FULLERTON, Calif.- The first day of practice for the East squad at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl was a lengthy, fast-paced one that featured plenty of talented, FBS-level prospects. Held at Fullerton College, the East team installed some scheme from the Hoover (Ala.) coaching staff and also worked on fundamentals. The game will kick off at 9 p.m. eastern on Friday at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with television from the NFL Network.
Four-star defensive tackle Darius Paige was outstanding during the first day of practice for the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
GAM of the Day
Darius Paige, DT, Foley (Ala.) The Alabama commitment wins the “GAM of the Day” award, which goes to the top overall performer from the practice. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound four-star was unblockable at times, using a combination of superior athleticism, hand quickness and strength to live in the backfield. Paige also had a standout day on special teams and nearly blocked a punt during a drill. When the Crimson Tide first offered Paige and he emerged on the recruiting radar, there were plenty of college coaches who remarked behind the scenes that he was one of the best defensive tackle prospects they had scouted. After today and earlier this month at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game, we are believers.
Best by Position
Quarterback- Austin Allen, Fayetteville (Ark.)
Allen showed good arm strength and accuracy during the nearly three hour practice and the Razorbacks commit appears to be ahead of the other signal callers in terms of ability in the passing game. Also, the East team appears to be set to do some zone-read stuff in the running game and while he’s not as good as Notre Dame commit Malik Zaire in that regard, he’s capable, making him the most complete quarterback on Day 1.
Also considered- Zaire
Running back- Alex Collins, South Plantation (Fla.)
The East team is loaded at running back, but because of his size and speed, Collins is tops on the first day. He had a drop that we noticed, but that’s to be expected from a player on the first day not used to his quarterback. While we seldom use player comparisons- Collins sort of reminds of Georgia freshman Todd Gurley when we scouted him at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas last year. He’s just a big, fast back that can make things happen.
Notre Dame offensive tackle commit Mike McGlinchey was the top offensive line prospect during Monday's first East practice for the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
Also considered- Corey Clement (Glassboro, N.J.- committed to Wisconsin), David Williams (Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep) (uncommitted)
Receiver/tight end- Will Fuller, Philadelphia (Pa.) Roman Catholic
The Notre Dame commit has put on 25-30 pounds of good weight, runs good routes and has maintained his outstanding speed. Fuller also has advanced ball skills and had no trouble getting opened multiple times against some very solid cornerbacks during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work. Given his outstanding senior season and performance on Monday, Fuller is without a doubt a prospect on the rise.
Offensive line- Mike McGlinchey, Philadelphia, Pa./William Penn Charter
McGlinchey has excellent size (though not quite the listed 6-foot-9) and an outstanding frame. He’s a multi-sport athlete and typically those types of athletes have great potential and excellent footwork. This is true in this case. He also is stronger than he appeared as during 9-on-7 (run game) and goal line work, he planted several defensive linemen. He may not play early at Notre Dame, where he is committed, but long term he has outstanding potential and it showed on Monday.
Also considered- D.J. Park (Dillon, S.C.- committed to South Carolina)
Defensive end- Chikwe Obasih, Brookfield, Wisc./Central
Michigan commit Ross Douglas was the top cornerback prospect on Monday. He isn't the biggest, but is fast and has excellent ball skills.
The Wisconsin commit has exceptional quickness and a good first step and gave many of the opposing offensive linemen problems during the first day. Obasih has a low probability of being a bust provided he develops properly simply because in addition to his physical gifts, he always appears to be cherishing every rep. Guys that have a genuine love for playing the game that have the base talent level that he does generally do not fail to live up to expectations barring injury.
Also considered- Shaun McGee (Snellville, Ga./Brookwood- committed to Georgia)
Defensive tackle- Paige
The most dominant prospect at the event, there were no offensive linemen that could consistently handle Paige’s quickness and strength. He was disruptive and stout against the run and showed the ability to pass rush, particularly on one roll out play by quarterback Eddie Printz where Paige tracked him down. Had this been a live football game, it would have been a huge, impressive sack.
Also considered- Maurice Hurst Jr. (Westwood, Mass./Xaverian Brothers- committed to Michigan)
Linebacker- Micah Kiser, Baltimore, Md./Gillman
Overall, linebacker is not the strongest position on the field for the East squad, but Kiser was the best Monday. You can tell that the four-star prospect plays for one of the best programs in the state of Maryland because he is technically an fundamentally sound and is in excellent shape physically. Kiser has a chance with development to be an excellent linebacker at Virginia.
Also considered- Zach Cunningham (Pinson Valley, Ala.- uncommitted)
Cornerback- Ross Douglas (Avon, Ohio- committed to Michigan)
Douglas does not have outstanding size, but he’s got good hips and feet, can change direction well and has excellent recovery speed. In all honesty, Notre Dame commit Devin Butler looked to be the top corner on the day, but he had some nicks and sat out for a portion of the practice while Douglas shined. Coaches today are in love with big cornerbacks because there are plenty of big receivers, but guys like Douglas have had successful college careers and in many cases long, successful careers in the pros.
Also considered- Butler
Safety- Ahmad Thomas, Miami, Fla./Central
Thomas, who is committed to Oklahoma, was the top defensive back performer on Monday and had one of the defensive plays of the day with a diving interception in goal line work. He’s got excellent size and can change direction quickly. He’s got good feet. There was one play where he was in man coverage and Switzer got a step on him and beat him, but there aren’t many who can stay with Switzer in that sort of situation. Of all the prospects on this team, Thomas and Fuller at this stage (it’s just one practice) stand out as being the most underrated by 247Sports.
Also considered- Anthony Averett (Glassboro, N.J.- committed to Alabama)
Collectively, Notre Dame had the most impressive group of commitments on Monday. Several who are committed to the Irish were the best at their positions (see above) and across the board, it’s an outstanding group. Alabama and Michigan also had players that made good showings.
JC Shurburtt is the National Recruiting Director for 247Sports. Follow him on Twitter @jcshurburtt