2009 USC Recruiting Dinner

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Here are our thoughts on the guys that stood out in last nights presentation. Full bios and direct quotes from Pete Carroll after the jump.

John Martinez, OL, 4-STAR
Just a nasty, pancake blocking guard. He can get down field too (a la Jeff Byers). Highlight after highlight he would pull from his guard position, run and then just destroy someone. They want him to play center. He will be a cornerstone of a future O-line group.

Kevin Graf, OL, 4-STAR
This guy is 6’6″ and 315 pounds. He looked like the green giant against his high school peers.

Matt Barkley, QB, 5-STAR
Not much needs to be said. #1 player in the country. Big arm. Can read defenses. Dedicated. His eyes were nearly popping out of his head when he spoke to the coaches following Mark Sanchez’s departure.

De’Von Flournoy, WR, 4-STAR
Holy cow. Not sure if we have ever seen a highlight reel like his. There were over 20 plays. And not one that didn’t go for a touchdown. Very impressive speed and sense of other players around him.

Jacob Harfman, K, 2-STAR
A little shorter than David Buehler but definitely of the same mold (a big, physical kicker). He can do it all — placekicking and punts. He was 3 for 3 over 50 yards and has kicked a 70 yarder in practice. He has incredible hangtime on his kickoffs if anyone ever does decide to take it out, they will be met with the Trojans special teams before getting to the 20. The ball just explodes off his foot.

Hebron Fangupo, DT, 4-STAR
Great penetration up the middle, even while drawing double teams on every play.

James Boyd, DE, 4-STAR
An incredible athlete that was actually the starting QB for his high school too. He is a freaking defensive end! He plays basketball too (and averages 25 points and 22 rebounds).

Devon Kennard, DE, 5-STAR
A prototypical freak defensive end. Hopefully with a more malleable attitude than Everson Griffen.

Frankie Telfort, LB, 4-STAR
He ran a 4.39. He is a cerebral player. He wants to major pre-med. He has a cool name. He has potential to be a really, really special player.

Jarvis Jones, LB, 4-STAR
A mean hitter that doesn’t take any wasted steps before blowing up his opponent. Impressive.

Jawanza Starling, DB, 4-STAR
Another mean hitter. He is going to play baseball for SC too.


MATT BARKLEY, QB, 5-STAR
He enrolled at USC in the spring of 2009 after graduating a semester early from Mate Dei High in Santa Ana (Calif.)…His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, ESPN 150, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Dream Team, MVP of the Under Armour All-American Game, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State third team and All-Trinity League Co-MVP as a senior quarterback…He completed 177-of-325 passes (54.5%) for 2,877 yards with 23 TDs and 18 interceptions in 2008…As a junior in 2007, he was named the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year and the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year (the first time a junior was ever selected for either honor), as well as winning Joe Montana Quarterback of the Year Award…He also made the 2007 USA Today All-USA second team, EA Sports All-American second team, Rivals.com Junior of the Year, Rivals.com Junior All-American first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Cal-Hi Sports California Junior of the Year, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first team, All-CIF Pac-5 Division first team, Los Angeles Times All-Star Glenn Davis Award (as the top Southern California prep football player) and Orange County Register All-Orange County Offensive MVP…He completed 213-of-340 passes (62.6%) for 3,576 yards (an Orange County record) and 35 TDs and 9 interceptions in 2007…As a sophomore in 2006, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore while passing for 1,349 yards and 11 TDs…A 4-year starter, he threw for 1,685 yards and 10 TDs as a 2005 freshman…Current Trojans Robbie Boyer (Barkley’s cousin) and Khaled Holmes also prepped at Mater Dei…While in high school, he was active in his church (playing guitar in the choir) and in community service (he helped build homes for the poor in Mexico, volunteered at an orphanage in South Africa and spearheaded the Monarchs For Marines program that raised money for the families of wounded and fallen soldiers)…His father, Les, lettered for 4 years (197679) in water polo at USC, captaining the Trojans his final 2 seasons and earning All-American second team notice in 1979.

“Offensively, when you start off with the best player in the country at quarterback in Matt Barkley – and he’s already here in school – that’s an extraordinary boost to your class and a great starting point. We’re thrilled to have him here and he’s already working and will be in the thick of the quarterback competition.” -Pete Carroll

JAMES BOYD, DE, 4-STAR
His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, USA Today All-USA second team, EA Sports All-American second team, Max Preps All-American second team, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West honorable mention, Orange County Register Fab 15 second team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Golden State Preps All-Southern California first team, Los Angeles Times All-Star first team and All-L.A. City MVP as a senior defensive end and quarterback at Jordan High in Los Angeles (Calif.)…He had 106 tackles, 8 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries on defense and completed 280-of-450 passes (62.2%) for state bests of 4,266 yards and 44 TDs in 2008, and he also ran for 608 yards on 84 carries (7.2 avg.) with 2 TDs, plus he played some at wide receiver and linebacker…In 1 game, he threw for 575 yards with 8 TDs…As a junior in 2007, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass second team and All-L.A. City Defensive Line MVP…He had 104 tackles and 11 sacks, plus threw for 2,499 yards and 23 TDs in 2007…He also played basketball at Jordan.

“On the other side of the ball, we needed the numbers. We lost a lot of kids that played a lot of football for us at linebacker and the rush spots. We went hard there. The first player – and talk about a dynamic football player and athlete – from L.A. Jordan High, James Boyd is an extraordinary kid. I don’t know how much you know about him, but to know he was an MVP in his league as a quarterback, and also caught passes and ran the ball and played WR and TE and was an extraordinarily effective DE and rusher. And he is leading his league in scoring and rebounding. He’s an extraordinary athlete. We’ve never had a guy who could do that much coming to play defensive end here. I look back to all the guys we’ve had that have played so well and try to think of Kenechi (Udeze) being a quarterback or Lawrence Jackson being a leading scorer in basketball. This is a very skilled athlete and we’re really pumped about him that’s he coming and looking forward to all the things he brings. He’s a very well rounded athlete.” -Pete Carroll

HEBRON FANGUPO, DT, 4-STAR
His 2008 honors included Super Prep JUCO 100 and All-Central Conference second team as a sophomore defensive tackle at Mt. San Antonio Junior College in Walnut (Calif.)…He had 47 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, 6 sacks, 1 deflection, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 forced fumbles in 2008…Mt. San Antonio played in its second consecutive state championship game in 2008…As a freshman in 2007, he made All-Mission Conference first team while making 24 tackles and 2 sacks as Mt. San Antonio played in the state championship game…Fellow Trojan signee Jacob Harfman also attended Mt. San Antonio…He prepped at Century High in Santa Ana (Calif.), where he made the 2003 All-CIF Division IX first team as a senior…He then went on a Mormon mission…He spent part of his youth in Tonga.

“Defensive Tackle Hebron Fangupo is a kid who comes to us from Mt. Sac JC. He’s a very active player. He’s 320 pounds and has great size and quickness. He’s got really good quickness at the line of scrimmage. His initial quickness is there, a kind of explosion and play-making ability that you love. It’s coincidental that an opportunity opens up at the 3-technique with Fili (Moala) taking off. Here comes another 300-pound kid that can come in and fit the bill. We’ll work him at both tackle spots but we’d love to see him compete at that spot and see how he fits in. We see him as a pass rusher as well as a run defender. We love that he’s got the girth already and that he’s a very explosive player.” -Pete Carroll

DE’VON FLOURNOY, WR, 4-STAR
His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West honorable mention, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State third team, Golden State Preps All-Southern California third team, All-L.A. City first team and Los Angeles Daily News All-Area first team as a senior wide receiver at Birmingham High in Van Nuys (Calif.)…He had 45 receptions for 1,091 yards (24.2 avg.) with 9 TDs in 2008, and he also returned kicks and punts…As a junior in 2007, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first team, Los Angeles Daily News All-Area first team and All-L.A. City first team…He had 39 catches for 859 yards (22.0 avg.) with 15 TDs and returned 2 kickoffs for touchdowns in 2007…Birmingham won its second consecutive L.A. City championship in 2008…As a sophomore in 2006, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore…Birmingham won the 2006 L.A. City title. Current Trojan Malik Jackson also prepped at Birmingham.

“The receiver from Birmingham High School, De’Von Flournoy is an extraordinary dynamic receiver. He’s a big-play guy with great speed. Makes all kind of plays and is a terrific kick returner as well. He makes plays on defense as well. We want him as a wide receiver in the Z spot and we’re really pumped about him. He’s a track guy and very fast. He’s explosive on the field and on film. I really love the way he plays.” -Pete Carroll

KEVIN GRAF, OL, 4-STAR
His 2008 honors included Parade All-American, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, EA Sports All-American second team, Max Preps All-American second team, ESPN 150, Prep Star Dream Team, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State, Max Preps All-State Division II, Golden State Preps All-Southern California first team, All-CIF Northern Division, Los Angeles Daily News All-Area first team, Ventura County Star All-Ventura County first team Offensive Line MVP and All-Marmonte League first team as a senior offensive lineman at Agoura (Calif.) High…As a junior in 2007, he made Rivals.com Junior All-American second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first team, Max Preps All-State Division II, All-CIF Northern Division first team and Los Angeles Daily News All-Area first team…As a sophomore in 2006, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore…He also played basketball and was a shot putter on the track team at Agoura…His father, Allan, lettered 3 years (1970-72) at offensive guard at USC, playing on Troy’s 1972 national championship team and then appearing in the 1973 College All-Star Game (he is now a stunt coordinator and second unit director in the movie industry)…His brother, Derek, lettered at center at USC in 2002.

“Kevin Graf is a big kid that’s been around our program for years. I think he was coming to the 8th-grade camps when he was in 4th grade he was such a big kid. He’s been around us forever. He comes from an SC family. His brother (Derek) played here his dad (Allan) played here, offensive linemen from the day they were born. Kevin is a great kid, playing basketball for Agoura now. We expect him to come in as a tackle. He’s one of the most complete players that we’ve had at the offensive line at this early age and a great deal of credit goes to his coaches of course, but also from the upbringing from his family and the camps, he’s really well equipped and can vie for the best kid at his position with anyone in the country. We’re really thrilled about him.” -Pete Carroll

KEVIN GREENE, DE-LB, 3-STAR
His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team and Golden State Preps All-Northern California first team as a senior defensive end and linebacker at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep High in San Francisco (Calif.)…He had 45 tackles, 28 sacks and 5 forced fumbles in 2008…As a junior in 2007 in his first year of playing football, he had 45 tackles and 22 sacks…He also played basketball at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep…He tried out for the USA Team Handball national team in 2009. PATRICK HALL-His 2008 honors included USA Today All-USA first team, Parade All-American, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, EA Sports All-American second team, ESPN 150, Prep Star Dream Team, Super Prep All-Far West, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Golden State Preps All-Southern California first team, All-CIF Northern Division Defensive MVP, Los Angeles Times All-Star, Ventura County Star All-Ventura County first team and All-Channel League first team as a senior defensive back and running back at St. Bonaventure High in Ventura (Calif.)…He had 72 tackles, 4 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries on defense and 784 rushing yards on 78 carries (10.1 avg.) with 11 TDs and 155 yards on 16 receptions (9.7 avg.) with 2 TDs on offense in 2008…St. Bonaventure won the 2008 California state Division III title…As a junior in 2007, he made Rivals.com Junior All-American second team and Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first team, All-CIF Northern Division first team…He had 70 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries, plus ran for 468 yards with 8 TDs in 2007….St. Bonaventure won the 2007 California state Division III title…As a sophomore in 2006, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore and All-Channel League first team while rushing for 701 yards on 85 carries (8.2 avg.), catching 15 passes for 246 yards (16.4 avg.) and returning kickoffs for 154 yards…His cousin is former USC 4-year (2000-03) letterwinning wide receiver Keary Colbert, who played on the Trojans’ 2003 national championship team and ended his career as the school’s No. 2 career receiver, and then played in the NFL for 4 years (2004-07) with the Carolina Panthers and spent 2008 with the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions.

“Kevin Greene is a guy we recruited out of San Francisco. He’s a guy that played defensive end spot. We’ve seen him run very, very fast. He’s got great speed and size. He could play defensive end and outside linebacker, he’s got that kind of body type at 6-3, 237. He could play both and we’ll see how he fits in. He runs so fast and gets up the field rushing the passer. You never have enough guys that can do that. Kevin is also a really good basketball player and a kid we’re fired up about.” -Pete Carroll

JACOB HARFMAN, K, 2-STAR
His 2008 honors included J.C. Grid-Wire All-American first team, JC Athletic Bureau All-American first team, JC Athletic Bureau All-California Region III first team and All-Central Conference first team (unanimous) as a sophomore placekicker and punter at Mt. San Antonio Junior College in Walnut (Calif.)…He made 20-of-26 field goals (including a school-record 56-yarder) and 69-of-76 PATs, plus had 27 touchbacks on kickoffs and averaged 40.0 yards on punts (with a long of 66 yards), in 2008…Mt. San Antonio played in the state championship game in 2008…Fellow Trojan signee Hebron Fangupo also attended Mt. San Antonio…He spent his 2007 freshman season at Urbana (Ohio) University, an NAIA school, where he hit 30-of-34 PATs (both school records) and 5-of-11 field goals…He prepped at Ayala High in Chino (Calif.), where he earned 2006 All-Sierra League second team honors as a senior.

“To finish out that side of the ball, any time you have a chance to get a kicker and a punter combined, it’s an enormous advantage for us. Jake Harfman is that guy. He comes from Mt. Sac and will definitely be able to compete on kickoffs, placekicks and punting. What we do know is that Jake has an enormous leg and as we’ve grown accustomed to David Buehler and the big booming kicks, Jake does all of that. He’ll at least do that and will vie for placekicking and punting. We’re really fired up about that. It’s a great boost to our special teams.” -Pete Carroll

PATRICK HALL, DB, 5-STAR
His 2008 honors included USA Today All-USA first team, Parade All-American, Super Prep All-America, Prep Star All-American, EA Sports All-American second team, ESPN 150, Prep Star Dream Team, Super Prep All-Far West, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Golden State Preps All-Southern California first team, Golden State Preps All-Southern California first team, All-CIF Northern Division Defensive MVP, Los Angeles Times All-Star, Ventura County Star All-Ventura County first team and All-Channel League first team as a senior defensive back and running back at St. Bonaventure High in Ventura (Calif.)…He had 72 tackles, 4 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries on defense and 784 rushing yards with 11 TDs on offense in 2008…St. Bonaventure won the 2008 California state Division III title…As a junior in 2007 he made Rivals.com Junior All-American second team and Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first team…He had 70 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries, plus ran for 468 yards with 8 TDs in 2007.

“Patrick Hall is one of the most diversified athletes and dynamic kids you could imagine. He can play everything. We saw him years ago as a linebacker. The first time we ever saw him he was an undersized linebacker as a sophomore. But he showed all of the instincts and nose for the football and the savvy that great players have. He’s been a running back, a wide receiver, he’s played safety, corner and linebacker. He’s a tremendous kick returner. We want to see him on the defensive side of the ball, but it won’t take us long to continue to find ways and experiment with him in terms of getting the ball in his hands. He’s one of the fastest kids we’ve seen in a long time.” -Pete Carroll

TORIN HARRIS, DB, 4-STAR
His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best of the Rest, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100 and All-State as a senior defensive back and wide receiver at Palo Verde High in Las Vegas (Nev.)…He had 53 tackles and 5 interceptions on defense, 60 receptions for 660 yards (11.0 avg.) with 11 TDs (plus 4 rushing TDs) on offense and returned 3 kickoffs for touchdowns in 2008…As a junior in 2007, he made 35 tackles and returned 3 kickoffs for touchdowns as Palo Verde played in the Nevada state championship game.

“The next guy, from Las Vegas, is Torin Harris. He’s in the mold of Kevin Thomas and Terrell Thomas. Tall, long, real fast. Ran a 10.6 as a junior last year. He’s got great speed. Of course, in his offense, he played running back and caught the pass, returned kicks. Lot of big plays on the defensive side. He’s a really, really gifted athlete. He’s one of those guys who can do a lot of stuff. We’re going to feature him at a corner. He looks perfect.” -Pete Carroll

JARVIS JONES, LB, 4-STAR
His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, USA Today All-USA second team, ESPN 150, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Dream Team, Super Prep All-Dixie, Prep Star All-Southeast, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11, All-State Class AAA first team and Columbus Ledger-Enquirer All-City Defensive MVP as a senior linebacker at Carver High in Columbus (Ga.)…He had 77 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, 4 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles in 2008 despite being sidelined late in the season with a broken thumb…As a junior in 2007, he made Rivals.com Junior All-American first team, All-State Class AAA Defensive MVP and Columbus Ledger-Enquirer All-City Defensive MVP…He had 157 tackles, 26 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks and 2 interceptions in 2007…Carver won the 2007 Georgia state AAA championship…He also played basketball at Carver, winning 2008 All-State honors.

“Also at linebacker from Columbus, Ga., is Jarvis Jones. He’s an amazing player. He’s got great size. He’s 6-3, 230-something pounds. He’s an all-around athlete. Explosive, dynamic, an excellent basketball player and might have a chance to play on the basketball team. He’s that dynamic. He attacks and rushes up the field. He’s a great blitzer and cover guy and we’re ecstatic that we’re able to get Jarvis. We think he’ll have a chance to play and contribute and compete for playing time immediately when he gets here.” -Pete Carroll

DEVON KENNARD, DE, 5-STAR
His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, USA Today All-USA second team, ESPN 150, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Dream Team, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team and Tacoma News Tribune Western 100 as a senior defensive end at Desert Vista High in Phoenix (Ariz.)…He played in only 3 early games in 2008 before tearing knee ligaments, which sidelined him the rest of the season…As a junior in 2007, he made Rivals.com Junior All-American first team as he had 111 tackles and 24 sacks…Desert Vista played in the 2007 Arizona state 5-A championship game…As a sophomore in 2006, he made All-Region while making 81 tackles and 7 sacks…His father, Derek, was an All-American offensive lineman at Nevada (lettering from 1981 to 1983) who then played 2 years in the USFL (1984-85 with the Los Angeles Express) and 11 seasons in the NFL (1986-90 with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals, 1991-93 with the New Orleans Saints and 1994-96 with the Dallas Cowboys), including on the 1995 Cowboys’ team that won the Super Bowl…His brother, Derek Jr., was a 4-year (2000-03) football letterman at Nevada.

“The No. 1 rated defensive end in the country Devon Kennard is an extraordinary football player. You think of a defensive end you think of a guy just rushing the passer. He can cover, he can rush, he’s a great edge rush guy. He can play one-on-one coverage on tight ends and shadow receivers when he has to. He’s played on the offensive side of the ball. He’s just a gifted player who has a tremendous upside and we think he’s got a chance to help us right away and be a factor in our rush corps from the beginning. We’re really excited about what he brings us.” -Pete Carroll

JOHN MARTINEZ, OL, 4-STAR
His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, ESPN 150, Prep Star Dream Team, Super Prep All-Midlands. Prep Star All-Midlands, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West honorable mention, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team and Tacoma News Tribune Western 100 as a senior offensive lineman at Cottonwood High in Salt Lake City (Utah)…As a junior in 2007, he made Rivals.com Junior All-American first team and All-State 4A first team…Current Trojan Stanley Havili also prepped at Cottonwood…His cousins, Henry (1994-95), Jeff (1994-96), Doug (1998-2001) and Jason (2000-03) Kaufusi all played football at Utah, with Doug (offensive lineman) and Jason (defensive lineman) earning All-Conference honors and Doug later playing in the NFL and CFL.

“John Martinez comes from Utah, a kid we’ll play at center. He grabbed our attention early on because he’s an extraordinary effort guy. He played very much like Jeff Byers did when he captured our attention long ago in that he finishes and runs down field and makes hits and shows great versatility to play all the positions on the line. But we talked to John from the beginning about being a center and he’s championed the cause. He was the No. 1 guard in the country on some scales throughout the recruiting preparation. He’s a great kid and a very tough hombre and we’re really fired up about him.” -Pete Carroll

BYRON MOORE, DB, 4-STAR
His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, ESPN 150, Prep Star Dream Team, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Presss Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Golden State Preps All-Southern California first team, All L.A. City first team, Los Angeles Times All-Star first team, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay first team and All-Marine League Offensive MVP as a senior defensive back and wide receiver at Narbonne High in Harbor City (Calif.)…He had 83 tackles, 4 interceptions (with 2 TDs), 15 deflections, 3 fumble recoveries (with 1 TD) and 2 forced fumbles on defense, had 61 ewceptions for 963 yards (15.8 avg.) with 8 TDs on offense and added 820 return yards with 4 TDs

“Byron Moore, from Narbonne High, will also come in and play corner. He’s another guy that did everything. He played all over the football field for his team. He’s got great ability, speed and is a dynamic player. He scores touchdowns from everywhere, catches passes, runs out of the backfield. Played safety and corner in high school and is an extraordinarily gifted kid that gives us great diversity. He does all the things that you want a terrific football player to do. He’s a big get.” -Pete Carroll

T.J. McDONALD, DB, 5-STAR
His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, ESPN 150, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Dream Team, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Golden State Preps All-Southern California first team, All-CIF Central Section, Fresno Bee All-Star and All-County/Metro Athletic Conference Defensive MVP as a senior who played safety, linebacker, defensive end, fullback, tight end and wide receiver at Edison High in Fresno (Calif.)…He had 87 tackles and 3 interceptions in 2008…As a junior in 2007, he made Rivals.com Junior All-American second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first team, All-CIF Central Section and Fresno Bee All-Star…His father, Tim, was the head coach at Edison…Tim was a 2-time (1985-86) All-American and 4-year (1983-86) letterman safety at USC, where he was named the team MVP his final 2 seasons, was Troy’s 1986 captain and helped the Trojans to a victory in the 1985 Rose Bowl, and then played 13 years in the NFL as an All-Pro/Pro Bowler with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals (1987-92) and San Francisco 49ers (1993-99; USC coach Pete Carroll served as the defensive coordinator there in 1995 and 1996), including on the 49ers’ 1994 team that won the Super Bowl. BYRON MOORE-His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, ESPN 150, Prep Star Dream Team, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Golden State Preps All-Southern California first team, All-L.A. City first team, Los Angeles Times All-Star first team, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay first team and All-Marine League Offensive MVP as a senior defensive back and wide receiver at Narbonne High in Harbor City (Calif.)…He had 83 tackles, 4 interceptions (with 2 TDs), 15 deflections, 3 fumble recoveries (with 1 TD) and 2 forced fumbles on defense, had 61 receptions for 963 yards (15.8 avg.) with 8 TDs on offense and added 820 return yards with 4 TDs…Narbonne was the 2008 L.A. City co-champion…As a junior in 2007, he made South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay second team and All-Marine League while getting 86 tackles, 5 interceptions (with 3 TDs) and 15 deflections on defense, 41 catches for 889 yards (21.7 avg.) with 7 TDs on offense, 221 rushing yards on 8 carries (27.6 avg.) with 3 TDs and 343 return yards (with 2 TDs) in 2007…He missed most of his 2006 sophomore season with a knee injury…He also sprinted for Narbonne’s track team.

“Safety T.J. McDonald from Edison High in Fresno. This kid is just a prototype looking safety. He looks just like the kids we’ve had the last few years. He’s over 6-2 and 218 pounds already. He’s a gifted player and student, a great leader and just everything you’re looking for. His dad played here at USC, Tim McDonald, who played when I was coaching at the 49ers. They are the spitting image of each other. They are the same size and stature and playmaking ability and leadership qualities and all those things.” -Pete Carroll

MARQUIS SIMMONS, LB, 4-STAR
His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, USA Today All-USA second team, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West honorable mention, Orange County Register Fab 15 second team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State third team, Golden State Preps All-Southern California third team and All-CIF Western Division first team as a linebacker at Dominguez High in Compton (Calif.)…He had 81 tackles and 7 sacks in 2008…As a junior in 2007, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass second team, All-CIF Western Division first team, Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team first team and All-San Gabriel Valley League Defensive MVP…He had 80 tackles and 8 sacks in 2007…As a sophomore in 2006, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore while getting 65 tackles and 11 sacks…His brother, Melvin (“Champ”), lettered 2 seasons (2002-03) at linebacker for USC (including on Troy’s 2003 national championship squad) after lettering 2 years (1999-2000) at Washington State…His brother, Marvin, lettered in 2004 at linebacker for Kansas State (he originally signed with USC)…Two other brothers, Marlin (with California in 2004) and Maurice (with USC in 2008) signed with colleges but did not enroll.

“A local kid coming from Dominguez is Marquis Simmons. He’s been a star player for his school for a number of years. He’s been a leading tackler and a guy that makes everything happen. He’s an obvious penetrator and a guy that blitzes very well. He’s an outside speed guy and runs sideline to sideline and a kid we’ve watched grow up in the program. He’s (former Trojan) Melvin Simmons’ little brother. We’ve known the family for a long time. We’re excited about Marquis coming in.” -Pete Carroll

JAWANZA STARLING, DB, 4-STAR
The 6-1, 190-pound Starling made 50 tackles in 2008 and earned Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Super Prep All-Dixie and Prep Star All-Southeast honors as a senior at Lincoln (home of current Trojan cornerback T.J. Bryant). Lincoln played in the 2008 Florida state 4A championship game. As a junior in 2007, he had 98 tackles, 10 tackles for losses, 5 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions. He was a 3-year starter. He also played baseball at Lincoln. His cousin, Bryan Evans, is a senior cornerback at Georgia.

FRANKIE TELFORT, LB, 4-STAR
His 2008 honors included Prep Star All-American, Max Preps Medium Schools All-American first team, ESPN 150, Prep Star Dream Team, Super Prep All-Dixie, Prep Star All-Southeast and Miami Herald All-Dade County as a senior linebacker and defensive back at Gulliver Prep High in Miami (Fla.)…He had 163 tackles and 4 sacks in 2008…Gulliver Prep played in the Florida state 2A championship game…As a junior in 2007, he made Rivals.com Junior All-American second team and had 66 tackles, 4 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries despite missing the first half of the season with a torn thumb ligament…He spent his 2006 sophomore season at Coral Reef High in Miami, where he played linebacker and running back.

“Another really exciting player for us that we see as a WIL linebacker where Kaluka Maiava and Keith Rivers played for us is Frankie Telfort from Miami. He’s the first kid we’ve recruited from Miami. He’s very, very fast. He ran under 4.4 a couple of weeks ago at his workouts. He’s so explosive and is such a feisty kid. He’s a kid that led their football team as the playcaller on defense. He’s got an enormous understanding of defensive football and adjustments that would knock you out. Like way beyond anybody we’ve ever talked to about understanding how to make checks and audibles and how to change defenses. He talks like he’s a junior or senior in college and maybe even more than that. We’re thrilled about him. He’s a guy that wants to be a doctor and go to med school.” -Pete Carroll

SIMIONE VEHIKITE, FB, 2-STAR
His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100 and All-State first team as a senior fullback and linebacker at Kapolei (Hi.) High…He ran for 610 yards and 10 TDs on offense and had 119 tackles, 12 tackles for losses and 10 sacks on defense in 2008…As a junior in 2007, he played defensive line at Lahainaluna High in Lahaina (Hi.).

“Simione Vehikite is the first time in a while where we’ve hit a fullback. We’re thrilled about getting that done. He’s a guy that played a lot of defense as well as running back as well as true fullback. He was a nose tackle at one school, then transferred and when the coaches found out he could run fast and was versatile, they made him a running back and he blasted on the scene in one year’s time. Kenny (Norton) found him out there in the islands when he was out recruiting and he fell in love with Simi and he’s coming in truly as a fullback. We’ve had a hard time finding guys that fit the bill, but Simi is one of those guys. He comes here with an opportunity to do that, of course, and also be a special teams kid because of all the work he’s had at linebacker.” -Pete Carroll

Kyle Bunch

Partnerships for R/GA Ventures. Raised in California, adopted by Texas. Opinions expressed here are mine and they are fantastic.

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