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Tag:Reuben Foster
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:52 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 11:55 pm
 

New Level 7-on-7 Day One Updates

Posted by Bryan Fischer

ROSWELL, Ga. -- The recruiting landscape shifted into a higher gear on Saturday as hundreds of players from as far away as Michigan descended upon Centennial High School in suburban Atlanta for the first New Level Athletics Elite 7-on-7 tournament of the year. With 18 teams taking part, the event drew some of the top talent from across the country to show off their skills and allowed several to make a name for themselves, hoping that will translate into scholarship offers down the road.

One player who needed no introduction was Marietta (Ga.) running back and Alabama commitment Tyren Jones. Easily among the 10 best players in the state after a terrific junior year, the speedster was the focal point of Team Georgia's offense as they fought their way out of the round-robin format that made up day one.

"Some people might know who I am but I'm not really worried about it," Jones said. "I just want to go out here and help my team win."

Although he is a multi-purpose back, Jones lined up at receiver for the day and looked like a natural. Though he looks like more a guy that would be utilized out of the slot, he typically was found on the outside against the opposition's top cornerback and still had little trouble finding soft spots in coverage or beating his man deep.

"I just want to prove that I can catch the ball well," he said. "I'm lining up to play receiver even though I'm a running back."

The 5-foot-9, 200-pounder's commitment to the Crimson Tide came after attending a recent Junior Day in Tuscaloosa and picking up an offer from head coach Nick Saban. While the timing surprised a few folks, Jones liked what the program was offering and feels his talents will mesh extremely well within the offense.

"It wasn't really a pitch, they just told me that I fit really well into their system and their system really fits me," he said. "They said I'm an all-purpose running back and that's what they need at Alabama. They watched film and saw me split out some an basically said I'm going to come out of the backfield and catch the ball."

Jones was particularly impressed with the facilities and was sold on how well the program took care of the players in terms of nutrition and weightlifting. Although some might be deterred at Alabama signing the top recruiting class seemingly every year, the tailback is looking forward to the competition and thinks the class of 2013 might come in as the best of the past few years anyway.

"I think it's something special this year," Jones said. "We can win some more national championships. They don't really brag about (winning national titles) but they know they have the talent and the recruiting to win another.

Still, that hasn't stopped a few programs from continuing to make their pitch with plenty of time between now and Signing Day.

"Purdue, Florida and I'd say Georgia," he said of programs still recruiting him hard. "They're all still talking to me and sending letters."

Jones' 7-on-7 teammate - and Georgia commit - Shaquille Wiggins was not with the squad because he was in Athens for the Bulldogs' Junior Day but will return for the championship round on Sunday. The addition not only gives the group a top cornerback but somebody that has been very open about his program being the one everybody should be looking at. Although Jones' recent pledge to Alabama is strong, he still hears it from Wiggins despite him being a bit of a recruiter himself.

"Not really, I talk to him every once and a while but it's not too much," Jones said. "I'm really (recruiting teammate) Brandon Kublanow to come down with me. Other than that, I'm talking to friends and trying to make sure Reuben Foster stays (committed). He's real excited but it sounds like he's going to stay with Alabama."

While recruiting will sort itself out for others, Jones will turn his attention to the field on Sunday with hopes of doing something he's planning on doing a lot in college: winning.

Kamara is cold and hot at the same time

One of Michael Jordan's most memorable games in a career full of them was Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. Most remember it simply as 'The Flu Game.'

While the stakes were significantly (significantly) less on the fields Saturday, Norcross (Ga.) running back Alvin Kamara was channeling his inner-Jordan. Under the weather with flu-like systems he was still one of the fastest players at the event and helped contribute several big plays and victories for Georgia Elite.

"I'm trying to hang in there I'm so sick," Kamara said. "I dropped a few balls. But I'm bouncing back, we'll have to see with these next games."

On top of a fever and his skin a few shades lighter than what it normally is, the cheerful Kamara also was dealing with the opposition's best shot. As one of several players with multiple FBS offers, he had a bit of a target on his back while he was running routes and catching passes.

"A little bit," he said. "Some guys see me and say, 'Oh he's got all these offers and blah, blah, blah.' But that's just going to make me play harder."  

The cold and windy conditions in the Atlanta area were pretty much the opposite of Kamara's recruitment. Holding just a single offer, from Syracuse, at the Rising Seniors Bowl right before New Year's, the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder has turned into one of the hottest prospects in the country.

"It's been crazy," he said. "From one to eleven. It's just crazy."

HIs most recent offer came from the opposite coast and USC, with plenty of other schools close to extending an one. He doesn't have a top group of schools but there have still been a few that have stuck out in his mind and are recruiting him the hardest.

"Alabama and Georgia are up there," he said. "Everybody heard the story about Alabama. With Georgia, their coaches keep up with me real well."

'The story' about Alabama stems from the fact that the school sent him 105 recruiting letters. In one day.

The memorable recruiting strategy certainly left a mark in the running back's mind even if he held the Crimson Tide in high esteem beforehand.

"It was wild, they just fell out of my mailbox and I wasn't even expecting it," Kamara said. "My mom went wild. She was like, 'Can they do that?'"

Kamara doesn't have any unofficial visits planned and isn't counting on going to any junior days in the next few weeks either. In many ways, he's just going with the flow of the recruiting process that he's seen pick up very quickly. Wisconsin and Oklahoma State might be close to adding to his total of offers and while he will add them to his growing pile, Kamara is evaluating all of them based on what he's looking for in a program before making a commitment.

"Just a school that feels like home, coaches that I get along with and somewhere I can just feel like I belong," he said. "I want to fit in. I'm going to make my decision whenever it feels right. I don't have a time frame."

While his timetable for a commitment is still up in the air, Kamara is interested in seeing things outside of his hometown and that means he'll take visits even if he knows where he wants to go.

"I want to get to everywhere I can and see everything," he said. "I don't want to miss anything. Even if I (commit), I definitely will take (official visits)."

Cheek checks in with Cal

Lawrenceville (Ga.) defensive back Trevellous 'Tre' Cheek was one of the standouts from the first day of competition at the NLA Elite 7-on-7. His play between the lines might have had something to do with his good day outside of them after picking up his first offer from California.

"I've always wanted to go to a (school like) Cal," Cheek said. "They're a great school and great at football too. I have family about an hour away."

While it might sound strange for a Georgia corner to be familiar with the Bears and hold them in high regard, there's a reason he is already planning on a visit out West. Cheek has talked with several members of the team already in order to get to know the program better, including McDonough (Ga.) defensive back Avery Sebastian, a 2011 signee from the area. As a result of being the first to offer, Cal has a slight edge at the moment over other schools - including his childhood favorite.

"I grew up a Florida fan since I can remember. I was brought up that way," Cheek said. "Cal beat them (with an offer) though. That first offer is kind of special. Coach (Ashley) Ambrose is a good guy."

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Cheek attended Kentucky's Junior Day last week and enjoyed the trip to see what the Wildcats had to offer. On his way back home, he stopped by Louisville, where their Junior Day had already ended but the coaching staff waited around for his arrival and to talk to him. Cheek believes both are close to offering and is hearing more from Clemson and Arkansas. He will head to the Tiger's April 14th Junior Day and based on the amount of attention schools are giving him, it figures that won't be the only visit Cheek will take this spring.

"West Virginia is close, coach (Daron) Roberts has been talking to me," Cheek said. "Tennessee (receivers coach Darin Hinshaw) said they'll offer me but he was waiting for Coach (Derek) Dooley to sign off on it and it might take a little time. But I'm looking forward to that one."

Though there were no really big wide receivers at the event, Cheek handled just about everyone with ease on Saturday. He often played press coverage and had no problem turning to run after getting a good jam on the line of scrimmage. His ability to play up close to the offense, Cheek said, is one of the reasons several coaching staffs have been talking to him quite a bit.

"Just about everybody is talking to me as a corner," he said. "Most of the coaches I spoke with said that I've very physical and they haven't seen cornerbacks like that. They think that since I'm a very physical corner, they can teach the coverage part. They can teach that, they can't teach the (physicality)."

With an offer from Cal in his back pocket and plenty more sure to come, Cheek's recruitment should be one to follow on the road to Signing Day. At the moment, he has no issues leaving the state to play college football and is looking more at the school than its location.

"Oh no," he said with a big smile and laugh. "As long as I'm getting an education. I want to major in physical therapy and minor in broadcasting or communication."

Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:25 pm
 

2/23 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer
Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster will transfer high schools after his head coach was fired and will take a few visits.

 Several schools are pursuing top talent in Indianapolis, including Elijah Daniel who picked up offers from Kentucky, Michigan and others.

Bo Pelini has enlisted an outside firm in order to help the Nebraska staff recruit better.

 Michigan has filled their early needs but still have plenty of work left to do on the recruiting trail.

 Multiyear scholarships might give Georgia a small recruiting edge.

 D-end Devin Washington is talking with South Carolina.

 Minnesota is the latest to offer running back Jabo Lee.

Posted on: February 18, 2012 11:52 am
 

2/18 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Alabama is all set for their second Junior Day with a ton of top prospects.

Alvin Kamara received 105 letters from the Crimson Tide on the same day while Reuben Foster is trying hard to recruit top player Robert Nkemdiche to Tuscaloosa.

Recruiting local linemen could be a recipe for success at Notre Dame.

Michigan State is offering several recruits around the country and going after a few Wisconsin players hard.

 Missouri is starting the 2013 class off by getting a few early in-state players.

 Will news of the drug bust at TCU hurt the Horned Frogs recruiting? Some coaches say no.

 There are some familiar names among the recruits at Nebraska's Junior Days. 

 A preview of Florida's Junior Day.

 Catching up with new Ohio State commit Eli Woodard.

 Boise State lands its second 2013 pledge in Alec Dhaenens.

Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:26 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 1:50 pm
 

Top 2013 Recruits to Know



Posted by Bryan Fischer


The class of 2012 was so last week and it's time for everybody to turn their attention to the Class of 2013. This class may or may not be as talented as last year's group but it has a lot of high end talent even if it's not as deep. Here are 25 recruits just about everybody should know from coast-to-coast.

Photo by Dennis Carter/MaxPreps.com

 25 Recruits to Know
Player Position Size Location Notes
Robert Nkemdiche DE/OLB 6-5, 260 Grayson, Ga. Will likely be a consensus #1 overall prospect in this class, Nkemdiche is one of the most talented and driven athletes to come out of Georgia on the defensive side of the ball. He's got the speed to chase down the quarterback and is a savvy player who understands the game. Most expect him to end up at Alabama but Georgia, Ole Miss and others will try hard to land him. Highlights
Kenny Bigelow DL  6-3, 285 Bear, Del. It's rare to see such a talented player come out the Northeast like Bigelow but there's a reason why he picked up a ton of early offers from powerhouse programs from across the country. He is athletic enough to play tight end but will wind up playing a variety of positions along the defensive line and has a nice set of pass rush moves. Committed to USC. Highlights
Adam Breneman TE 6-5, 230 Camp Hill, Pa. The top tight end in the country, Breneman is the next in a wave of prototype players who can split out, block or get releases inside from a three-point stance. His hands are soft and he's a very good route runner. Highlights
Max Browne QB 6-5, 200 Sammamish, Wash. The top quarterback on the West Coast, Browne is the latest Evergreen state signal-caller to impress scouts. He is a bit on the skinny side but has a great frame, strong arm and a very good pocket presence. Not a great runner, his arm more than makes up for it. Highlights
Greg Bryant RB 5-10, 210 Delray Beach, Fla. Bryant has been well known in the state of Florida for sometime and is one of the headliners in a strong year for running backs. As quick as he is fast, he runs well between the tackles and knows how to get to the second level and into the open field. Highlights
Cameron Burrows DB 6-2, 200 Trotwood, Ohio Burrows is one of the top players in Ohio this year and can play pretty much any position in the secondary equally well. He's fast, has hands like a wide out and isn't afraid to come up and hit people. He also has an advanced degree in reading the quarterback because he reacts very well in coverage. Committed to Ohio State. Highlights
Su'a Cravens DB/LB 6-1, 210 Murrieta, Calif. The top defensive player out West, Cravens is a terror at multiple spots. He is fast enough to be a safety but will likely end up at outside linebacker who can rush the passer. His motor is always running and he doesn't seem to stop until the ball carrier is on the ground. Highlights
Reuben Foster LB 6-2, 228 LaGrange, Ga. Foster will be one of the top linebackers in the country and it looks like he's ready to step on campus this fall. He needs to work on his coverage skills a little but he's one of the hardest hitters in this class and is just a load coming downhill at an offensive player. Committed to Alabama. Highlights
Kendall Fuller DB 6-0, 180 Olney, Md. He's talented enough to play multiple positions but will likely end up being one of the Northeast's top recruits at corner. He's fluid DB who can turn and run stride for stride with any receiver and plays the ball well. He has a few things to work on but is someone you want taking away one side of the field. Highlights
Ahmad Fulwood WR  6-4, 200 Jacksonville, Fla. Fulwood really burst onto the scene last summer and drew a host of offers early. He's a bit lean but has a great frame to add weight and still maintain his speed. He's a quarterback's best friend for jump balls and isn't afraid to go over the middle to make a tough catch. Highlights
Derrick Griffin WR 6-6, 215 Rosenberg, Texas Because he's also a highly-ranked basketball star, Griffin is a huge, athletic target but is also a lot faster than most people expect. He's got very good hands and obviously can go up and snag the ball from pretty much anywhere on the field. You could see him adding a few pounds and being a very good tight end. Committed to Texas A&M. Highlights
Vernon Hargreaves DB 6-0, 175 Tampa, Fla. He's got a good case as one of the top corners on the East Coast and certainly has a great teacher considering his father is the secondary coach at USF. He's quick and understands coverages very well, sinking into throwing lanes and coming up in run support if needed. Highlights
Derrick Henry RB 6-3, 230 Yulee, Fla. The most impressive athlete in the class, Henry could play a number of positions in addition to his preferred spot at running back. He is physically bigger than just about everybody in high school and needs at least two defenders to bring him down. Committed to Georgia. Highlights
Michael Hutchings LB 6-1, 205 Concord, Calif. One of the top linebackers in the country, Hutchings is a sound player who has been extremely well coached. He's upper body-heavy and is a sure tackler who can run well. He can read the line and blitz very effectively. Highlights
Ty Isaac RB 6-2, 220 Joliet, Ill. Isaac has good speed even if he's not the quickest prospect out there. He also has good vision and is one of the top players in the Midwest due to his versatility that could see him play a little slot or wing back in college. Highlights
Dee Liner DE 6-4, 260 Muscle Shoals, Ala. One of the top linemen in the South this year, Liner does an excellent job of coming off the ball and keeping his pad level down. He's a big guy who can play either end or tackle and is fast enough to chase guys down from behind the play. Committed to Auburn. Highlights
Shane Morris QB  6-2, 180 Warren, Mich. He has solid arm strength but is very accurate, especially on intermediate passes over the middle. Morris has light feet and a solid pocket presence that can move outside and make throws on the run. He is a smart kid who can read coverages quickly and shows great anticipation. Committed to Michigan. Highlights
Marquez North WR 6-3, 210 Charlotte, N.C. A smooth, fluid receiver who can score at any time, North is used to plenty of attention at his powerhouse high school. He's a two-stepper who can return kicks and punts in addition to being a game-changing wide out. Highlights
Jake Raulerson ATH 6-5, 250 Celina, Texas It's not often you get athletes like Raulerson who could play multiple positions on each side of the ball and be highly ranked at each. His feet are terrific and one reason why he's a great offensive lineman and tight end. In addition, he's good on the defensive line and can play the run very well. Committed to Texas. Highlights
Max Redfield DB 6-3, 195 Mission Viejo, Calif. Probably the top safety on the West Coast, Redfield has the size and speed to be an impact defender patrolling the secondary in college. He reads the quarterback as well as anybody, has a fluid backpedal and can turn on a dime. Highlights
Tyrone Swoopes QB 6-5, 220 Whitewright, Texas An athletic dual-threat, Swoopes has as high an upside as any quarterback in 2013. He can get the ball out quickly with a strong arm and is one of the fastest players at his position. He is a perfect fit for a spread offense. Highlights
Altee Tenpenny RB 5-10, 200 North Little Rock, Ark. Was one of the few underclassmen to attend last summer's The Opening, Tenpenny wows with his athleticism. He missed his junior season but that didn't stop any school in the country from offering. Committed to Alabama. Highlights
Laremy Tunsil OL 6-6, 280 Lake City, Fla. His size stands out but his athleticism is what allows him to be dominant and one of the top tackles in the country. Tunsil isn't stiff and is an advanced pass blocker with excellent feet. He also reaches the second level well and can handle linebackers as easy as he does ends.
Thomas Tyner RB 6-0, 200 Beaverton, Ore. One of the fastest players in the class, Tyner brings his 10.4 100m track speed to the football field. He gets into and out of cuts quickly and seems to hit the extra gear as soon as he sees daylight in the open field. Committed to Oregon. Highlights
Eddie Vanderdoes DL 6-3, 275 Placer, Calif. The Sacramento-area has produced some quality talent the past few years and Vanderdoes is the next elite guy. He has excellent size and gets up the field quickly from an interior line position but flexible enough to rush the passer from outside. Highlights



Posted on: January 1, 2012 12:13 pm
 

Rising Seniors Bowl news and notes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

ATLANTA -- It was a jam-packed week in the Peach state as top juniors from every corner of Georgia took place in the second annual AT&T Junior Bowl presented by Rising Seniors. A loaded West squad ended up taking home the win Friday night at Grady Stadium but the East made things very interesting and had a chance to win it before falling 27-20.

Stats

- The East was able to move the chains much more successfully than the West, picking up 18 first downs over the course of the game. Though both squads featured plenty of Division I players on defense, the East squad was the better offense, finishing with 363 yards compared to the West's 241. Had it not been for three blocked punts and the resulting good filed position, it's safe to say the there would be a different winner.

- The two offenses were almost complete opposites. The West struggled to pass the ball (105 yards) but ran the ball effectively (165 yards on the ground, taking out sacks). On the flip side, the East couldn't run at all (24 yards net) but was able to throw the ball for 339 yards and average almost six yards an attempt.

- The West ran just 55 plays compared to 80 for their opponent. Time of possession was nearly even.

- Each team missed an extra point and West kicker Harrison Butker missed a 30 yard field goal.

- Quarterback Joshua Dobbs was the offense for the East squad. He led them in rushing with 40 yards, including a nice 25 yard run to pick up a first down and move the offense into scoring position. He also finished 20-of-31 for 227 yards and three touchdowns and wasn't sacked.

- Other quarterbacks included Eddie Printz going 12-of-22 for 92 yards for the East and Parker McLeod going 5-of-9 for 71 yards.

- West running back Tyren Jones led his team in rushing and receiving, racking up 116 all-purpose yards for the game. Alvin Kamara had 113 for the East.

- The leading tackler was Cortez Leonard with 10 and he also had the game's only interception.

- Georgia commit Tray Matthews had a 93-yard kick off return and led everybody in all-purpose yardage.

- Quarterback Cole Segraves and linebacker Reuben Foster both left with an injury.

Top performers

Defensive tackle Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga.)

There weren't too many standouts along both lines but Adams certainly made an impact on defense and special teams. He's got great size and is a square block of mass that fires off low and overwhelmed some of the interior linemen at times. He has an early offer from Clemson but is hearing plenty from schools like Alabama, Florida State and others. Adams plays in a small classification so he answered some questions about going up against good talent this week and is a DT to keep an eye out for.

Wide receiver Carlos Burse (Alpharetta, Ga.)

Burse had the benefit of knowing the quarterback for the East team and that paid off with several big catches. He's got a great wide receiver frame and has long arms with big hands that caught just about everything thrown his way. He went over the middle without hesitation and was a solid route runner. Burse also showed a bit of burst after the catch.

Quarterback Joshua Dobbs (Alpharetta, Ga.)

In terms of under-the-radar players who rose to the occasion and played well, Dobbs is tops on the list. He looked comfortable in the pocket despite pressure and was savvy in knowing when to take off and run and when to stay and throw a strike. The thing about him that really impressed was his touch on passes and the fact that he always threw a catchable ball. Well spoken and smart, Dobbs has all the things you look for in a signal-caller.

Linebacker Reuben Foster (LaGrange, Ga.)

Foster was no doubt the headliner of the event with Robert Nkemdiche out and he impressed at the linebacker position. If you heard a big hit, you didn't even have to look up to know who delivered it and was almost too aggressive and hungry at times. He wasn't tested much in terms of coverage skills but has a bright future ahead as a downhill player. He should be a great fit in Alabama's 3-4 scheme as an inside linebacker. He left with a concussion early on so was limited during the game but the affable Foster solidified his status as a top 2013 player.

Running back Tyren Jones (Marietta, Ga.)

There wasn't too much separation amongst the running backs but Jones showed speed and burst that will serve him well at the next level. He's not the biggest player so don't expect him to get 30 carries a game but in the right system, he can be very productive. As a wing back or slot receiver, he can do damage in the passing game as well.

Athlete Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga.)

Another under-the-radar player who had a good week and game was Kamara. The thing that caused everybody's head to turn when he got the ball was his speed, which simply allowed him to run by defenders as he hit sixth gear. Kamara also displayed a good set of hands and adjusted to his role as a slot receiver well. He's listed as a running back but after his performance, and based on his size, he could wind up catching more passes at the next level than he thinks.

Safety Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga.)

Though he's known mostly for defense, Matthews really shined on special teams, returning a kick for a touchdown and showing a few moves returning punts as well. He's got great speed that allows him the freedom to roam a little bit more as a safety but also is big enough that it wouldn't be surprising if he ended up growing into an outside linebacker eventually. He's good friends with Foster and the two were the stars of the week.

Posted on: December 31, 2011 12:31 am
 

West wins Rising Seniors Bowl in 2013 showcase

Posted by Bryan Fischer

ATLANTA -- The top juniors in the state of Georgia became friends all during the week but as soon as they donned the gray and blue uniforms and took to the field at Grady Stadium, just about everybody flipped a switch and turned into competitors.

Though there was a slight talent disparity in favor of the West squad, the East almost pulled off the upset but couldn't convert a blocked punt into points with under a minute left and fell 27-20 in the 2011 edition of the AT&T Georgia Junior Bowl.

The West roster featured plenty of Division I talent and was heavily favored by practice observers with players such as LaGrange (Ga.) linebacker and Alabama commitment Reuben Foster and Newnan (Ga.) and Georgia commit Tray Matthews. The team struggled on offense all night outside of a few big plays but managed to keep the lead thanks to special teams and defense. Foster didn't play as big of a role as many imagined, leaving with a concussion early in the game after making a tackle for a loss and hitting his head.

The two teams took several drives to get their feet under them in fact, before Alpharetta (Ga.) quarterback Joshua Dobbs was inserted for the East squad. He moved the offense efficiently, kept his eyes downfield and easily finished with the best passing numbers in the game, connecting on 20-of-31 passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns.

"It was a great game and I had the opportunity to compete against the best talent around Georgia," Dobbs said. "My goal was just to come out here and prove myself, listen to the great speakers and enjoy the entire experience."

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound signal-caller holds just a scholarship offer from Princeton but is hearing from schools such as Duke, Vanderbilt and Stanford. With a good frame and the ability to take off and run (he led the East in rushing with 40 yards), Dobbs could be the latest under the radar recruit to emerge from the Rising Seniors game.

"There was a lot of good talent on the other side of the football," he said. "It always feels good to be successful in any game you play though."

Several all-purpose threats made a big impact for each side and provided some electrifying plays during the few times anybody was in the open field. Marietta (Ga.) running back Tyren Jones was the leading rusher and receiver for the West squad with 116 all-purpose yards and played a major role in his team's victory.

"We came in pretty cocky, we were figuring we were kind of stacked," said Jones. "We knew we were going to come together as a team and pull through with a win.

Jones already has offers from Duke, Georgia and Vanderbilt and could pick up a few more in the coming months after attending several Junior Days throughout the South. He scored go-ahead touchdown late in 4th quarter on a 44 yard run up the middle that showcased his pull-away speed.

Norcross (Ga.) athlete Alvin Kamara also flashed plenty of speed Friday night and should be in line for several more offers beyond the single one he holds from Syracuse.

"They lined me up in the slot so I just tried to come out here and play it as best that I could," Kamara said. "I really found out this week that I'm pretty versatile. I can play running back, catch, run the ball, do it all.

"I feel like I'm a little underrated so playing on (ESPN3.com) helped increase my stock a little bit hopefully."

Kamara appeared to be the fastest player on the field at times and impressed even his opponents with his quickness and ability to turn the corner. He's currently hearing from Georgia Tech and Maryland and could be close to picking up another offer in the next few weeks.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Vienna (Ga.) defensive tackle Montravious Adams had his name called all night among the players in the trenches. He racked up two tackles, a sack, forced a fumble and blocked a punt. It was a standout performance for a player from one of the smaller schools in the state.

"It was a lot harder than from where I'm from," Adams said. "Where I'm from, they're not that big and they're not that strong. If they play like that in college and I play like I did, I'll be a hall of famer."

Adams already holds a Clemson offer and feels Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Florida State are close.

Special teams was the biggest reason why the West was able to win the game. The squad had three blocked punts - one for a touchdown - and had the field position advantage most of the night. Matthews blocked an extra point on the East's final touchdown of the night and played well roaming the secondary at safety. His biggest impact however, was on a 2nd quarter kickoff return that he took 93-yards for a score.

"I was just hoping I'd find a little crease," Matthews said. "I stuttered stepped a little bit. Then I found that hole and burst through it and show everybody my speed. Hit the hole and score the touchdown."

Georgia's class of 2012 is just a few months from signing letter of intents an is among the deepest classes in recent memory. Based on the Rising Juniors game however, the class of 2013 should have no problem stating their case to be just a little bit better.
Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:29 pm
 

National notes: Movers & shakers in team rankings

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's getting down to crunch time on the recruiting trail, with just over a month until National Signing Day. With most of the Holiday season over with and attention turned to the new year, things are about to pick up even more as the decommits, recommits and surprises start happening.

The Eye on Recruiting has already given you some players ticketed for a rise on offense and defense in the recruiting rankings and now it's time to cast a critical eye on the teams that are looking to move up and a few that could be on their way down.

Team rankings movers

Alabama

Is there a better recruiter than Nick Saban? Currently, it's hard to argue with the man's success on the field and on the recruiting trail. He could be putting together an all-time great class in 2012 and just recently added lineman Alphonse Taylor and highly regarded running back T.J. Yeldon. Though they already have a quarterback in Alec Morris, the Tide are heavily pursuing dual-threat signal-caller Jameis Winston, one of the best players in the state and at his position, and top safety Landon Collins. If they can add Winston and close in on a few other top targets, Saban's team could vault to the top of the team rankings when everybody signs on the dotted line.

Ohio State

In just a short amount of time, Urban Meyer has made his presence felt in Columbus and nationally thanks to his recruiting acumen. The biggest splash has been made along the defensive line, where's he's grabbed commitments from the number three player in the country Noah Spence, tackle Tommy Schutt and end Se'Von Pittman. Though the NCAA handed out a bowl ban to the program, that probably won't deter too many recruits and playing for Meyer will be enough for some of them. They could land top 100 players like offensive tackle Jordan Diamond and athlete Davonte Neal so expect the Buckeyes to close well.

Notre Dame

The Irish and Brian Kelly put together a great group of defensive lineman last year and appear to have a balanced group of quality players at every position this year. California commits Deontay Greenberry and Tee Shepard seem solid and can make an impact right away after getting aclimated to South Bend. As is usual for Notre Dame, plenty of top recruits like Nelson Agholor, Arik Armstead and Gunner Kiel have the Irish on their short list and could turn a good class into a great one.

USC

The Trojans' great year in 2011 has proven they're one of the few schools who can shake off harsh NCAA sanctions and still play and recruit well. Lane Kiffin has a plan to deal with scholarship reductions and it will be put to the test in 2012 with 2012 being the first class limited to 15 players. USC has already signed a few top players early, such as linebacker Scott Starr and top JUCO safety Gerald Bowman. They have a chance at some top national guys Agholor and Andrus Peat so it's possible for it to be a small but great recruiting class for the Trojans.

California

Like their Pac-12 counterparts, the Bears could come on strong late with some top recruits. They're in good position to land Armstead and most consider five-star safety Shaq Thompson a lock to go to Berkeley. Ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi is a tremendous recruiter and with a great year out West for talent, should do pretty well. Cal's current group of commits, with quarterback Zach Kline and wide receiver Bryce Treggs, is a good start.

Team rankings shakers

Florida State

This is still a very good group of players but there's no doubt that the Seminoles class has taken hit in the past few weeks - thanks in large part to Alabama. Defensive end Chris Casher is a solid building block but future teammate Mario Edwards is looking hard at Oklahoma and Texas. Losing Winston would be a huge blow and there's a slim chance some, like Dante Fowler and Mario Pender, could pull a switch on Signing Day. Jimbo Fisher has done very well with the 2012 class but fans have a reason to be a little nervous at how they'll close.

Florida

A 6-6 season and losing offensive coordinator (and noted recruiter) Charlie Weis to Kansas have caused the Gators to slip a little. It still looks like they'll be a lock for a top 10 class come February with so many top 100 recruits but there's no doubt the uncertainty surrounding the program could come back to bite them. The loss of Weis in particular could hurt with possible pledges like Agholor and put a damper on Will Muschamp's first full recruiting class. Expectations are high with Meyer doing what he's doing in Columbus so a class that isn't filled with five-stars will further the perception that the program is slipping a bit.

Auburn

Will there be a meltdown on the Plains? It seems as though things haven't been going the Tigers' way recently with rival Alabama in the national championship game and stealing top commit in Yeldon. On top of that, defensive coordinator Ted Roof is gone and big time offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn surprisingly moved on to a head coaching job. This is still a very good class but they'll need to hold the current group together as well as snag a few top recruits to help reload an already young team.

Teams sitting pretty

Texas

Mack Brown has pulled in some impressive recruiting classes to Austin but this may be his best yet. The country's top running back and second-ranked wide receiver are headed to the 40 Acres and the depth of the group is one of the reasons why the Longhorns are the top ranked team in the latest Maxpreps rankings. There's no doubt that they should finish among the top three but it still remains to be seen if they can keep the top spot. Texas isn't completely done recruiting and could add a few impact players between now and Signing Day.

Michigan

Brady Hoke put together the bulk of this class before even coaching a game and has occupied the top team spot for most of the year. From top-to-bottom this might be the best class in the country with plenty of players who should come in and make an impact early  The Wolverines have seemingly filled all their holes and are still in the running for a few national recruits that could bolster their ranking so Michigan definitely has a shot at being ranked as the best.

Mora turning heads in Westwood

As soon as Jim Mora was hired in Westwood, the first question would be how well could the longtime NFL coach recruit at the college level? As it turns out, pretty well if early indications are to hold up in the future.

Mora's best recruiting job was the hiring of his assistants, notably ace recruiter Adrian Klemm, secondary coach Demetrice Martin  and former Arizona State offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. The trio, among others, have plenty of West Coast ties and have allowed the staff to hit the ground running despite being hired so late in the game. Keep an eye on this group poaching a few recruits from the Sun Devils once-promising class as well as a few Los Angeles natives.

December has seen the Bruins' class add several good players. Defensive backs Marcus Rios and Ishamel Adams are two players who could play early on defense and landing linebacker Kenny Orjioke out of Atlanta is a solid get for the staff. For the most part, the commitments prior to the new staff have hung in and seem sold on the direction of the program.

Though they're not anywhere close to getting elite talent, the signs out of UCLA are encouraging for a relatively inexperienced staff. The problem in the past has not been about recruiting however, it's been talent development and in that area things are still TBD. Still, given the progress on the recruiting trail, the coaching change has given plenty of Bruin fans something to smile about in a relatively dour year.

Video of week

I'm headed out to the Rising Seniors Bowl in Atlanta this year, which features some of the top juniors (class of 2013) in the state of Georgia. Among the headliners this week is linebacker Reuben Foster, an Alabama commit and easily one of - if not the - top players at his position next year. Here's some of his highlights:

Posted on: July 21, 2011 6:44 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 7:16 pm
 

Alabama adds 2013 linebacker from Georgia

Posted by Bryan Fischer

With film so readily available nowadays, the evaluation process coaches go through is steadily getting earlier and earlier. As a result, scholarship offers or commitments from recruiting classes beyond the upcoming one aren't all that uncommon.

Alabama has been known for their talent at evaluating under Nick Saban, but he wasn't the only one to recognize that LaGrange (Ga.) linebacker Reuben Foster was a talent, so Saban locked the rising-junior up on Monday with a commitment at the Crimson Tide's summer camp.

"I come up here and it's like family to me," Foster told BamaOnLine.com. "I didn't want to wait any longer, so I told Coach today I was coming. It was the right fit for me, and I wanted to go ahead and start focusing on other stuff besides recruiting. The thing is, I fit in here. It's simple for me because I know I can come in and play and Alabama is going to compete every year for a national championship. That, and the way the coaches and players treat me is all I was looking for in a school. It's the perfect fit."

The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder is regarded by some to be one of the best players in the class of 2013, and Georgia recruiting analyst Kipp Adams says Foster could be the best linebacker to come out of Georgia the past five years.

"Coach Saban sat me down and laid out his plans for me, and I loved everything I heard," Foster said. "It's a great system for me, and they know how to get guys ready for life after football. I look at the great players that have played at Alabama and I want to be part of that. We have a great tradition and history, and I'm honored to have the chance to maybe someday add to that."

Foster is the third commit for Alabama's 2013 class and is the first of the group on defense.
Category: NCAAF
 
 
 
 
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