10 Top College Football Recruits and Their Upcoming Visits to Watch
Get this: college football kickoff is less than a week away.
And just in time, many of 2011's top college recruits have named the destinations for their officials and unofficials this season.
Which recruits have firmed up their plans? Where will they be attending? Click through and find out...and look forward to this becoming a weekly feature as the season goes on.
Doran Grant, DB (Ohio State Vs. Miami & Penn State Vs. Michigan)
Five-star cornerback Doran Grant is rumored to be leaning towards Ohio State, so Buckeye fans will be interested to hear that he is planning an unofficial visit to Columbus for the Miami game. If he indeed favors OSU, the visit could put him over the top, and Buckeye fans know Grant's verbal would practically seal Ohio State's claim to a top five class.
However, Grant also expressed interest in taking an unofficial visit to Penn State for the Michigan game. Both the Nittany Lions and Wolverines are in the running for his commitment—Grant even met JoePa himself over the summer—so this is a chance for him to establish a legit No. 2 to weigh his decision-making process.
Kris Frost, LB (Michigan State @ Michigan)
Four-star athlete Kris Frost sounded joyful that his visit date for the Michigan State game at Michigan Stadium was made official.
Frost, a native of North Carolina, is a lifelong Michigan fan, but only got to see the campus once over the summer. He's taken multiple unofficial visits to Auburn, Michigan's presumed competitor, but has yet to set an official visit date with the Tigers.
Frost says he does expect a bounce-back season for the Wolverines. He'll be in attendance for arguably its most crucial home game, so here's hoping the Maize and Blue make a good impression.
Marcus Roberson, DB (Clemson @ Auburn)
The Auburn Tigers already have one elite cornerback in the 2011 class—Jonathon Rose—but they'll be angling for another when four-star Marcus Roberson comes to town for the Clemson game.
Roberson's visit will be an official, his first and only concrete official of the year at this point. And since the speculation is that Auburn leads, Tigers fans will likely have the luxury of commitment watch, too.
Ray Drew, DE (Tennessee @ LSU, USC @ UCLA, Vanderbilt @ Georgia)
True to his lack of a favorite, fringe five-star defensive end Ray Drew will be all over the college footballscape this fall.
He says he plans to attend the Clemson/Auburn game on September 18th, see LSU's home game against Tennessee on October 2nd, catch Georgia's home game against Vanderbilt on October 16th and, to top it off, see UCLA's home game against USC on December 4th.
With the expectation that he will wait until signing day to decide, I wouldn't put him on commitment watch for any of those visits (save maybe for Georgia, the home school and one that has been gaining ground with in-state recruits this year). I eagerly anticipate which game he will choose for his fifth official visit, as well.
Mike Blakely, RB (South Carolina @ Auburn)
If you missed it, Mike Blakely showed why he's the No. 7 running back in the 2011 class last week when his high school team, Manatee, bowled over the powerhouse Plant program on ESPN.
Blakely accounted for 144 yards rushing and four total touchdowns, three rushing and one passing.
Auburn has moved into a three-way race with Florida and South Carolina for the multifaceted star. He will see two of those top three duke it out when Auburn plays the Gamecocks at home on September 25th.
Whomever comes out on top could edge Florida for the lead, but watch too for when the Gators elect to bring him on campus. That November 13th home game against South Carolina is looking awful tempting...
Avery Walls, S (UConn @ Michigan)
Since taking an unofficial visit to Michigan this summer, safety Avery Walls has really been talking up Michigan.
Some have dubbed Walls the hardest hitter in the class...yeah, we could use that in Ann Arbor.
At any rate, Walls is wasting no time getting back to Michigan for an official visit. He'll be back on September 4th for the crucial UConn game.
If the Wolverines put the pasting on the Huskies that I am expecting, I'd put Walls on commitment watch.
Gabe Wright, DT (Clemson @ Auburn)
Add four-star Georgia defensive tackle Gabe Wright to the growing list of prospects visiting the Auburn/Clemson game on September 18th.
While Rivals has yet to make the date official, Wright named Auburn a leader after an unofficial visit earlier this month, so I would also put him on commitment watch if the visit materializes.
The Columbus, GA native all but eliminated the in-state Bulldogs from contention after an unpleasant visit earlier this summer. He's also considering Florida State.
Cyrus Hobbi, OL (Texas @ Nebraska)
As if the Texas game needed any more stakes for Nebraska, four-star Arizona offensive guard Cyrus Hobbi will be in Lincoln for his official visit that week.
The Huskers already boast one of the best offensive line hauls in the class, but Hobbi, the number two offensive guard in the class, would be the top signee and the icing on the cake.
Rumors are that it will be difficult to get Hobbi moving too far east...but maybe the trek to Lincoln isn't out of his range.
Hobbi, who is just coming back from a visit to Oregon State, also said he plans to visit Washington and UCLA, though no date has been set. He plans on taking a fifth visit, destination TBD.
Todd Peat, DE (Texas @ Nebraska)
Four-star defensive tackle Todd Peat will join fellow Arizona recruit Cyrus Hobbi in Lincoln for the weekend of the Texas game.
The Tempe native has set October 16th as his official visit date. And since the Huskers have one of the most famous defensive tackles of our era representing the program, I like their chances at landing him regardless of the on-field result.
I've read that he also plans to visit Alabama and Miami on officials, though no date has been set yet.
Wayne Lyons, S (Michigan @ Notre Dame, Houston @ UCLA)
Hyped safety recruit Wayne Lyons is going to be a tough pull from the state of Florida, but three contenders on his final list will get to show off this fall.
Lyons, a four-star, will travel to South Bend to watch Notre Dame take on Michigan on September 11th. Both the Irish and Wolverines are in contention for his official due to their elevated academic standing and ability to develop prospects into professionals.
The following week. Lyons will fly out to UCLA to watch the Bruins take on Houston. UCLA is sporting one of the most exciting secondaries in the country with Thorpe candidate Rahim Moore and touted freshman Dietrich Riley, and their academics are among the best in the country.
He'll fill out the three remaining dates in the near future, I'm sure.