College Football 2012: The Top Week 3 Games Recruits Will Be Watching
We're coming into week three of the college football season and like the first two weekends, this Saturday features a great slate of games. Surveying the schedule, I see several that have peak recruiting interest for the weekend.
Recruiting never stops and soon enough many schools will start to host their large recruiting visits during the season. This weekend has a lot of great match ups that recruits will likely be watching wherever they are. Seeing how a team performs, their fan base, depth and how the coaches are on the sidelines are just added influences to making a sound decision.
Here are the top week three games that recruits will be watching this weekend.
Texas at Ole Miss at 9:15pm ET on ESPN
The Longhorns have been a recruiting juggernaut for quite some time under Mack Brown and they have a top five class in the works for this year. Ole Miss isn't key match up for their recruits to watch, which leads me to my main point.
This is a big game for Ole Miss.
Hugh Freeze has the "it" to turn things around in Oxford and is working well on the trail. He got DE Channing Ward to stay home last and this year he's big game hunting for prospects like DE Robert Nkemdiche and DB Antonio Conner.
A win over Texas, or at least a good showing would help out a lot for Freeze.
Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh at 12pm ET on ESPNU
You could call this one the "Dorian Johnson Bowl" as both the Hokies and Panthers are hunting the big OT prospect.
Paul Chryst's team has not looked overly impressive to start the season, so if they don't straighten out this week, Beamer Ball is going to roll them over. Aside from Dorian Johnson watching this game, WR Robert Foster and RB Derrick Green could choose to view this one.
USC at Stanford at 7:30pm ET at Fox
Stanford has gotten the best of USC the past few years and the Trojans are going to be looking for some payback this Saturday. USC enters the game as the superior team and with the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.
Stanford's physical and downhill attacking run-oriented offense will provide a good challenge for Trojan defense. This should be a very good game that top flight recruits like QB Ryan Burns, DB Priest Willis, WR Jordan Cunningham and DB Tahaan Goodman should be wanting to see.
Alabama at Arkansas at 3:30pm ET on CBS
The Crimson Tide travel to Fayetteville to face an Arkansas team that suffered a shocking loss last week to Louisiana-Monroe.
Already having taken RB Altee Tenpenny from the Hogs, Arkansas scored a recruiting victory in the summer by beating Alabama out for TE Hunter Henry.
Scout.com reports that Tenpenny says Arkansas is still a school he will visit, so if the Razorbacks want any chance back to change his mind to staying in-state, a rally vs. the Crimson Tide would be a good look.
Notre Dame at Michigan State 8:00pm ET on ABC
This should be a really good one as the Spartans boast a physical and tough-minded program vs. the spread offense-minded Irish program.
Michigan State is not ripping up the recruiting trail this year but does boast a solid class with several prospects that figure to become starters down the road. However, 5-star DT Montravius Adams will be at the game, visiting East Lansing so this is a big one for Sparty.
Notre Dame, on the other hand, has a very good 2013 class right and are squeezing for remaining targets like DB Priest Willis and CB Mackensie Alexander.
Florida at Tennessee at 6:00pm ET on ESPN
Tennessee has gotten off to the start that they desperately needed to help their recruiting this year. The Vols are ranked just inside the top 25 in various polls and host their nemesis Florida this weekend.
The Gators are also 2-0 but are not as stronger than Tennessee than they usually, so the Vols figure they definitely can take this SEC home opener.
Both squads are recruiting well and prospects like DB Vonn Bell, RB Derrick Henry, WR Marquez North and S Kameron Miles will be at the game on the sidelines reports ESPNU.
Edwin Weathersby has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects & writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (now ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.