Last week's Rising Stars Camp at USC allowed the Trojans coaches a good look at many top 2013 prospects, but a handful of underclassmen made an impression as well.
Class of 2014 linebacker Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Serra) is well known by USC coaches, as he attends the same high school that produced Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. He already holds offers from Colorado, Oregon State and UCLA, but last week was his first opportunity to hit the USC practice field under the guidance of the Trojans coaches.
"It was great," he said. "I liked the way the coaches reacted to everything and how tight they stayed throughout the whole event. I've been to events where coaches haven't kept that high tempo."
Williams didn't walk away from the camp with an offer, but he worked with the top group throughout the day and received good news from the USC coaches.
"I was a little sore from lifting, but they said I did great," Williams said. "They said I had good instincts flying to the ball."
The 6-foot, 186-pound outside linebacker hasn't been shy about expressing his interest in USC and communication between Williams and Lane Kiffin's staff will increase after last week's camp.
"USC is pretty high on my list. I really love it," Williams said. "I plan on getting back down to USC in a couple of weeks when the McKay Center is finished. I talked to the coaches after the camp and they want me to keep in touch to build a relationship."
But Williams wasn't the only junior-to-be who made an impression at the camp, as 2014 cornerback Jonathan Lockett (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) was on campus as well. It was Lockett's second time participating in USC's Rising Stars Camp and he said his performance earned notice from the USC coaches.
"The coaches were on me a lot more this time," Lockett said. "I got to talk to coach [Marvin] Sanders one-on-one after the camp. He introduced himself and asked me some questions. I talked to my recruiter--Kennedy Polamalu--as well. They really like me after the camp. I'm on their recruiting board for 2014 and that's exciting. USC is one of my top schools."
The local schools, UCLA and USC, are high on Lockett's list and the 5-foot-11, 155-pound cornerback was able to attend camps at both schools in late June. He isn't looking to rush into recruiting, but is already in contact with many Pac-12 programs, including Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon and Washington.
On the other side of the ball, wide receiver Trenton Irwin (Newhall, Calif./Hart) turned heads at USC. The 2015 standout has been terrific this offseason, but this marked the first time he was able to showcase himself in front of the Trojans staff.
"It was a great experience and it's always fun meeting coaches," Irwin said. "I got to talk to coach [Tee] Martin a lot and he taught me a lot of good stuff--a lot of different stuff that I wouldn't get to learn other places."
Irwin is a constant presence at passing tournaments and seven-on-seven events, and now he'll have another addition to his schedule the next few years.
"Coach Martin wants me to come to this event every year," Irwin said. "It's always cool to get on somebody's radar. They may know you from hearing about you somewhere else, but that doesn't mean they've seen you."