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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
ESPN 150 RB Kamara signs with Bama

By Kipp Adams

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?

What it means for Alabama: Although Alabama has no shortage of upper echelon running back talent in this class, Kamara still brings something unique to the table with his versatility as a pass catcher and home run speed. He could line up and help the Tide in several different ways, allowing offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier to get creative with his playcalling.

What it means for the teams that lost out: With the transfer of Ken Malcome, losing out on Kamara, the top running back in Georgia, has to sting for the Bulldogs. Georgia keyed in on Kamara early on, and in years past they have been very successful in focusing on one or two running backs. Luckily they were able to get ESPN 300 tailback A.J. Turman in November and added a late commitment from another in-state running back in Brendan Douglas, who had been previously committed to Georgia Tech.

Turning point: When Georgia was unable to earn a commitment from Kamara before the season started, the coaching staff had to know they would be in for a long, drawn out battle with Alabama.

Surprise (scale of 1-5): 3. It is somewhat surprising that Kamara chose a crowded backfield over an opportunity for immediate playing time, but he is confident he can achieve the same early results on a team coming off consecutive national championships.

Immediate impact (scale of 1-5): 3. Kamara might be the best pure running back in the 2013 class for the Crimson Tide, although Derrick Henry, the most prolific running back in high school history, might have something to say about that. Both should be able to compete with fellow ESPN 150 prospects Tyren Jones and Altee Tenpenny, as well as sophomore Kenyan Drake for the No. 2 running back spot behind T.J. Yeldon. Kamara’s ability to line up in the slot as a receiver could give him the edge.