The competition at The Rising Stars Camp is always extremely impressive, but the 2009 edition of the camp was the best ever, especially with the elite defensive linemen, like Jalen Grimble, who attended.
"The competition at the Rising Stars Camp was crazy," said Grimble. "This was probably the toughest camp I've ever attended for football. There were players there that were good, there were players better than me and there were offensive tackles there that really made me second guess myself on my moves. So, the competition there was great, it's something I needed and learned a lot from it."
Two defensive ends who competed at the camp stood out to all who attended the camp, they also impressed Grimble.
"Jackson (Jeffcoat) and (Ronald) Powell are just above the rest and have everything it takes to play at the next level," said Grimble. Those two guys are incredible. Every one-on-one they won and it's just incredible with some of the things they can do."
A 2011 offensive lineman named Christian Westerman from Hamilton High in Chandler (AZ) also impressed Grimble. And like Grimble, Westerman was also offered a scholarship after the camp.
"He was great," said Grimble when asked what it was like facing Christian Westerman. "When I first got there, I didn't really know anything about him, but as the camp went on, I started to learn more about him. When we started the one-on-one's I went up against him and actually beat him, and I beat him again. So, he wanted a rematch and he got me on that one, then the competition went back and forth, and we went at it the whole day."
As was mentioned earlier, Grimble took a visit to USC with his cousin Xavier in April, so he had an understanding of what it was like to be a player at USC and what the coaching was like. We asked Grimble if there was anything new he learned about USC and the USC football program while on campus Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday?
"I never knew the coaches were so close together," said Grimble when asked if he learned anything different or new about USC, than he learned when he visited in April. "The coaches here are as one. There isn't a Coach (Jethro) Franklin or Coach (Pete) Carroll, or any other coach, everybody is just one. The coaching staff is so close together and they have each other's backs. It's crazy."
Although Grimble was extremely impressed with what he's seen and experienced on his two visits to USC, he is still wide open to all of the schools recruiting him and doesn't favor any school over another. But he did concede one thing about USC.
"At this point in the recruiting process, every school is equal," said Grimble. "There is no favorite and I don't like any school better than another. Every school has an equal place in my heart, right now. As far as the camping is concerned and as far as the coaching staff and the way they react is concerned, they have set the bar pretty high. But every other school that has offered me, is on the same level as USC. USC isn't any more special than any other school."
Grimble said the first person he talked to after USC offered him a scholarship offer was his cousin, and 2010 USC tight end commit, Xavier.
"He was overly excited," said Grimble. "I think he was more excited than I was. When he called me and I answered the phone, he said, ‘The Grimbles at USC.' And I was thinking, WOW! Yeah, he was really excited and really happy."
He doesn't have a date, yet, but Grimble plans on returning to USC in the fall to attend a game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
"Me, my dad and Xavier have talked about it and I think when Xavier takes his official visit to USC, I'll be back down here with him." Grimble said.