Friday, January 31, 2014
Key recruiting visits -- SEC
By Gerry Hamilton
The last official visit weekend is here. While the majority of prospects have committed and are set for national signing day, there are still several uncommitted ESPN 300 prospects for whom SEC programs are battling down to the wire.
Here is a look at 10 key visits this weekend. Numbers indicate ranking in the ESPN 300.
ESPN 300 DE Lorenzo Carter will visit Georgia this weekend as the Bulldogs hope to woo the in-state prospect.
No. 14 Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross): The five-star defensive end will be Athens this weekend for his official visit to Georgia. The Bulldogs get the last crack at the top in-state target following official visits to Florida (Sept. 20), LSU (Jan. 17) and Florida State (Jan. 24). Georgia is considered the leader headed into the weekend, and Carter has scheduled an announcement for national signing day on ESPNU.
No. 17 Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian): The nation’s No. 1 wide receiver will make an official visit to UCLA this weekend following what has been a hectic three weeks. In-state LSU had his first official visit on Jan. 17 followed by Alabama (Jan. 19), Florida State (Jan. 24) and Ole Miss (Jan. 26). Dupre will announce on ESPNU on national signing day.
No. 26 Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara): The No. 3 offensive tackle in the class will make his official visit to Florida this weekend as the Gators try to beat out home-state Maryland. South Carolina is running a distant third with a decision between the Gators and Terrapins planned for national signing day on ESPNU.
No. 55 Lamont Gaillard (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest): The long-time Georgia commitment announced earlier this week that he would make an official visit to Miami this weekend. While the defensive tackle is considered a solid pledge for the Bulldogs, the Hurricanes have a need at defensive tackle.
No. 120 Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King): Like Carter, Green will make an official visit to in-state Georgia this weekend, with defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt looking to put the Bulldogs over the top against long-time leader South Carolina, where the cornerback visited Jan. 17. Green was previously committed to the Gamecocks.
No. 127 Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./Olathe South): The powerful offensive guard prospect will make an take official visit to TCU this weekend, where his sister is a member of the track and field team. Smith previously visited Auburn (Jan. 17) and Texas A&M (Jan. 24). Smith will be the first prospect to announce his decision on ESPNU on national signing day.
No. 139 Steven Parker II (Jenks, Okla./Jenks): The talented safety is scheduled to visit Auburn this weekend following officials to Arkansas (Nov. 1), Texas A&M (Nov. 8), Oklahoma (Jan. 17) and Oklahoma State (Jan. 24). The Tigers hope to pull the upset on the Sooners.
No. 164 Travonte Valentine (Hialeah, Fla./Champagnat Catholic): Valentine is down to LSU and Miami and will visit the Hurricanes officially this weekend after going to Baton Rouge last weekend. Valentine has committed to Louisville, Florida and Miami at various times throughout the process.
No. 235 Trevon Lee (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons): The Vanderbilt Commodores are in search of good news of any kind on the recruiting front. After a terrific visit to Nashville last weekend, wide receiver Lee will be making an official visit to Duke this weekend. While Ole Miss and California received prior official visits, this is a recruitment that is expected to come down to Vanderbilt and Duke, with the Blue Devils having the momentum before last weekend's trip to Nashville.
No. 266 Poona Ford (Hilton Head, S.C./Hilton Head): The former Louisville pledge is scheduled to visit Missouri this weekend following officials to Texas (Jan. 17) and Purdue (Jan. 24). Texas has Charlie Strong in its favor, while Purdue has done a great job selling academics and life after football.