Virginia sensation Josh Sweat remains one of the country's most compelling uncommitted members of the 2015 class. The scope of this dynamic defender's recruitment extends throughout college football, with more than two dozen scholarship offers in the mix.
The 5-star prospect is still exploring his options, and a pair of SEC programs will have an opportunity to gain ground next month. Sweat plans to visit Tennessee and Georgia in June, according to Scout.com reporter Michael Clark:
The two-day span in Knoxville and Athens provides two contenders with a chance to leave Sweat setting up plans for a return trip to campus. With no imminent decision date, both the Bulldogs and Volunteers will attempt to line up official visits this fall.
Each team can set itself up for future success with Sweat by laying down a strong foundation in June. The challenge for both coaching staffs is to establish a legitimate rapport with a player and family who've already spent more than a year hearing sales pitches from countless head coaches, coordinators and assistants.
"When I take a visit I want to make sure I am feeling them, like the coaches, I want to understand what they are talking about and all of that," Sweat told 247Sports reporter Evan Watkins in December.
Florida State also aims to gain separation atop Sweat's leaderboard this summer. The Seminoles are set to host him on July 18, according to 247Sports reporter Ryan Bartow (subscription required).
Sweat is rated No. 1 nationally among weak-side defensive ends in 247Sports' composite rankings, listed at No. 13 overall in the 2015 class.
The 6'5", 237-pound standout at Oscar Smith High School (Chesapeake), held an expansive array of offers prior to a dominant junior campaign. Tennessee and Florida State were among multiple teams (Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Temple and North Carolina included) that reached out during Sweat's sophomore year.
Georgia joined the race in early December, in the aftermath of his monstrous 2013 season that featured 94 tackles, including 31 for loss. He tallied 22 sacks, playing alongside 5-star defensive tackle Andrew Brown (2014 Virginia signee) and landed on the MaxPreps Junior All-American Team.
His pile of offers continued to grow through the winter and into spring. South Carolina, UCLA, Michigan State, Texas A&M, LSU, USC and Oregon are each involved in this pursuit.
Sweat would instantly strengthen the defensive front for whichever team ultimately lands him. He's a college-ready prospect who should command consideration for early playing anywhere, regardless of a program's positional needs.
Florida State has found plenty of talent for its defensive secondary during this recruiting cycle. Top-ranked safety Derwin James joins fellow in-state commits Tyrek Cole and Calvin Brewton, who each carry 4-star ratings.
The reigning national champions remain in search of explosive edge players who can disrupt the backfield on a regular basis. Sweat would certainly fit the bill for a class that ranks 10th nationally in 247Sports' composite team rankings.
Georgia holds pledges from a duo of 4-star in-state defensive ends (Natrez Patrick and Chauncey Rivers), but neither prospect is an automatic plug-and-play prospect like Sweat. The Bulldogs' class currently rates eighth among SEC members and 14h overall.
Offense remains the strength of Tennessee's latest recruiting haul, though it does include 4-star Georgia defensive end Andrew Butcher. The need for a disruptive pass-rusher remains paramount in a class that rates seventh among conference foes and ninth overall.
With multiple high-profile visits reportedly looming, expect coaching staffs to treat Sweat as a primary priority. The pressure is on each team to deliver a clear vision of its future and explain why he fits perfectly within those plans.
Sweat has already decided to spend one of his official visits at Virginia Tech, per 247Sports reporter Evan Watkins. For other programs, the scramble is well underway to get Sweat on campus as signing day approaches.
Recruit information via 247Sports unless otherwise noted.
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