Most Important College Football Recruiting Visits of Week 4
Nonconference showdowns serving as the eye candy for fans and pundits around the nation dominated the first three weeks of the college football season.
However, as Week 4 approaches, the focus shifts to conference play for a majority of this weekend's premier matchups.
As such, a few tilts in particular are the must-see events for a handful of elite recruits around the country who are busy figuring out their plans for the weekend.
Which visits should fans be paying close attention to on Saturday?
Let's take a look at the most important recruiting visits for Week 4 of the college football season.
Arizona: 5-Star CB Darnay Holmes
High School: Calabasas High School (Calabasas, California)
Size: 5'10", 190 lbs
247Sports Composite Ranking: No. 2 corner; No. 11 overall
Eleven current commitments hail from the state of California, and Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez and his staff may not be done hitting up the Golden State for talent.
As it prepares to host No. 9 Washington on Saturday, Arizona will host 5-star corner Darnay Holmes.
Holmes, who is rated as the nation's No. 2 corner, is the No. 3 player overall from the state of California in the 2017 class.
He visited Michigan last weekend and has plans to see fellow Big Ten power Ohio State in November.
However, the Wildcats have a chance to emerge as a serious sleeper in his recruitment if his trip to the desert this weekend goes well.
Auburn: 4-Star S C.J. Avery
High School: Grenada High School (Grenada, Mississippi)
Size: 6'1", 196 lbs
247Sports Composite Ranking: No. 19 safety; No. 206 overall
While the 2016 season hasn't gotten off to the type of start that Auburn fans are accustomed to, the Tigers are still standing strong on the recruiting trail.
Head coach Gus Malzahn and his staff have assembled a crop of 14 commitments in a class rated No. 15 nationally.
In a pivotal division game against LSU this weekend, Auburn will host 4-star safety C.J. Avery on an official visit.
It will be the second time this month that the Magnolia State standout has been on the Plains, as he took in the Tigers' season-opening loss to Clemson.
Avery has been busy of late having also unofficially visited Mississippi State and taking one of his official visits to California last weekend.
He also has upcoming trips to ACC powers Clemson and Florida State.
However, as Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports detailed, Auburn may be trending with Avery thanks to its need at safety and his connections to the Tigers' coaching staff.
This weekend's visit could help Auburn gain a leg up in Avery's recruitment moving forward.
Michigan: 4-Star WR Nico Collins
High School: Clay-Chalkville High School (Pinson, Alabama)
Size: 6'5", 195 lbs
247Sports Composite Ranking: No. 13 receiver; No. 86 overall
Michigan will play its fourth consecutive home game to begin the season as it launches conference play against Penn State this weekend.
Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff have used the home dates to attract a number of top targets to campus this month.
The contest against the Nittany Lions will be no different. According to Isaiah Hole of Wolverine247, Michigan will host a handful of elite prospects on unofficial visits this weekend.
Among the group is 4-star receiver Nico Collins, who will be making his second unofficial trip to Ann Arbor since the beginning of August.
Considering he's making the long trek from Alabama to Michigan on his own dime, it's clear that his interest in the Wolverines program is legit.
His latest visit to check out the game-day atmosphere in Ann Arbor could be critical for the Wolverines' chances in eventually gaining his commitment.
Michigan State: 4-Star WR K.J. Hamler
High School: IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)
Size: 5'9", 156 lbs
247Sports Composite Ranking: No. 42 receiver; No. 301 overall
When the season began, most fans and pundits probably wouldn't imagine that both Michigan State and Wisconsin would enter Big Ten play with unblemished records.
However, both the Spartans and Badgers have notched impressive victories in nonconference play and will try to use the strong starts to propel themselves toward a run at a Big Ten title.
For the Spartans and head coach Mark Dantonio, they will use the atmosphere in East Lansing to welcome a handful of remaining targets for their 2017 class.
Among that group will be 4-star receiver K.J. Hamler—who is originally from Farmington, Michigan, but transferred in the offseason to Florida prep powerhouse IMG Academy.
According to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports, Hamler will take his official visit to Michigan State this weekend.
The Spartans join Arizona, Iowa State, Oregon and Penn State as schools in Hamler's top five.
He visited the Nittany Lions last weekend. This trip is a pivotal opportunity for the Spartans to move up the pecking order among Hamler's group of favorites.
Tennessee: 5-Star OL Trey Smith
High School: University School of Jackson (Jackson, Tennessee)
Size: 6'5 ½", 299 lbs
247Sports Composite Ranking: No. 4 offensive tackle; No. 20 overall
As Tennessee tries to end its 11-year losing streak to SEC rival Florida this weekend, the Volunteers will be looking toward the future in trying to add to their 2017 recruiting class.
Vols head coach Butch Jones and his staff have assembled a 25-man class that rates No. 12 nationally.
One player they are hoping to add to their class is 5-star offensive lineman Trey Smith.
According to Ryan Callahan of 247Sports, Smith will be in attendance as an unofficial visitor for the showdown between the Vols and Gators this weekend.
Callahan noted that Smith already attended Tennessee's win over Virginia Tech earlier this month, and he has plans to take an official visit to Knoxville later in the process.
Smith is also considering schools such as Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Ole Miss.
However, Tennessee has done a great job in keeping the lines of communication open with Smith, and the fact that he has multiple visits lined up to see the Vols in action is a great sign of where they stand in his recruitment.
Texas A&M: 4-Star LB Anthony Hines
High School: Plano East High School (Plano, Texas)
Size: 6'2 ½", 222 lbs
247Sports Composite Ranking: No. 2 inside linebacker; No. 85 overall
One of the more intriguing matchups this weekend will pit SEC West foes Arkansas and Texas A&M in a battle at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
While the neutral-site affair will feature a crowd nearly split down the middle between the Aggies and the Razorbacks, there will still be a lot of recruits who make the trek to check out a pivotal contest for two unbeaten teams.
As Taylor Hamm of GigEm247 noted, the Aggies are the home team, and they get the opportunity to host prospects this weekend.
One player who is a priority for Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff is 4-star linebacker Anthony Hines.
The elite linebacker—who has racked up 399 tackles and 22 sacks over the last three seasons—also was present for the A&M win over UCLA earlier this month.
The fact that he will check out Texas A&M for a second time this month bodes well for the Aggies' chances in landing him when he opts to make a final decision.
Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand, and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.