USAAB: Monday Roundup

The stars are out in San Antonio and the USC Trojans are well represented with seven players at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Kevin Carden brings you all the news and notes from the West team's Monday practice.

San Antonio- Well it was a beautiful morning out here in San Antonio. The sun was shining bright and all the stars are out on the practice field. The West team held their first practice this morning at the Blossom Athletic Center and all the top high school players in the country got to show of their skills and see how they match up against the nation's top talent.

The star of the morning practice was Edison defensive back Robert Golden. Golden, who received attention from USC but no official offer, instantly made big play after big play once he hit the field for the West defense. At just 5-10 and 182 pounds, Golden was matched up against taller receivers like Dan Buckner (Texas) and Michael Floyd (Notre Dame) but he blanketed the West receivers all morning. Golden had two pass interceptions and also broke up two passes.

The USC Trojans are very well represented on the West squad by DJ Shoemate, Tyron Smith, Matt Kalil, Daniel Campbell and Wes Horton. USC recruit Brice Butler is the lone Trojan on the East squad.

The Trojans great offensive line class was on display with Tyron Smith and Matt Kalil playing both tackle spots with the first team offense.

Matt Kalil was one of the most consistent offensive linemen all day for the West. Kalil had some great one-on-one battles with Oklahoma defensive end R.J. Washington. Washington was the top defensive end at practice today.

Tyron Smith is a physical specimen with great athletic ability. At 6-5, 267 and no body fat to speak of, Smith has the perfect frame to build on once he gets into USC's strength and conditioning program. Smith played right tackle and had a chance to battle with Chancey Aghaye, R.J. Washington and fellow USC recruit Wes Horton. Smith had good success containing Aghaye and Washington but allowed a sack to Wes Horton during one-on-one drills. USC fans will enjoy watching Horton and Smith battle on a daily basis at Howard Jones field come Fall Camp.

USC recruit Daniel Campbell spent the day playing right guard. The 6-5, 320-pound guard out of Houston, Texas started the day slow but had a much better finish. Campbell is a real big kid and often had trouble trying to block the quicker defensive linemen.

USC defensive end recruit Wes Horton out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks had a very impressive first practice recording a sack during team drills and holding his own against future teammate Tyron Smith.

"It's just a challenge, each and every play because everyone is basically the best in the nation so I had to step my game up on every single play," said Horton.

After practice Horton said the best part of the day was going up against his future teammates Daniel Campbell, Tyron Smith, and Matt Kalil.

"We know each other so we all joked around. We have fun but when we do battle each other we are serious," Horton explained.

The Trojans lone skill position player is Servite High School athlete DJ Shoemate. Shoemate is playing wide receiver for the West squad and was the leader of the group today. Shoemate's natural leadership skills were on display all day as he was always the first guy in line for drills and showed guys where to line up.

Shoemate also impressed with his physical talents making several nice grabs and beat Nolan Brewster on a corner route for a deep touchdown.

News and Notes

Rahim Moore and Robert Golden both had very good practices on Monday. Golden had the best day of any player and Moore made some big plays as well. These two guys could haunt the Trojans the next few years.

Detroit DE/LB Nick Perry is a very smooth athletic player that could play either outside linebacker or defensive end on the college level. Perry was one of the more physically imposing players for the West defense.

Matt Kalil and Tyron Smith were two of the more athletic offensive linemen for the West. The duo could be a real special pair for the Trojans in the years to come.

Hawaii defensive tackle Solomon Koehler was the top defensive tackle for the West squad today. Koehler is a load inside and manhandled the offense on one-on-one drills. He would look real nice in Cardinal and Gold.

Texas wide receiver Dan Buckner was definitely the most popular and talkative player on the field. Buckner never misses a chance to lighten the mood with a joke. He was also the best rapper at practice.

Texas recruit Nolan Brewster had an interception during 7-on-7 drills.

Oklahoma has a trio of really talented players in R.J. Washington, Justin Johnson and Ben Habern.


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