Review of USC targets at NFTC

There were plenty of USC prospects in action at the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp on Sunday and here’s our position-by-position look at who stood out:


Garry Paskwietz: The guy who probably stood out to me the most was Troy Williams from Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne. He’s much more improved physically than I remember him being last year and he threw a sharp ball. I’m not ready to put him on a level with Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) or Hayden Rettig (Los Angeles/Cathedral) -- neither of whom was there -- but he’s definitely one of the best ones in the area.

Erik McKinney: It’s tough to go away from Troy Williams, who had a phenomenal day, but with the Trojans all-in on the Max Browne sweepstakes, attention turns to 2014 standout Brandon Dawkins (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian), who had a solid day. Dawkins attended USC’s scrimmage on Saturday, as one of just a handful of guests, so the interest is already there. Physically, Dawkins looks like he belongs in the 2013 class. The question has always been whether he could put everything together mentally, but he has said the light has come on, both on and off the field.

Running backs

Paskwietz: USC fans who long for the days of Ricky Ervins would have loved this group of short and stocky backs. It was actually a pretty good group, I liked Deon Martin (Bakersfield, Calif./Stockdale) and Zachary Green (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure). Martin has some zip to his game. Another guy who impressed me in pass blocking drills was Luuga Manusamao (Long Beach, Calif./Poly), he’s just a real strong player.

McKinney: There is just no denying Zach Green’s toughness and will to compete. He dominated the pass rush drills and became the go-to player anytime the running backs needed a stop. He showed up to a non-contact camp and left with his shirt nearly ripped completely apart. Martin was perhaps the most talented, complete back in attendance, while Craig Lee (Redlands, Calif./Redlands) flashed as well. He doesn’t appear to be the most physical back while standing in line, but as soon as he gets the ball in his hands, he heads downfield in a hurry and becomes a load to stop. A couple of 2014 recruits who jumped out and impressed physically were Dejon Cash (Inglewood, Calif./Inglewood) and Kurt Scoby (Covina, Calif./Charter Oak).

Wide receivers

Paskwietz: This group probably surprised me the most because it was expected to be somewhat of a down year at the position when compared to recent years from the area. Frankly, there was more talent than I expected to see. I really like Demorea Stringfellow (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho Verde), good size and is very active on the field. Steven Mitchell (Mission Hills, Calif./Alemany) continued his impressive off-season with an invite to The Opening and WR MVP honors, He’s got nice quickness to his game. Victor Bolden (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) made a ton of plays. Two guys who caught my eye over and over were Da’Mari Scott (Los Angeles/Cathedral) and A.J. Richardson (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne).