junior from out of state at the camps. We asked Kennard if USC was school he's followed or if he attended the camp so he could see what it's like to practice like the Trojans.

"I just always loved USC," Kennard said. "That's why I've worked so hard to get to their level. It was an awesome experience for me today. I was out there playing and stuff, but I was surprised I was even there the whole time. It was a great experience."

An Arizona defensive lineman claiming he's always loved USC, sound familiar? And yes, Kennard knows about Everson Griffen.

"I know who Everson is and I've seen some of his highlights, but I've never personally seen him play because when he was out on the gridiron, I was also playing," Kennard said. "He's an awesome player."

Could Kennard envision becoming Griffen's teammate in 2009 if the Trojans offered? "They (USC) would definitely be a top consideration," Kennard said. "But we'll have to see how things play out."

Note: Kennard's father, Derek, was an offensive lineman for the Cardinals from 1986-1990, New Orleans Saints ('91-'93) and Dallas Cowboys ('94-'96). Kennards brother, Derek Jr., is an offensive lineman for the Ottawa Renegade.


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