Expert Opinion: Newcomer Report

Hebron Fangupo

With fall camp now in the books, the SCPlaybook experts let you know which newcomers made the best first impressions and could make an impact in 2009. Look inside for more on Matt Barkley, Hebron Fangupo, De'Von Flournoy and others.

Kevin Carden, Editorial Director, SCPlaybook.com

We really won't know until three or four years from now, but after getting a look at the 2009 recruiting class during fall camp, it appears that Pete Carroll and staff have brought in another terrific class filled with playmakers on both sides of the ball.

At the conclusion of fall camp, there are five newcomers that look like they could contribute in 2009 in Matt Barkley, Hebron Fangupo, Jarvis Jones, Jacob Harfman and De'Von Flournoy.

Matt Barkley, who has been the most impressive newcomer, still has a good chance to be the Trojans' starting quarterback in 2009. Barkley has shown poise, talent and leadership beyond his years and is the most advanced first-year quarterback that Carroll has had at USC.

Other than Barkley, wide receiver De'Von Flourmoy has been the most productive offensive newcomer. Flournoy pulled in six catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns in the Trojans' scrimmages this fall. When Flournoy gets a better understanding of the offense he could be a big play threat for USC.

JUCO transfers Jacob Harfman and Hebron Fangupo will both have an immediate impact in '09. Fangupo has been a monster in the middle of the defensive line and will get plenty of playing time with Averell Spicer out with a sprained ankle. The 6-foot-2, 330-pound lineman is a unique talent with the size, speed and strength to be a real difference maker. Harfman is the favorite to be the starting punter and kickoff specialist after a solid camp performance.

Freshman linebacker Jarvis Jones had a quick start to camp playing both middle and strong-side linebacker before being limited after suffering a concussion. Jones has shown good versatility and could get some early playing time because of the Trojans lack of depth at linebacker.

Kevin Graf, Byron Moore, Torin Harris, Devon Kennard and Jawanza Starling are other newcomers that have all made big first impressions.

Moore has been particularly productive recording a blocked punt, interception and fumble recovery while playing cornerback and some safety.

Scott Schrader, Senior Recruiting Editor, SCPlaybook.com

As far as the newcomers are concerned, Loni Fangupo is looking like the newcomer who will make the biggest impact in 2009. He clogs up the middle, especially with the running game defense, but he's also exceptionally quick for a guy his size and can wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

Obviously, I'd be foolish not to mention Matt Barkley, too. He has a great shot to be the starting quarterback for SC in 2009. But he had a great opportunity to runaway and secure the starting gig when Corp was out, and didn't in my opinion. He still could become the starting quarterback, but if Corp comes back on Tuesday and holds his own next week, as he had when he was healthy, he will start when SC plays San Jose State. And I write that being a huge Barkley homer.

The only other newcomer who has really stood out to me is De'Von Flournoy. Flournoy might not be a huge impact player in 2009, but in my opinion he would be if he was asked to be. He might not tear it up in 2009, but Flournoy's future appears to be extremely bright at SC.

Others who have impressed me are Jawanza Starling, Devon Kennard, Simione Vehikite and Ahmed Mokhtar. Kevin Graf has also progressed very nicely. Marquis Simmons has also come on strong in recent practices and especially the last scrimmage.

Bottom line is, IMO SC is at a point it doesn't need its newcomers to make a huge impact.


Devon Flournoy had an impressive fall camp. (Jaime Rodriguez Photo)


If you agree, or think we missed the mark, let us know your opinion on the SCPlaybook.com message boards



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