Rising Stars Recap

Several of the nation's top prospects including Matt Barkley, Devon Kennard, Marlon Brown and T.J. McDonald arrived at USC to compete at the Rising Stars Camp. Kevin Carden was there and recaps of all the action from Howard Jones Field.


Scout's top-rated player, Matt Barkley, was by far the top player in the quarterback group. Barkley has a big arm, good accuracy and is a natural leader. All of the wide receivers enjoyed playing with the top quarterback in the country. Barkley will also be able to do some recruiting, as he is roommates with Devon Kennard at the camp.

Running Backs

Dillon Baxter and Patrick Hall were the top two tailbacks today and Tyler Gaffney was the top fullback.

Baxter looked very good in the morning at tailback and was just as impressive when he moved to wide receiver in the afternoon. Baxter proved that he could be a real weapon in the passing game as well as the running game.

Tyler Gaffney was recently offered by USC as a fullback and everyone could see why today. He is being recruited as a tailback by some colleges so he certainly has good speed and quickness for a fullback. Gaffney also looked very natural catching the ball out of the backfield.

Wide Receivers

Five-star wide receiver, Marlon Brown, was just one of many talented playmakers on display at the wide receiver position on Wednesday. It is easy to see why Brown is so highly rated. At 6-5, 205 pounds, he was the biggest receiver on the field today and made a handful of tough catches. Brown is not only a big, physical presence but he also possesses the speed to be a deep threat.

USC commit Alshon Jeffrey (6-4, 208) is another big receiver that had a good performance today. Jeffrey has good hands and has deceptive speed. We got a glimpse into the future today as Jeffrey caught two deep passes from Matt Barkley during the morning session.

Four-star athlete Adam Hall (6-4, 205) played wide receiver today and was one of the top performers of the day. Like Alshon Jeffrey and Marlon Brown, Hall also has good size and knows how to use his body to shield defenders. Hall made a couple acrobatic catches over defenders in the morning session.

Emory Blake was another wide receiver that had a very solid day. Blake doesn't immediately jump out at you but he made play after play. Blake had some of the best hands of any receiver and caught everything thrown in his direction.

2010 prospect Kenneth Scott also had a good showing.

Offensive Line

John Martinez and Kevin Graf were the top two performers on the offensive line today.

Graf showed good athleticism when he recorded a 31 inch vertical leap and show good toughness and technique during the one-on-one drills. Graf was matched up with Devon Kennard twice today. On the first try Kennard blew by him but Graf rebounded by getting the win on the second contest.

John Martinez isn't quite as tall as I was expecting but he is a very athletic kid and has very good strength. What stands out about Martinez is that he plays with very good pad level and has great technique.

At 6-6, 340 pounds Stan Hasiak is a mountain on the offensive line. The big lineman from Hawaii held his own during one-on-one drills and showed good footwork for such a big guy.

Defensive Line

Devon Kennard was clearly the top defensive linemen at the Rising Stars Camp today. Kennard has such a good initial burst off the line that he caused problems for the offensive tackles all day. Kennard isn't just a speed rusher though he also displayed good strength. He is a real difference maker.

Craig Roh also looked good rushing off the edge. Roh is a very intense player and always plays with a lot of energy.


2010 prospect Chris Martin showed up in the afternoon session and really made his presence felt from the start. Martin looked comfortable playing in space as a linebacker but he really got the crowd buzzing when he moved to defensive end and showed his quickness and strength. Martin is going to be one of the top players in the 2010 class.

Defensive Backs

The safety position is absolutely loaded with talented players but no one was as impressive as USC commit T.J. McDonald. I am a huge fan of McDonald as both a player and a person. He really understands the game of football and is a fierce competitor. He looked really good in coverage and is very physical for a safety.

McDonald's partner at safety was UCLA commit Byron Moore. Moore is also a very smart football player and looked very good playing beside McDonald. Moore doesn't have an offer from USC but he had to catch the attention of the coaches with a solid showing Wednesday.

2010 prospect Marvin Robinson and Patrick Hall also looked good at safey.

At cornerback, Cliff Harris showed why he is Scout's top-rated cornerback. Harris has great footwork and hips and just looks like a natural at the cornerback position. He likes to gamble at times but he has a natural ability that you just can't teach.

Dietrich Riley was back at cornerback today and looked to be getting more comfortable at the position. At 6-1, 180 pounds, Riley has good size for a cornerback and is a real smooth athlete.

James Johnson also had a good day at cornerback. Johnson is a really physical player that could play safety or cornerback.

Stay tuned to the Premium Message Board for regular updates on all the action at the Rising Stars Camp.

Kevin Graf and Devon Kennard battle in the trenches.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden
at kevin@scplaybook.com

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