Prospects are committing to their college of choice earlier and earlier during the recruiting process, but that doesn't mean that the run-up to National Signing Day is without drama.
One of the most hotly contested battles remaining on the recruiting trail is the five-team battle for 247Sports.com 5-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams from Dooly County High School in Vienna, Ga.
The 6'4", 310-pounder has already made official visits to Florida, Clemson and Alabama this month, with Georgia this weekend. He has the final weekend before National Signing Day open, and is perhaps saving his final visit for the Auburn Tigers.
So which team has the advantage to secure Adams' services?
Georgia and Clemson are his two leaders, according to 247Sports.com, but all five could land Adams.
The Bulldogs have two major advantages in the chase—it's an in-state school and they can offer Adams the opportunity for immediate playing time.
Four defensive linemen are gone from defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's defense from last season, including nose guards John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers. At 310 pounds, Adams is still a little on the smaller side for nose guards in the 3-4, but certainly big enough to earn playing time right away.
Clemson obviously isn't in the SEC, but is certainly in the mix to land Adams.
The Tigers don't have the playing time on paper, but Adams is fully capable of earning a spot in the rotation on the defensive line right away. Clemson is close to the Georgia state line, so it wouldn't be too much of a trek to get back and forth from Vienna. Plus, the Tigers have a long track record of sending defensive players to the NFL through the draft, having seven defensive linemen drafted since 2008.
Alabama may be losing Damion Square, Quinton Dial and Jesse Williams off that defensive line, but the Crimson Tide will also likely land 4-star defensive tackle Dee Liner on National Signing Day. Pair him up with Adams, and head coach Nick Saban will have one of the most dynamic and talented young defensive lines in the country. If Adams chooses the Crimson Tide, he will receive the best coaching in the country at a place that will get him ready for the next level.
Florida has some open spots on the depth chart after Omar Hunter graduated and Sharrif Floyd left early. He would still have to battle Leon Orr at the nose, but certainly would be a contender for early playing time. The foundation of Florida's defense is a solid front seven, and he would certainly benefit from the experience that head coach Will Muschamp brings.
Auburn is the wild card. The Tigers seemed to be out of it after a miserable 2012 campaign and a coaching change. However, once they hired Rodney Garner away from Georgia, Adams' interest picked back up. Since he doesn't have a visit scheduled for the final weekend before National Signing Day, the Tigers could jump back in the mix and get the last at bat. Not a bad place to be.
With so much uncertainty and so many teams still in the mix, it's difficult to pick a favorite. However, he visited Georgia twice during the season, and a good visit this weekend could seal the deal for the Bulldogs. Of the SEC teams in the mix, the Bulldogs are the favorite. Convincing his mother that it's the right place for Adams could be the most important factor remaining to seal the deal.
If Adams goes to Georgia, doesn't make a decision and moves on to make an official visit on Feb. 2—perhaps to Auburn—consider it bad news for the Bulldogs and good news for the remaining four finalists.