December 28, 2011

What to watch: Semper Fidelis AA Bowl

MORE: Complete all-star coverage West analyst Adam Gorney will be spending a few days at the Junior Rank Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Arizona this week. Here are five things he'll be watching at that event:

1. Can Greenberry continue his dominance?

Deontay Greenberry proved last week at the Cal State Game that he's the top wide receiver in the state of California and now it will be important for the four-star from Fresno (Calif.) Washington Union to keep playing so well so he can prove he's one of the best receivers in the country.

The Notre Dame commit was phenomenal in the Cal State Game with two touchdowns and some other catches that showed few cornerbacks could contain him.

He had a beautiful touchdown catch the previous week in the state bowl championship but was otherwise unimpressive on offense in that victory. In last week's all-star game he was outstanding and we'll see if he can continue to dominate.

In his senior season, the four-star finished with 105 catches for 2,108 yards and 32 receiving touchdowns. Greenberry has proven he can play with the best of them.

2. Will the best running back please stand up?

Two running backs in particular are going into this week with high expectations since they put up such insane numbers in high school. The question remains was that because of their competition or are these two players really just that talented?

Aliquippa (Pa.) Hopewell running back Rushel Shell is the second-leading rusher in WPIAL history with 6,766 yards and 82 touchdowns on 796 attempts. The Pitt commit has run for 100 yards or more in 29 consecutive games.

The other running back to watch is Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro's D.J. Foster who posted 3,058 rushing yards with 54 touchdowns on 234 carries this season for an average of more than 13 yards per attempt.

It's going to be interesting to watch how Shell and Foster, both four-star prospects by, fair against arguably the stiffest competition they've seen in the high school ranks.

3. How is Shepard going to look?

Notre Dame commit Tee Shepard missed his entire senior season because of transfer rules but the Fresno (Calif.) Washington Union prospect didn't miss a beat last week in the Cal State Game.

Sure, he fumbled a kickoff that was returned for a touchdown early on, but Shepard shook that off and played phenomenally well the rest of the day.

The four-star cornerback had two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, and basically shut down his side of the field. He's big, strong and athletic which is lethal on the corner.

Will Shepard continue to play well, dominate and prove to be one of the nation's best cornerbacks or will he be exposed a little bit more after missing an entire season of football?

4. What are PSU commits thinking?

Penn State has been rocked by scandal in recent months and the Nittany Lions are still without a coach as the all-star games approach so what exactly are four-star commits such as Camren Williams and Armani Reeves thinking about their recruitment?

There are numerous Penn State pledges playing in the inaugural Semper Fidelis game and it will be important to figure out their status, how they see things moving forward and just what they think about what's happening at Penn State.

Some time far away from home and the situation in State College might give some of these prospects a broader perspective on their future plans. It will be important to gauge where they're headed and whether or not Penn State's class might implode if things don't get situated soon.

5. Can the offensive linemen hang?

Offensive tackle is arguably the deepest position in the 2012 class with six five-star prospects according to but there are some impressive names on the Semper Fidelis rosters that might be able to hang with the most-talented prospects in this class.

Some might have flown under the radar so this week will be an important time just to see how talented these players really are.

In recent weeks, Castle Rock (Colo.) Valor Christian's Alex Kozan, who probably projects as an offensive guard in college, has seen his recruitment take off even more. He's one player to keep an eye on.

A closer look at J.J. Denman, Ronnie Stanley and, maybe more than anyone since we haven't seen much of him, Freddie Tagaloa, will be crucial. is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
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