Florida Gators: Tyrone Crowder

#UAGame practice: Day 1 notebook 

December, 31, 2012

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -– Team Nitro and Team Highlight took to the fields at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports on Monday for Day 1 of practice for Friday’s Under Armour All-America Game (5 p.m. ET, ESPN). Two powerhouse programs in the Southeastern Conference look to battle it out for one of the standout running backs, and one of the top uncommitted offensive linemen is out with an injury.

Tide and Dawgs at top for RB Kamara

The Under Armour All-America Game boasts a bevy of talented running backs, and after the first practice ESPN 150 prospect Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) drew comparisons to one of the best.

[+] EnlargeAlvin Kamara
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comESPN 150 RB Alvin Kamara says Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and Georgia running backs coach Bryan McClendon have been key to his recruiting process.
“They say I play like Percy Harvin,” Kamara said.

The 5-foot-10, 192-pound tailback has made a name for himself as a home-run threat out of the backfield or lined up in the slot, which makes it no surprise that programs across the country are pining for his commitment. Two from the SEC are in the lead.

“Alabama and Georgia are the front-runners, but I am still looking at Oregon -- and Tennessee too, with Butch Jones being there now,” Kamara said.

The nation's No. 4 running back has yet to set any official visits, but plans to do so after he gets home from the UA Game. A decision will likely come after his visits.

“This is not going to be a busy month so much as it is just something I need to buckle down and do,” Kamara said. “I am going to take these visits and base my decision off of that.”

One factor in his decision will be the relationship he has with the coaches recruiting him. The Tide could have a slight advantage because they made first contact with Kamara.

“Kirby Smart and I are really close,” Kamara said. “He was the first coach to ever talk to me. He snuck me his card after practice and I could not believe it. For a coach of his stature to be the first coach to talk to me is great. We have been in contact ever since, and we have a great relationship.”

Georgia might counter that with their running backs coach being Kamara’s recruiter of record.

“Coach [Bryan] McClendon and I have a great relationship too,” Kamara said. “With him being my position coach, I could see myself playing for him. We are on a friend level and we do not even talk about football most of the time.”

The in-state Bulldogs also have a few people in Kamara’s ear this week, though he admits they have been putting the pressure on him for quite some time.

“Even when we are not in a big event like this, guys like Shaq Wiggins, Brice Ramsey, even Reuben [Foster], even though he is not committed, are always asking where I am going,” Kamara said. “They are joking, but they are on me pretty hard sometimes.”

Newsworthy: OL Crowder deals with injury, sets officials

ESPN 150 offensive lineman Tyrone Crowder (Rockingham, N.C./Richmond) will be unable to play in Friday's UA Game after aggravating a hand injury he sustained a few weeks ago at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. While he is disappointed, Crowder said today he is looking forward to the home stretch of his recruitment and choosing from one of two programs.

“It is Clemson No. 1 and Georgia No. 2, and I will decide on signing day,” said Crowder, ranked the No. 2 OG in the country.

The Tigers have been after the 6-foot-1, 330-pound offensive lineman for more than three years now, and they have location and familiarity working in their favor.

“Clemson has been recruiting me since I was in ninth grade,” Crowder said. “I like what they have going on and I have built a strong relationship with them. It is close to home and I have some family close to Clemson. I will take my official there Jan. 11.”

Crowder has not been to Athens for six months, but he has fond memories of his visit.

“Georgia is a great powerhouse team in the SEC,” Crowder said. “When I went down there during the summer I really liked the campus and enjoyed meeting the coaches. I spoke to them two weeks ago and set an official visit Jan. 18.”


It was only the first day of practice, but Team Highlight (Black team) quarterbacks got off to an impressive start.

Top five uncommitted: North Carolina 

September, 13, 2012
More than 50 prospects in North Carolina signed with FBS programs in the 2012 class, and more than 60 already claim offers in the 2013 class. In this feature, RecruitingNation takes a look at the top five remaining uncommitted prospects in North Carolina.

Tyrone Crowder, OL, Rockingham (N.C.) Richmond, 6-foot-2, 325 pounds
No. 1 prospect in Nouth Carolina
Frontrunner: Clemson

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Four-star Tyrone Crowder sets finalists 

August, 14, 2012
Four-star offensive guard Tyrone Crowder has cut his long list of college considerations to four.

North Carolina, Stanford, Georgia and Clemson are the finalists for his services, the Richmond HS senior stated via text message to ESPN.

On the Tigers: "Clemson has a great program and Coach Caldwell is a fantastic coach."

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OL Tyrone Crowder to name finalists 

August, 13, 2012
Tyrone Crowder is close to narrowing his college focus.

The ESPN 150 center from Rockingham (N.C.) Richmond County told ESPN via text message that he will announce two or three finalists on Tuesday.

Crowder, who has dozens of scholarship offers, has visited Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia, Auburn and Duke this summer. He also visited other schools during the spring, including Florida. He has spoken glowingly about the new coaching staff at North Carolina but has offered no strong hints as to where he's leaning.

That will change Tuesday.

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OL Crowder is close to naming finalists 

August, 4, 2012
A recent visit to North Carolina could land the Tar Heels on Tyrone Crowder's soon-to-be-announced list of finalists.

The center from Rockingham (N.C.) Richmond told ESPN on Friday that he is close to narrowing his list of schools. He said that announcement could come in the next couple of days or within a week.

“I can't say but they have a good chance,” the nation's 97th best overall prospect and second-best center said when asked if he expected North Carolina to make the cut.

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Video: Tyrone Crowder interview

May, 10, 2012
videoRecruitingNation’s Dave Hooker talks with ESPN 150 offensive guard Tyrone Crowder (Rockingham,N.C./Richmond Senior) about narrowing down his list and when he’s looking to make a decision.

Spring game recruiting notebook 

April, 8, 2012
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- ESPNU 150 Watch List defensive end Jonathan Allen (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) visited Florida on Saturday to watch the Gators' annual spring game.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker said the visit impressed him enough that he would like to return in the fall.

"I had a great time," Allen said. "It was a great atmosphere for a spring game. I definitely want to get back there for a game during the season."

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Tyrone Crowder (Rockingham, N.C./Richmond County) just received offer No. 15.

“Miami offered me,” Crowder said. “That was the latest one and it was very surprising to me. I hadn’t been in the contact with them. They were one of the teams I grew up liking. But I have to admit I don’t know too much about them. I would like to visit and get down there for sure.”

Florida and Wake Forest have also offered the offensive line prospect over the past few weeks. The 6-foot-2, 310-pound guard said he also has offers from teams like Florida State, Georgia, Maryland, Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Clemson, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Auburn.

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Tyrone Crowder set to visit Florida 

March, 13, 2012
At 6-foot-2 and 310 pounds, Tyrone Crowder could play a number of positions.

Defensive tackle and offensive tackle are certainly possibilities. However, Crowder wants to play offense and inside.

“I'll play guard,” the Watch List prospect from Rockingham (N.C.) Richmond Senior High School said. “Really just fits my body. I think guard is a good place for me. I like pulling, coming off the ball and hitting people."

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Watch List OL Crowder plans visits 

March, 12, 2012
Over the weekend, ESPNU 150 Watch List offensive lineman Tyrone Crowder competed in the Nike Football SPARQ Combine in Charlotte where he ran a 5.44 40-yard dash, jumped 25.6 inches in the vertical and threw the power ball 36 feet.

When it comes to recruiting, Crowder has 14 scholarship offers from some of the elite programs in the country including Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and Tennessee.

“Everything is kind of even,” Crowder said. “I’m going to take some visits to schools before I narrow it down.”

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Florida offers ESPNU Watch List OL 

February, 24, 2012
Florida has joined a crowded field (pun intended) when it comes to the pursuit of offensive lineman Tyrone Crowder (Rockingham, N.C./Richmond). The 6-foot-2, 310-pound people-mover is now up to 14 offers, and his phone was busy Thursday.

“I got two new offers from Florida and Wake Forest,” Crowder said.

Another offer, from Florida's SEC arch-rival Georgia, came just days before.

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McElwain discusses new Florida football
SEC Network's Greg McElory and Booger McFarland sit down to discuss the future of Florida football with head coach Jim McElwain.