NCF On The Trail: Alvin Kamara

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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: The SEC’s raid on talent continued over the weekend as Tennessee, a team that hasn’t been talked about much despite a top-10 ranking, reeled in an impressive trio of commitments. Plus, Arizona State and Stanford have developed into rivals both on the field and on the recruiting trail, which makes the battle to land one of the nation’s best receivers even more entertaining.

Tennessee's class is getting overlooked

SUWANEE, Ga. – There is never a shortage of highly coveted football prospects in the state of Georgia. While it remains to be seen if anyone in the 2014 class will be rated as highly as 2013 standouts Robert Nkemdiche or Montravius Adams, there are already a couple defensive recruits that can stake claim to being recruited by just about every prominent program in the country. Raekwon McMillan is one, and Lorenzo Carter is the other.


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ESPN 150 RB Kamara signs with Bama 

February, 6, 2013
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NORCROSS, Ga. -- The rich get richer.

ESPN 150 running back Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) has been well aware of the running backs on campus at Alabama, as well as the three other ESPN 150 prospects slated to vie for carries in the Crimson Tide backfield this fall. But the No. 32 prospect in the country still chose to sign with Alabama on Wednesday, choosing the back-to-back national champions over in-state University of Georgia.

Simply put, Kamara is not afraid of competition. He said as much Monday night during a tweetchat feature at RecruitingNation.

“I feel like I can go into camp, do what I am supposed to do on the field and off the field, make an impact, give my team a chance to win a national championship, make some plays and hopefully get on ESPN,” Kamara said.

Georgia was thought to be the leader for Kamara last year, and some felt the Bulldogs would land the 5-foot-11, 192-pound running back by the end of the summer. But Kamara held off on committing, and Alabama made it a two-team race for the next six months.

Recruiter of record Kirby Smart was the first to start recruiting Kamara in the spring after his sophomore season, and the two built up a strong relationship over the next two years. After several trips to Tuscaloosa, Ala., Kamara felt more and more comfortable with the campus and the team, and the Tide emerged as the leader late in January.

What is the impact of Kamara's decision?


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Alvin Kamara: TweetChat 

February, 5, 2013
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Running back Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) will decide between Alabama and Georgia on signing day, announcing his decision at 3:35 p.m. ET on ESPNU. While it was thought that the Bulldogs were the team to beat several times last year, it seems the Crimson Tide are sitting pretty to add a fourth ESPN 150 running back in the 2013 recruiting cycle.

On Monday night, he consented to answer some questions that were submitted by fans on Twitter using the hashtag #AskKamara. Be sure to follow him at @A_kamara6.


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NSD TV announcement schedule

January, 31, 2013
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National signing day is just around the corner on Feb. 6. That day, a number of the nation’s top football recruits will announce their college destinations and 18 ESPN 300 prospects are scheduled to do so on ESPNU.

Below is the full schedule of announcements on ESPNU, which kicks off with the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect, Robert Nkemdiche, making his long-awaited decision at 7:30 a.m. ET.

Note: All times are Eastern

RB Alvin Kamara slow to tip hand 

January, 27, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is competitive. So much so he wouldn’t let visiting ESPN 150 running back Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) win at a game of spades. The four-star tailback said that it could have cost Georgia big.


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Signing day primer: Georgia 

January, 23, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- With national signing day exactly two weeks from today, DawgNation looks ahead to what Georgia has coming and who the Bulldogs still need, and why.

Team needs: Georgia has a number of holes to fill, considering the defense is losing 10 players who started last season. All-American junior Jarvis Jones and two-year leading tackler Alec Ogletree have declared for the NFL draft, which means the incoming prospects will have to be ready to play early.

Also, consider that Georgia only signed one player for the secondary, one wide receiver and not one inside linebacker in the class of 2012. Those positions are a priority. The secondary is in special need of attention as both starting safeties and two starting cornerbacks were seniors this past season. The Bulldogs have decent depth at the outside linebacker spots but the SEC championship game proved Georgia needs help on the defensive line. Junior nose Kwame Geathers has also opted to leave early for the NFL, so Georgia needs to sign some quality prospects to fill in the defensive trench.

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Alvin Kamara recaps Bama visit 

January, 20, 2013
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Official visit No. 1 is over for ESPN 150 prospect Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross). The 5-foot-10, 192-pound tailback is on his way back from checking out Alabama, and the reigning National Champions showed him what he was looking for.


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ESPN 150 running back Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) lives in the heart of a fiercely contested recruiting battle between Alabama and Georgia. He has received hundreds of letters, countless phone calls and innumerable visits from coaches. Kamara is used to answering phone calls from the likes of Nick Saban and Mark Richt. To him it is all old hat.

But it is not to his mother, Adama Kamara, who had Saban in her den on Wednesday night.


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Sunday, ESPN 150 cornerback Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) returned from an official visit to South Carolina. Later that evening he received a call from Mark Richt. The Georgia head coach asked if he should be worried about Wiggins changing his commitment from Georgia to the Gamecocks. Wiggins told Richt no, but that he still planned to take visits to Florida and Texas A&M.


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ESPN 150 RB sets final two visits 

January, 12, 2013
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The epic SEC Championship game between Alabama and Georgia is being replayed on the recruiting front yet again. The Tide and the Bulldogs have gone head to head over such top prospects at Malcolm Mitchell, Xzavier Dickson, Jordan Jenkins and Dillon Lee. Now the new battlefront is at Norcross (Ga.) High School.


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Hackenberg, Olsen earn UA Game starts

January, 3, 2013
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Black Team offense

Quarterback: Christian Hackenberg (Penn State)

Running back: Alvin Kamara

Receiver: Alvin Bailey (Florida), Robert Foster (Alabama), Damore'ea Stringfellow (Washington)

Tight end: O.J. Howard (Alabama)

Offensive tackle: Darius James (Texas), Denver Kirkland

Offensive guard: Grant Hill (Alabama), Joas Aguilar (Texas A&M)

Center: Hunter Bivin (Notre Dame)

Captains: Kelvin Taylor, Hunter Bivin, Robert Nkemdiche, Ben Boulware

Black Team defense

Defensive end: Robert Nkemdiche, Elijah Daniel

Defensive tackle: Greg Gilgmore (LSU), Kennedy Tulimasealii (Hawaii)

Inside linebacker: Ben Boulware (Clemson)

Outside linebacker: Alex Anzalone (Notre Dame), Matthew Thomas

Safety: Keanu Neal (Florida), Leon McQuay III

Cornerback: Vernon Hargreaves III (Florida), Tarean Folston (Notre Dame)

Black Team special teams

Long snapper: Tyler Kluver (Iowa)

Kicker/punter: Sean Covington (UCLA)

White Team offense

Quarterback: Kevin Olsen (Miami)

Running back: Keith Ford (Oklahoma)

Receiver: Laquon Treadwell, Ryan Green (Florida State), Jalin Marshall (Ohio State)

Tight end: Hunter Henry (Arkansas)

Offensive tackle: Derwin Gray (Maryland), Dorian Johnson (Pittsburgh)

Offensive guard: Patrick Kugler (Michigan), David Dawson (Michigan)

Center: Scott Quessenberry (UCLA)

White Team defense

Defensive end: Carl Lawson (Auburn), Joey Bosa (Ohio State)

Defensive tackle: Henry Poggi (Michigan), Kelsey Griffin (South Carolina)

Inside linebacker: Reuben Foster, Yannick Ngakoue

Outside linebacker: Trey Johnson

Safety: Max Redfield, Antonio Conner

Cornerback: Gareon Conley (Ohio State), Shaq Wiggins (Georgia)

White Team special teams

Long snapper: Brendan Turelli

Kicker: Ryan Santoso (Minnesota)

Punter: Shane Tripucka

Captains: Ryan Green, Hunter Henry, Patrick Kugler, Reuben Foster

UA Game: Alvin Kamara Interview

January, 1, 2013
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Kipp Adams talks with no. 4 rated running back Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) about his experience so far at the Under Armour All-America Game, and what the latest on his decision deadline is.

#UAGame practice: Day 1 notebook 

December, 31, 2012
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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.”

Trending

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


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ATLANTA -- New Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is familiar with 2014 linebacker Kevin Mouhon (Norcross, Ga./Norcross). Jones coached his brother, Silverberry Mouhon, while at Cincinnati. When Jones took the job with the Volunteers earlier this month, he and his staff offered the younger Mouton a scholarship. It was his first offer.

“I was relieved,” Mouhon said. “I kept thinking, 'I need to get my first offer before the season’s over,' and it came. The head coach up there is from Cincinnati, and my brother goes to Cincinnati. He transferred, so that’s a big win for me and a big loss for him.”

Since the Tennessee offer, Mouhon has seen his recruitment take off. He has since picked up offers from Florida State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Wake Forest and, most recently, Georgia Tech.

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