- Corey Dowlar, RecruitingNation
As the regular season kicks off this weekend, recruiting, specifically revolving around visits, will start to get going, too.
Here are five storylines to watch as we head in to the opening weekend.
Pitt hosting important group
Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway), Alex Bookser (Pittsburgh/Mt. Lebanon), Dravon Henry (Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa) and Shai McKenzie (Washington, Pa./Washington) will be heading to the Panthers’ opener against Florida State on Monday. Nicholson, Bookser and Henry are all ESPN 300 prospects, while McKenzie has offers from a lot of teams, giving credibility to the caliber of players coming in. Nicholson and McKenzie, too, are being recruited by Florida State, so a win by either team could make a significant impact in their favor.
Clemson visit list loaded with top targets
When Clemson hosts Georgia this weekend, there might not be a more important visitor at any other game than Raekwon McMillian (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County). The five-star recruit not only hails from Georgia, but will officially visit both schools. David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence), the top prospect from the state of Florida, will be in attendance. The four-star tackle has major interest in Clemson along with Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Georgia. Other names include Trevion Thompson (Durham, N.C./Hillside), Jeff Gibson (Hope Mills, N.C./Gray's Creek) and Ricky DeBerry (Richmond, Va./St. Christopher's).
Virginia Tech in the spotlight
The Hokies won't have a home game this weekend, but that doesn't mean they won't be in a good place for recruiting. Alabama and Virginia Tech will be on center stage in Atlanta as the two programs go head-to-head in an early season showdown. The Crimson Tide, college football's most dominant program of late, gives the Hokies a chance to prove themselves in the eyes of the country and recruits. Should they pull off the improbable upset, or even just play really well, they can grab the attention of some of their targets.
UNC kicks off the season
North Carolina would love to continue its momentum following Elijah Hood's (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) commitment with a win over a top-10 program in South Carolina on Thursday night. Much like the Alabama-Virginia Tech game, UNC and South Carolina will be in the spotlight on opening night.
Maryland continues to surge for local prospects
Assistant coach Mike Locksley has made quite a splash in the area. The Terrapins recently landed four-star Jesse Aniebonam (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) ahead of other strong competition and has been sticking out for Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara), too. The four-star offensive tackle would be a huge get for anybody. But now, Maryland is putting distance between it and opponents for Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy). Just those names alone would be a tremendous infusion of talent into the program.
5hMatt Fortuna and Gerry Hamilton
1dDavid M. Hale