Football players from Dominguez, Compton, and Centennial were among over 150 Los Angeles area students who received a slice of the college sports experience at USC where they also toured the college campus and stayed in dorm rooms.
Students worked on their skills through drills, exercises, and non-contact games.
"The camp is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Compton Unified students, many of whom will be first generation college students to experience intercollegiate athletics at its finest," said Dominguez High School's football coach Jason Miller.
"Our students were treated like Trojans, they enjoyed dorm life to the fullest. After attending the camp, I could see a spark in our students' eyes as they have been awaken to the university experience."
Christopher Gilliam (in above photo) said he couldn't hide his excitement during the football camp because he is a huge USC football fan.
"Both my brothers graduated from USC. It's very close to my heart. It's my dream to go there too. It was really cool to be at the camp and meet the coaches," he said. "The drills they do are different. We did more reps and had to show even more effort. USC has more technique."
The college dorm experience also proved to be a lot of fun for Christopher and his fellow athletes.
"We stayed in really nice dorms, a game room for us to play ping-pong. We walked around the campus, saw the engineering building and the library, and of course Tommy Trojan the statue."
Dominguez 10th-grader Keiron Adams (second photo, on the left), who plays running back and corner for Dominguez,
"It's been really cool. I'm just out here working hard. The training here is a lot different from what we do at school. We've been doing a lot of drills and conditioning that are at a higher level," he noted.
For Keiron, the camp was also an opportunity to impress USC coaches in hopes of one day earning an athletic scholarship.
"It's one of the ways I can get a scholarship, go to college, study and make something of myself. I just want to do well for myself."
Jesus Pimentel (first photo, holding the ball), also in tenth grade, said attending the Rising Stars Camp at USC is something he'll never forget.
"As someone from Compton, it's a dream come true. A lot of people talk badly about our city but we're here representing us in the best way by showing we work hard," he said.
"I've learned a lot of things that will make me a better player. I started out the camp as a wide receiver but now I'm learning how to be a quarterback. I learned a lot about my footwork and positioning."
Jesus added that the experience of being on USC's campus has inspired him to not only pursue his athletic dreams, but also to achieve in college.
"If I play for USC one day I want to study business. Education is very important to me. You can't do anything without it."