Less than three weeks from National Signing Day, battles for the top uncommitted
prospects are coming down to the wire. Just as important, coaching staffs are
working to make sure they hold on to their current commitments.
So closing the deal during late official visits is key, and there are plenty of
big weekends on tap. Here is a look at some of the top storylines developing
around visit weekends across the country.
of Arizona State's ascendancy into the conference elite, last season's Pac-12
South champion has put together one of the largest official visitor lists to hit
Tempe in years. Five players --
Kweishi Brown and
J.T. Gray -- are either
uncommitted or pledged elsewhere, meaning Todd Graham will have his
hands full playing host. Fellow visitors and soft Sun Devil-commits
Kalen Ballage and
Alex Anderson -- he'll visit Texas next week -- will
also make the trip.
won't cure the sting of a lost BCS National Championship, but landing
uncommitted four-stars Braden Smith and Andrew Williams, and
Davon Godchaux over the weekend would be a
considerable boost to the Tigers' future prospects. Alabama's freshly minted Mr.
Football, Racean Thomas, will also be on campus.
coming down to a battle of heavyweights between current national champion,
Florida State, and last year's title winner, Alabama, for one of the few
remaining five-stars left on the board. The
Seminoles get their shot this weekend when Hoover High's
Marlon Humphrey visits Tallahassee. Humphrey's father says the departure of
defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, while disappointing, won't have an
affect on his son's decision. Humphrey will visit Alabama next weekend, followed
by Mississippi State on Jan. 26 and UCLA
the first weekend in February.
the same manner in which Vanderbilt is scrambling to allay recruits'
concerns following the departure of
James Franklin, so too is
Louisville coping with the exit of Charlie Strong. The good news:
Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino is accustomed to operating amid chaos.
Among those visiting this weekend, redshirt candidates Micky Crum and
Reggie Bonnafon, and outside linebacker Henry Famurewa are
firmly committed to the 'Cards. But De'Eric Culver and
Daniel Cage have clearly pumped the brakes, and the only four-star of the bunch,
T.J. Harrell, no longer leans toward Louisville.
was thought to have closed the book on its recruiting class several weeks ago,
but with Eric Ebron declaring for the draft and fourth-year junior Sean Tapley
slated to graduate, the 'Heels have invited wideout Devin Perry and
punter Corbin Daly to join their 15 committed footballers in Chapel
Hill this week. Quarterback
Caleb Henderson and linebacker Tyrell Tomlin headline those already pledged.
Steve Spurrier looks to justify his recent wage increase by wooing a number of
uncommitted prospects in Columbia. Corners Wesley Green and
Chris Lammons are both solid, and defensive end Dexter Wideman would be
a satisfying steal from Florida State, but the real prize is five-star offensive
lineman Damian Prince. Prince and Jalen Tabor have long
discussed joining forces at the next level, and with the latter's flip to
Florida a week ago, the 'Ol Ball Coach has his work cut out for him.
to Texas Football, Charlie Strong. Fair or not, much will be made of how the
Longhorns new head coach does with the brief recruiting window he's been given
before Signing Day. So far, the returns have been good, and on Thursday, Strong
received a verbal from four-star
Edwin Freeman during a visit to the
linebacker's school. He'll flash his burnt orange again this weekend when
intriguing Louisville de-commit
Poona Ford trips to Austin.
a different day in the Lone Star State, and that's a good thing if you're an A&M
fan. Last Wednesday,
Zaycoven Henderson made a last minute switch from
the Longhorns to the Aggies. Now
Kevin Sumlin has his sights set on
flipping four-star defender Otaro Alaka.
The 6-3, 210-pound linebacker remains committed to Texas, but the reshuffling of
coaches has given him pause, and on Friday, he'll arrive in College Station for
an official visit. Texas A&M also welcomes Kenny Young.
the first time in more than a decade, USC found itself sitting outside the Top
10 in our team rankings last year. This time around, the Men of Troy are in
danger of slipping even farther. Enter Fresno's Michiah Quick. A
commitment from the four-star athlete would go a long way toward re-establishing
SC's recruiting juggernaut and score an early victory for Steve Sarkisian.
Expect current USC-commits
and Rahshead Johnson to play the part of recruiter when they trip to
campus this weekend, as well.