As the college football season moves along, Week 8 figures to be pivotal for many programs on the field. It is also shaping up to be a key weekend for recruiting visits.
Teams usually use most of their home games to host visiting recruits, as it gives them a chance to show off many facets of their program. If a visit goes well enough, a recruit could make a commitment before he leaves to go back home.
This week, a national rivalry game has a long list of elite recruits who will be in attendance, and eight visitors are uncommitted prospects. However, the weekend's biggest game will be in ACC country, and will be seen personally by a 5-star linebacker. Also, a pair of underrated important visits are also on this list.
With the cloud of uncertainty surrounding USC right now due to its lack of a permanent head coach, 4-star linebacker Derik Calhoun is covering his bases. The USC commit will be in Tempe this weekend, according to 247Sports.
At 6'1" and 205 pounds, Calhoun has the ability to play linebacker and safety. He is from northern California, has good speed and plays tough at the point of attack. If the Sun Devils want to make a breakthrough on the trail, they would be wise to do all they can to take Calhoun from USC.
This visit is a step in that direction.
Dravon Henry is a 5'11", 185-pound 4-star prospect who can play cornerback, safety, running back or receiver. He is scheduled to visit West Virginia this weekend, per Scout.com, and this is a crucial trip.
Henry, who is from Pennsylvania, has the Mountaineers and Pitt as his top schools, via 247Sports. The bitter rivals are in a recruiting battle for Henry, and this trip will play a big role in his final decision. West Virginia must roll out the red carpet this weekend, or it could lose Henry to the Panthers.
Ironically, the Tigers are a team high on Garrett's list, along with Mississippi, Florida and Tennessee, says 247Sports. Garrett has solid athleticism, finds the ball quickly and is a thumper at the point of attack.
If Ole Miss wants to keep its recruiting mojo going, impressing Garrett on this visit will help.
Holley has raw strength, good quickness at the snap and flashes great athletic ability for a defensive lineman. He is slated to visit Ohio State, per 247Sports, and the Buckeyes will look to impress him during their game versus Iowa.
Ohio State is one of his favorites, says 247Sports, and this visit could seal the deal.
The biggest game on Saturday is Florida State versus Clemson. With so much talent on the field, this contest has ACC and BCS title game implications.
The stadium will be packed, but the most important attendee for the Tigers may indeed be 5-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan. The Georgia native will be visiting Clemson to watch the game, says 247Sports.
At 6'2" and 242 pounds, McMillan really packs a punch at the point of attack. He plays the linebacker position with instincts, anticipation and without fear. Clemson will be focused on the game at hand this weekend, but it also needs to make sure McMillan feels needed during the visit.
Auburn is heading to College Station this weekend, and awaiting the Tigers will be Texas A&M. The Aggies will be fired up for this game, and 5-star defensive end Myles Garrett will be there on an unofficial visit, according to Gerry Hamilton of ESPN.com.
Garrett likely will announce his decision on Saturday, per Hamilton, and chances are he will opt to commit to Texas A&M.
With the Aggies defense not exactly being stingy, head coach Kevin Sumlin may accept Garrett's commitment and be tempted to ask the 6'4", 240-pounder to suit up on Saturday.
Notre Dame will be doing a ton of hosting this weekend. USC is coming to South Bend, plus the Irish have a long list of elite prospects they will have to show a great time.
The list of eight uncommitted recruits, according to 247Sports, includes prospects such as:
- 5-star guard Damien Mama
- 5-star athlete John Smith
- 4-star defensive tackle Matt Elam
- 4-star linebacker Nyles Morgan
- 4-star tight end Tyler Luatua
- 4-star athlete Michiah Quick
- 4-star cornerback Nick Watkins
- 3-star safety Payton Hendrix
Also scheduled to be in South Bend are prospects such as 5-star running back/athlete Bo Scarbrough and 4-star receivers Allen Lazard and Erik Brown. Scarbrough is committed to Alabama, Lazard is pledged to Iowa State and Brown is a Washington commit.
Many of the top visits in Week 8 feature players who can be found on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map! This is a neat way for recruiting fans to keep tabs on the top prospects from around the country!
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 and Cleveland Browns.