As we get nearer to the end of college football’s regular season, recruiting stories abound—and most of them are of the “who will he sign with variety”. Welcome Norcross running back Alvin Kamara to that sordid, unfinished, yet strangely addictive book of tales.
For a while now, Kamara has listed the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide as his top two teams. However, the Oregon Ducks have always been a team he’s mentioned as a not so distant third. That said, it’s not surprising to find that he’s giving the Ducks some serious consideration with both Georgia and Alabama presumably loaded at tailback for the next two-to-three seasons (Georgia features both Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, while Alabama has T.J. Yeldon and the commitments of both Derrick Henry and Tyren Jones for 2013).
“I am working on a visit to Oregon,” Kamara said. “If I get it all planned, then that will be next week. I just feel that the way they use their running backs fits my game. They flex out their backs in the slot. There is a lot of speed at Oregon, and I feel like I fit that dynamic — being fast, can run, can catch, can do it all. Coach [Chip] Kelly does a lot of stuff with the offense. That is one of the few teams that I enjoy watching every Saturday. ‘Let me record this game so I can watch it.’ ” (Radi Nabulsi, “Alvin Kamara adds Ducks to top group”, DawgNation, 11/12/12)
That said, Georgia has been doing some damage control of their own as they haven’t been shy about looking around for other tailbacks—most notably Ashton Shumpert (4-star) and A.J. Turman (3-star)—just in case the commitment of Kamara isn’t assured. Shumpert is taking his time on a decision, while Turman is set to announce his school of choice on tomorrow.
“I wanted to get my decision done with three weeks ago and I had a good feeling about where I wanted to go, but I had not taken my final trip to Georgia yet,” Turman said. “My parents wanted to wait until after that trip to make my decision. I felt the same after the visit, so I figured since the season was over I should get it out of the way.”
Turman will choose between Florida State, Georgia, and Tennessee—presumably.
As for Kamara, he states he hasn’t been deterred by the Bulldogs’ decision to look for another back for 2013—a decision he states was prompted by the loss of Marlon Brown—as he knows why they’re doing it and respects the fact that they at least let him know their intentions in so doing.
“What I found out yesterday was that Georgia wants to take two backs,” Kamara said. “Coach [Bryan] McClendon called me last night and told me that since Marlon Brown went down, they are going to go after another back. He said he didn’t want it to seem to me that they were going behind my back. ‘I just wanted you to know before anybody told you or twisted the story.’ Some writers texted me to let me know that McClendon had gone to see another back on Friday night. I don’t know what that was supposed to do. So I just said, ‘Good. OK, thank you.’ ”
…“McClendon said they were going after Shumpert, the guy in Florida, and some other guy,” Kamara said. “I respect that, because they came and called me about it. He and I have a good relationship, and he was up front about it. He said that since Marlon Brown went down, they want to go after another back to bring in another guy in 2013. I really don’t have a problem with that. I am sure Coach Richt has his reason for that.” (Radi Nabulsi, “Alvin Kamara adds Ducks to top group”, DawgNation, 11/12/12)
Most any scenario you approach, where Kamara is concerned, has Georgia taking him no matter what—he’s been a top priority for them for a long time now, and that hasn’t changed one iota. But, given the competitive nature of the recruiting game and the fact that the Bulldogs want to be sure they secure at least one tailback for 2013, you can hardly blame them for wanting to shore up the class with at least one quality back…especially if Kamara’s interest in Oregon turns out to be more than a passing one.
Something else to consider is how this move will effect the pitch being thrown at 2013 WR commit Tramel Terry. Terry has been hearing it from the Clemson Tigers a good bit lately—they’re pitching him at running back, a position he apparently likes playing—and that has him at least listening to the Tigers a bit more than he might have a few months ago. If Georgia is indeed looking at more than one back, could they float that out there as a possibility to Terry who is already committed? (FYI: Terry has over 600-yards and 16 touchdowns, at the running back position, for the Goose Creek Gators this season). Might not be a bad idea given the talent Terry brings to the table as a playmaker and potential game changer.
Kamara has set no timetable for an announcement, but Georgia is still in the game.