- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
FULLERTON, Calif. -- With the first-day jitters long gone and players beginning to settle into their game-day roles during the third day of practices for the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, several players continue to jump out with impressive performances. On Wednesday, it was defensive back David Kamara (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) who authored a standout showing.
“He’s a very athletic kid,” said Shawn Raney, defensive coordinator for the East team. “He understands the game and he catches onto stuff really quickly. He’s mentally sharp and does a nice job.”
During one-on-one action early in the day, Kamara made a terrific play on a deep ball while in coverage against Jordan Smallwood (Jenks, Okla./Jenks). He stuck with the big receiver down the field and knocked the ball away at the last minute. It was a glimpse at his physical ability, and the East coaches have been impressed with his mental capacity as well.
“The first day I let them go where they thought they could play and I watched them move around,” Raney said after Day 3 practice. “Today was the first day where I put them at specific spots, and he’s the type of kid who could play any of them. He’s playing corner and some strong safety for us. He’s athletic enough to be a corner and smart enough to play safety. He has very quick feet and nice, loose hips where he can turn and rotate with receivers. He’s a very good athlete.”
Kamara is the only undecided recruit in the secondary for the East squad, but the 5-foot-10, 175-pound cornerback said he is focusing in on three schools: Clemson, LSU and Mississippi.
A former Clemson commitment, Kamara pulled away from the Tigers in November and wanted to explore his options. He’ll do that later this month, as he has official visits scheduled to LSU on Jan. 11 and Mississippi on Jan. 25. He is trying to set up a visit to Clemson for Jan. 18. Kamara holds offers from Clemson and Mississippi but said LSU is still waiting to offer.
“They told me I was going to have to wait and see because when I committed to Clemson, I wasn’t really talking to them and they got a couple commitments at my position,” Kamara said of LSU. “I have to wait and see, but Coach [Brick] Haley has always been honest with me.”
Kamara said he is hoping to have a decision made toward the end of January after he takes his visits.
Newsmaker: Without any real movement on either roster in the recruiting world on Wednesday, the biggest buzz was generated when word began to circulate around the East team about the commitment of four-star running back Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa), who is in Orlando, Fla., this week for the Under Armour All-America Game. He makes 12 ESPN 300 commitments for Notre Dame, and with four Fighting Irish verbal commits on the East roster, the news was met with plenty of enthusiasm.
“That circulated pretty fast,” Notre Dame quarterback commit Malik Zaire (Kettering, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) said. “We caught word and we’re very excited to have another running back, especially a great running back. That only makes my job a lot easier.”
Trending: Rumors of possible decommitments were flying around the West team in Sanata Ana, Calif., on the third day of practice for the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
After visiting Duke, Nevada and Boise State, Cal WR commit A.J. Richardson (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne) confirmed that he is giving all three programs a serious look after failing to hear much from Cal's new staff.
Washington OL commit Sean Harlow (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) remains committed to the Huskies, but a visit to Oregon State appears to have him thinking about a change of heart.
What's on tap: With walk through and additional game prep scheduled for the Semper Fi game participants on Thursday, the underclassmen will take center stage during the Proving Ground underclassmen combine.
The country’s top 300 underclassmen will begin their quest to try to earn college scholarship offers and an invitation to next year's Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
Superlatives: West -- Future rivals hooked up when Oregon WR commit Darren Carrington Jr. (San Diego/Horizon), who also played QB in high school, threw a beautiful ball 60 yards in the air for a TD strike to Washington WR commit Derrell Daniels (Oakland, Calif./Freedom). ... Elijah Qualls showed his wide array of skills by being featured out of the backfield on offense. Running downhill at his size, Qualls lowered his shoulder and ran over linebackers on a couple of plays, including one in which he sent Texas OLB commit Naashon Hughes (Harker Heights, Texas/Harker Heights) to the turf with a bruised ego.
East -- North Carolina WR commit Ryan Switzer (Charleston, W. Va./George Washington) has been a nightmare matchup for defensive backs this week with his route-running ability. On Wednesday, he flashed his receiving skills by pulling down a one-handed grab along the sideline during warm-ups. ... Without full contact, it was been difficult for the running backs to stand out with impressive runs, but Alex Collins (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation) and David Williams (Philadelphia/Imhotep Charter) both authored tough runs that likely would have gone for big gains in game situations.