College Football Recruiting 2013: 18 Most Important Upcoming Recruiting Visits
Bleacher Report editor Eric Bowman told me recently "signing day will be here before we know it."
I certainly agree with him and that only means that each visit a recruit makes now is critically crucial. If your favorite school has lined up a trip with an uncommitted or wavering recruit during this time, then that means they have a solid chance of landing.
For this read, let's take a look at the most important recruiting visits coming up in the very near future. These visits are all from upper-echelon prospects who will make final decisions that will impact the national college football recruiting scene.
So come inside and check out whether your favorite school has an important visit coming up soon from a highly touted recruit.
Johnny Johnson to UCLA
Johnson is headed to Westwood this weekend for a trip to see the Bruins, according to Scout.com. The 5'10", 180-pound cover man is from Central California and I wouldn't be shocked if he left UCLA this weekend sewn up to be a Bruin.
With Jim Mora being a DB coach at heart, I expect him to be all over Johnson during the entire trip. UCLA looks pretty good in this race.
Sabastian LaRue to Texas A&M
Scout.com lists LaRue as a visitor to College Station in a few days. The 5'11", 185-pound WR was committed to USC for quite some time but recently decommitted.
The Aggies are dominating this cycle with pass-catchers and LaRue would continue that theme. His speed and quickness would work well in Clarence McKinney's offense.
Myles Jack to UCLA
I think Jack really is flirting hard with Washington so UCLA wants to get him on campus as soon as possible. Scout.com says that will take place this weekend and the Bruins will try to re-solidify his commitment.
Jack is a versatile player that likely will nestle in as an OLB in college. He stands 6'3", 230 pounds and has great straight-line speed.
Andrew Billings to TCU
The Horned Frogs missed out on Justin Manning, so landing Billings would be an even bigger coup. The 6'1", 305-pounder can play DT or work on offense as a guard.
Billings is one of the strongest players in the country, but also has good quickness and is a solid athlete for a big man. Gary Patterson will try to sell him on TCU, per Scout.com.
Altee Tenpenny to Arkansas
Aside from keeping Hunter Henry committed, Tenpenny has to be Bret Bielema's top target until signing day. The 6'0", 212-pound RB is committed to Alabama but is from Hog country.
This trip, which Scout.com lists as taking place this coming weekend, is huge for Arkansas. Bielema is known to run the ball and getting a Montee Ball for the Razorbacks would help the transition go much smoother.
Alex Collins to Miami
While Tenpenny is in Fayetteville, Scout.com also reports that another touted RB prospect will be making a crucial visit. Alex Collins will be heading to Coral Gables to give one last look at Miami.
The 5'11", 210-pounder was committed to the Canes at one time, but has backed off that. Al Golden should put Duke Johnson on Collins to sell him on the tandem that they could be together.
Josh Augusta to Illinois
Augusta is an Illinois native and if the Illini want to re-surge their recruiting profile, landing him has to be priority No. 1. Augusta is an athletic DT that plays at 6'5" and 275 pounds.
Missouri is a school to keep an eye on with Augusta, but things could change this weekend when he visits Illinois (Scout.com). The Illini will definitely sell him on staying in-state.
Matthew Thomas to USC
The Trojans need help combating spread offenses and more talent on defense. Well, Thomas can solve both of those problems himself and will check out Heritage Hall this weekend, says Scout.com.
At 6'3", 210-pounds, the South Florida native has excellent play speed and versatility. He can play OLB on the first two downs of a series and then move to DE to rush the passer in passing situations.
Alvin Kamara to Alabama
Kamara will be one of several big-time prospects in Tuscaloosa this weekend, according to Scout.com. He's down to 'Bama and Georgia and will use this visit to spend a ton of time with the Tide coaches and asking a wealth of questions.
If he likes what he hears, then maybe Alabama gets its fourth RB commit of 2013 recruiting.
Quinton Powell to South Carolina and USC
Scout.com shows that Powell will visit both USC and South Carolina in a split weekend tour. He'll head to Los Angeles at the end of the week and likely head to Columbia soon after.
The 6'2", 190-pounder is a deceptively strong OLB prospect that reminds me of a more powerful version of Frankie Telfort. Once he adds some more bulk, Powell will be a stalwart in college.
Tahaan Goodman to LSU
Goodman and Priest Willis could be a package deal, and if Les Miles wants that package, he'll have to charm up Goodman the same way he did Willis a few weeks ago.
Willis seemed to love his trip to Baton Rouge and now Scout.com reports that Goodman will trek to the Bayou in a couple days. The 6'2", 190-pound safety is from California and has the speed and athleticism to ball hawk in the SEC.
Jalen Ramsey to USC
While the Trojans are hosting Thomas, they also will have Ramsey on campus too, says Scout.com. He's committed to USC but the Tennessee CB is looking around some.
Getting him to re-commit is crucial for USC, as it needs to bring in a big-time CB prospect who can compete right away for snaps. Ramsey has that potential and talent.
Tony Conner to Auburn
Auburn has come on strong for Conner during the homestretch of recruiting and Scout.com reports he will take a visit to The Plains. Gus Malzahn and Ellis Johnson surely will roll out the red carpet for the talented safety.
Early playing time could be obtained at Auburn and that seems to be an important factor in Conner's thinking. This is a very important visit and could reboot Auburn's recruiting momentum.
Eddie Vanderdoes to USC
USC once held a commitment from Vanderdoes, but he decommitted last month. Ed Orgeron is really going to have work to get Vanderdoes back in the fold, but he'll have his chance to see the big DT personally this weekend.
Scout.com reports Vanderdoes is one of several major visitors to USC this weekend. The Trojans could definitely use the 6'3", 305-pounder's strength and beastly style of play.
Vonn Bell to Alabama
Bell was at Ohio State last weekend and up next is Alabama, per Scout.com. The 6'0", 190-pound safety has done an extensive amount of research on all of his finalists, and he'll have his questions for Nick Saban and co.
The chance to learn from Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix and team up with Landon Collins for a winner could be very appealing to Bell.
Carl Lawson to Tennessee
Butch Jones is looking for a flagship recruit to show everyone that he'll be able to recruit in the SEC. Lawson would definitely be that guy if he committed to UT.
The DE prospect will head to Knoxville for a visit, per Scout.com. I'd imagine Lawson figures he could get a lot of early playing time with Tennessee and that could be a positive draw for the Vols.
Montravius Adams to Alabama
At 6'3" and 310 pounds, Adams could come to Alabama do similar things that Marcell Dareus did. He has great explosiveness at the snap and the raw strength to play in Alabama's scheme.
Scout.com lists him as an expected visitor this weekend with the Crimson Tide. Adams will likely come down to 'Bama, Florida, Georgia and Clemson on signing day.
Laremy Tunsil to Georgia
Look, Tunsil isn't going to see anything in Athens that he probably hasn't seen before. He's probably going to be board a little bit and this trip is more of a formality than anything (Scout.com).
However, it's a highly important visit because it's probably the last impression Tunsil will have of Georgia's atmosphere before signing day. The UGA coaches have to use this trip as a platform to seal up Tunsil's commitment.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He 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 and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly 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.