Less than a week from National Signing Day, battles for the top uncommitted
prospects are coming down to the wire. Just as important, coaching staffs are
working to make sure they hold on to their current commitments.
So closing the deal during late official visits is key, and there are plenty of
big weekends on tap. Here is a look at some of the top storylines developing
around visit weekends across the country.
down to Florida or Maryland for the state of Maryland's top
prospect, Damian Prince. All signs point to this being a legitimate
toss-up, with the folks in Gainesville benefitting from the five-star's final
visit. Prince's best friend,
Jalen Tabor, chose Florida over Randy Edsall's bunch but that doesn't necessarily discount the third-year head
coach's chances. Maryland's top prepster a year ago, Stefon Diggs,
surprised many when he decided to stay home.
Ohio State is able to land
Malik McDowell, Sparty may counter with Rivals100 offensive lineman
Jamarco Jones. The four-star prospect has been committed to Ohio State
since June but with Mike Vrabel departing for Texas, Jones may no longer be a
snaking LSU's official visit last weekend, it may be Michigan State's
turn to receive a late blow. Five-star Malik
McDowell hails from Michigan, but there's something about playing for
Urban Meyer that makes defecting palatable. Former Rutgers-commit and
tight end prospect David Njoku is also rumored to be visiting.
casualty of the James Franklin departure, Michael Sawyers'
decommitment from Vanderbilt has caused a frenzy among those looking
for defensive line help. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound heavy from Nashville visited
Georgia Tech on Jan. 17,
Ole Miss last weekend, and had
initially planned to tour Notre Dame on Friday. Those plans have
changed, however, and Sawyers will instead travel to nearby Knoxville.
Horned Frogs could put a lot of distance between themselves and last season's
four-win season with a commitment from Braden Smith. The nation's No.
50 overall prospect, Smith has been largely mum on his recruitment to this
point, saying only that it's down to Auburn, Texas A&M and
TCU. Gary Patterson gets his chance to woo the offensive lineman this
weekend and should receive a boost from Smith's sister, a member of the Horned
Frogs' track and field team.
keep rolling along for UCLA. Already in the mix for stud linebacker
Rashaan Evans, rumors are swirling that the Bruins may be able to sway
another SEC-commit, Malachi Dupre. LSU still has the inside
track, but with temperatures near 70 degrees in scenic Westwood this weekend and
quarterback Brett Hundley opting to toss the pigskin for another year,
conditions are ripe for a change of heart.
year ago, Cavs' coach
Mike London signed a pair of five-stars despite
going 2-6 in ACC play. After going 0-8 this fall, London's making a late push
for the nation's No. 4 defensive tackle, Derrick Nnadi. The Virginia
Beach-native doesn't speak to the media but a Tuesday in-home reportedly
couldn't have gone better, and Nnadi will trip to Charlottesville this weekend.
Whether it's enough to supplant Florida State and
Virginia Tech as favorites remains to be seen.