January 04, 2012

Here's a breakdown of the top performers and recruiting happenings from the inaugural Semper Fidelis All American Bowl, a 17-14 West victory.

WR Jaydon Mickens, Dorsey (Calif.) -- Though just 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, the undersized Mickens was by far the fastest and most explosive receiver on either roster throughout the week. He was named MVP after hauling in the West's first touchdown, and bolstered his recruiting stock as National Signing Day approaches. Cal and Oregon currently top his list of suitors.

QB Jeff Lindquist, Mercer Island (Wash.) -- Despite starting the game on the bench, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound passer emerged as the most effective quarterback after tossing two touchdown passes in leading the West to a 17-14 win. He'll head to Washington next fall, where he'll play understudy to dual-threat signal-caller Keith Price.

ATH D.J. Foster, Saguaro (Ariz.) -- The 6-foot, 185-pound local product was the most versatile player on the field this week. Foster served as running back, receiver and quarterback out of the wildcat formation, showcasing his potential in each of the three roles. Cal remains the frontrunner for the Arizona native.

CB Tee Shepard, Washington Union (Calif.) -- The highly touted corner shut down teammates in practice, something that carried over successfully to Tuesday's game. He showed great field awareness and coverage skills and hung with a number of talented wideouts on the East. On the recruiting front, Shepard put to rest any rumors of straying from his Notre Dame commitment.

LB Kenderius Whitehead, Martin Luther King, Jr. (Ga.) -- A long, athletic linebacker who punishes offensive players in his path, Whitehead terrorized opponents in both workouts and the game. He's considering Clemson, Georgia and N.C. State, among others, and should commit closer to National Signing Day.

DE Greg McMullen, Archbishop Hoban (Ohio) -- The Nebraska commit was a terror in Phoenix. At 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds, he showed a great balance of power and athleticism and was relentless in pursuit. If his performance was an indication of future college play, he's a great get for Bo Pelini and Co. in Lincoln.

RB Rushel Shell, Hopewell (Pa.) -- The 6-foot, 215-pound running back played well in both practice sessions and the game. A Pitt commit since October, Shell exploded in and out of cuts, and had a cheering section that rivaled many of the West Coast players in an Arizona-hosted event. He could see playing time immediately for the Panthers.

WR JaQuay Williams, Sandy Creek (Ga.) -- The 6-foot-3, 204-pounder was solid throughout, hauling in a touchdown pass to keep the game close for the East. An athletic, big-bodied target, the Auburn commit more than justified his four-star billing.

DE Courtnye Wynn, Norfolk Christian (Va.) -- The 6-foot-6, 240-pound prospect was extremely effective off the edge. In addition to boasting an explosive first step, the Virginia-bound pass-rusher displayed impressive athleticism and a lengthy wingspan, and consistently broke into the throwing lanes of quarterbacks.

The following six players made verbal commitments during the Semper Fidelis All American Bowl.

• LB Jared Afalava, Bingham (Utah) -- Nebraska. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder selected the Cornhuskers over Utah and Washington, adding to Pelini's incoming linebacking haul. Afalava was one of two players to announce his intent to Nebraska on Tuesday.

• DE DeForest Buckner, Punahou (Hawaii) -- Oregon. The Ducks landed a major commitment when the 6-foot-7, 238-pound end declared in favor of the newly minted Rose Bowl victors prior to the game. Buckner chose Oregon over finalists Cal and UCLA.

• C Matt Cochran, Buhach Colony (Calif.) -- Cal. The 6-foot-3, 335-pounder narrowed his consideration set to Tennessee and Cal two weeks ago. On Tuesday, the big-bodied prospect announced he'd be staying home to play for the Golden Bears. Cochran immediately adds line depth, and was one of a pair of prospects to commit to a Pac-12 school during the Semper Fidelis All American Bowl.

• WR Gehrig Dieter, Washington (Ind.) -- SMU. The record-breaking wideout chose the Mustangs -- and June Jones' aerial-happy attack -- over a Kansas team now led by former Notre Dame frontman Charlie Weis. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound wideout should follow in the footsteps of Darius Johnson and Cole Beasley, both first-team All-Conference-USA selections in 2011.

• RB Greg Garmon, McDowell (Pa.) -- Iowa. The relentless running back picked Iowa over finalists Miami and Arkansas. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound speedster could spell soon-to-be junior Marcus Coker in the Haweyes' backfield.

• DE Avery Moss, Corona del Sol (Ariz.) -- Nebraska. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Tempe native selected Nebraska in front of family and friends. The coveted defender selected the Cornhuskers over Purdue, joining Jared Afalava in announcing for Nebraska at the Semper Fidelis All American Bowl.

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