Rising Stars: Top Performers

USC's Rising Stars Camp brought out several of the top high school football players from across the nation including Matt Barkley, Devon Kennard and Alshon Jeffrey. SCPlaybook was there and lets you know which players performed the best.

Devon Kennard, DE, 2009 Class

Scout's top-rated defensive end, Devon Kennard, came into the Rising Stars Camp and lived up to all the hype from the first snap to the final whistle. Kennard had the crowd and players buzzing with his elite speed of the edge giving the offensive tackles all they could handle. Kennard even moved inside a few plays and showed his strength by bull rushing past some of the best linemen in the nation. Kennard was the top performer at the Rising Stars Camp and solidified himself as the nation's best defensive end.

T.J. McDonald, S, 2009 Class

In a camp filled with outstanding defensive backs, Fresno Edison safety T.J. McDonald separated himself from the rest of the field with his physical play and leadership. McDonald already has a college body and he continually showed his strength jamming receivers off the line. His natural leadership skills and knowledge of the game are what really makes him such a special player.

Matt Barkley, QB, 2009 Class

It's hard to limit the superlatives when describing a player as talented and advanced as Matt Barkley. Barkley, who is Scout's top-overall recruit in the 2009 class, displayed his strong arm, accuracy and poise at the Rising Stars Camp, letting the top receivers in the country know what they can expect if they commit to USC. The USC coaches got a glimpse into the future as Barkley connected with Alshon Jeffrey several times throughout the camp.

Dillon Baxter, RB, 2010 Class

Baxter is a super quick running back that repeatedly made defenders miss when he had the ball in his hands. Baxter will surely be a top national recruit in the 2010 class and his commitment is a great start for the Trojans' 2010 class. Baxter's versatility is what really catches your eye, not only was he one of the top running backs but he was also one of the top wide receivers at the Rising Stars Camp. Baxter spent a good deal of time working with Coach Morton and the receivers and he made play after play. He has good hands and was able to get behind the defense on several different occasions with his speed. Baxter has a very bright future and could be used in a variety of ways in USC's offense.

Alshon Jeffrey, WR, 2009 Class

USC commit Alshon Jeffrey from Calhoun County High School in South Carolina, flew across the country to Los Angeles to attend the Rising Stars Camp, and immediately showed why the USC coaching staff made him such a high priority for this class. At 6-4, 200 pounds, Jeffrey looked very good going up and getting the ball in the one-on-one drills. He is also deceptively fast for his size and received praise from T.J. McDonald, who thought Jeffrey was the toughest receiver to cover.

Chris Martin, LB/DE, 2010 Class

2010 LB/DE prospect Chris Martin was an absolute monster at the Rising Stars Camp. Martin started the first day at linebacker, but was personally escorted by Pete Carroll to the defensive line drills and after flying past a pair of offensive tackles on his way to a sack on his first two reps, Coach Carroll saw all he needed and took him back with the linebackers. Martin really jumped out as one of the top overall defensive players at the Rising Stars Camp and could be a top national recruit next year at defensive end. Remember the name.

Kevin Graf, OL, 2009 Class

The one-on-one drills always favor the defensive linemen but one offensive player that more than held his own was USC commit Kevin Graf. The 6-6, 300-pound offensive linemen once again showed great footwork and athleticism. What we liked was the fact that Graf played with a nasty streak, which you like to see in a lineman, and any time he lost a one-on-one battle he would always respond with a win on the second time around. Graf is Scout's top-rated offensive lineman on the west coast and lived up to the billing.

Byron Moore, S, 2009 Class

Narbonne safety Byron Moore showed up to the Rising Stars Camp looking to earn a scholarship offer from USC and did just that. Moore is a very smart football player that is always in the right position. Moore and T.J. McDonald really looked like a great combo at safety throughout the Rising Stars Camp and could be the Trojans' safeties of the future. The 6-1, 200-pound defensive back also looked very good as a cornerback in the one-on-one drills.

Cliff Harris, CB, 2009 Class

All Cliff Harris does is come out to all the camps and outperforms every other player at the cornerback position. He is so natural at the position with great technique, footwork and hips. Harris won't wow you with his size or forty time, but once he hits the field you see why he is considered the top cornerback in the nation.

Stan Hasiak, OL, 2009 Class

Big Stan Hasiak from Kapolei High School in Hawaii had a very impressive showing at the Rising Stars Camp and headed back to the islands with a USC offer in hand. At 6-6, 340 pounds, Hasiak showed good footwork and athleticism for a player his size. He played at guard for most of the camp and really dominated the defensive tackles at times. Hasiak would be a nice addition to the 2009 offensive line class.

USC commit Alshon Jeffrey makes the tough catch.

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

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