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Friday, January 17, 2014
Key recruiting visits -- Big 12

By Damon Sayles

The dead period is over, and official visits are set. The next three weekends will be huge for players as they look to finalize their college plans.

Here are 10 names to watch as they take their official visits to Big 12 schools. The names are in alphabetical order.

RB Corey Avery (Dallas/Carter) visiting Texas

As a four-star running back, Avery has traits every school in the country would want to work with. Texas hasn’t officially offered Avery yet, but an offer could come during the visit. The Longhorns have a legitimate shot at landing Avery this weekend and adding to their solid running back class.

K.D. Cannon
It seems as if ESPN 300 WR K.D. Cannon will reaffirm his commitment to Baylor this weekend.
WR K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant) visiting Baylor

The talk of Cannon possibly flipping his commitment has died down in the new year. The chatter almost became nonexistent when future teammate and ESPN 300 athlete Davion Hall (Texarkana, Texas/Liberty-Eylau) enrolled at Baylor days ago. This trip should be the one to put an official end to decommitment talk.

OLB Josh Ehambe (Dallas/Prime Prep) visiting Kansas

The Jayhawks are in need of commits, and a physical linebacker such as Ehambe really would boost their class ranking. Ehambe, at 6-foot-3 and 226 pounds, is a hard-hitting athlete with good speed and could be one of the conference's elite players in a couple of years.

DT Poona Ford (Hilton Head, S.C./Hilton Head) visiting Texas

This is a big visit, as Ford is reunited with the head coach he once was committed to. The ESPN 300 defensive tackle would be an important get for a Texas team in need of defensive linemen. Could Ford, a former Louisville commit, be headed to Austin to play for Charlie Strong?

DB Dae'Juan Funderburk (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy) visiting West Virginia

West Virginia and Miami have been Funderburk’s top two schools for weeks, and the Mountaineers can pull away -- and eventually win the recruiting battle -- with a positive and productive official visit. The fifth-ranked player in the District of Columbia, Funderburk is a safety with several big offers.

DT Courtney Garnett (New Orleans/St. Augustine) visiting Oklahoma

After decommitting from Texas last week, Garnett is looking for a home. He might find one north of the Red River, as the Sooners are very interested in him. Look for Oklahoma defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery to give a full-throttle effort to close the deal once Garnett arrives on campus.

CB Jesse Mack (Spartanburg, S.C./Highland Community College) visiting Kansas State

Many feel this is already a done deal. Mack, a 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback, is very excited about visiting Manhattan, Kan., and Kansas State is his only reported offer thus far. With juco experience on his résumé, Mack could join the Wildcats and see immediate playing time in the 2014 season.

DT Chris Nelson (Lakeland, Fla./Victory Christian Academy) visiting Texas

Nelson, like Ford, was a Louisville commit but backed away from his pledge after Strong left. Nelson could follow Strong to Texas, but he also has South Florida in the mix. A three-star defensive tackle, Nelson could help fill the void the Longhorns have with the recent decommitments of three four-star defensive tackles.

RB Donte Thomas-Williams (Durham, N.C./Hillside) visiting West Virginia

Thomas-Williams has seen West Virginia several times on unofficial visits, so he has already built good relationships with the Mountaineers' coaching staff. Thomas-Williams has said West Virginia is a front-runner, but this can be the perfect time for the Mountaineers to obtain an official commitment from the ESPN 300 running back.

DT Brandon Thorpe (Highland, Kan./Highland Community College) visiting Texas Tech

Texas Tech has a solid 2014 recruiting class that features four defensive line commits. Adding depth on the defensive line is never a bad thing, though, and Thorpe can be a major role player next season. Thorpe has good size at 6-5 and 275 pounds, and he’s deceptively quick for that size.