Kyle Prater looks to be fitting in just fine at USC.
Even with a tweaked hamstring he is still turning heads.
On Tuesday, Prater made several impressive catches, including one that came just before cornerback Torin Harris delivered a neck-bending hit.
"That was the hardest hit I've ever felt," Prater said.
Prater, 17, was among the recruits who were stunned by the news that Pete Carroll was leaving USC to coach the Seattle Seahawks. Prater, though, went through with his plan to enroll for the spring semester, joining freshman running back Dillon Baxter.
While Carroll often said that he discouraged most recruits from giving up their final semester of high school, new Coach Lane Kiffin said he would encourage the practice as a way for players to take advantage of practices, meetings and off-season training.
Welcome to USC Kyle!
If the kid can gain some valuable experience and get a leg up on the playbook then I see no problem with it. It definitely helped Matt Barkley last season.
There is no reason why Prater can't contribute next season. With Damian Williams off to the NFL, Ronald Johnson and Brice Butler look to be the #1 and #2 receivers next year but every position is open and you never know how injuries will affect the team. Prater coming in early puts him in a great position to contribute.
Coming in a semester early says a lot about a player.
Finishing high school early says a lot about a players discipline and drive. There is certainly noting wrong with staying until the final day of high school to experience all the things that the senior class consider a right of passage. But when a player leaves early for college you see that have purpose.
They also become the center of attention...
Every time a high school senior graduates early and participates in spring practice, he instantly becomes the focus of attention. That is especially true of freshman wide receiver Kyle Prater, who is 6-foot-5 and rated the top player at his position in the nation by some recruiting services.
But Prater's been unable to make many big plays in spring drills because of a pulled hamstring he suffered in winter workouts. It only adds to the perception that his speed is not his forte.
But Prater enjoyed his best practice of the spring Tuesday, even if he had trouble out-running the defense.
"I want to be able to explode," Prater said. "My hamstring is hindering me a little bit. I just feel it's a stereotype (that I am not fast). I can't let what people say hinder me."
It is early yet.
But I have no worries that Prater will give the defense all they can handle in due time.
Prater offers up his impressions to ESPN LA's Pedro Moura in his first interview with the media...
There is no question that the kid is motivated...