- Dave Hooker, Reporter, RecruitingNation
Five players making key visits this weekend:
QB Drew Barker, Tennessee (Hebron, Ky./Conner): The ESPN Watch List prospect is among a small group of prospects in Knoxville, Tenn. That will give Tennessee's coaches plenty of time to spend with the 6-foot-4, 205-pound pocket passer. While Barker has always expressed interest in the Volunteers, he could be affected by the fact that Tennessee signed two highly rated quarterbacks in the 2013 class. Barker has also shown interest in Louisville, Kentucky and Ohio State. Tennessee coaches have said they'd like to sign a quarterback in every class.
LB Dillon Bates, Alabama (Ponte Vedra, Fla./Ponte Vedra): One of the elite prospects in the country, Bates is scheduled to visit Alabama this weekend. Bates is taking his time in his recruitment and not offering any hints as to where he's heading -- other than one. Bates has shown strong interest in Tennessee, where his father, Bill Bates, was a standout defensive back. Still, Bama has plenty to offer the 6-foot-3, 213-pound prospect despite his legacy to the Volunteers. This is their chance to prove it.
WR Demarre Kitt, Ohio State (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek): Undoubtedly, Kitt is tough to read. The ESPN Watch List receiver from Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek hasn't given many hints about his recruitment. Given that he won't be attending Georgia's spring game this weekend and is spending four days at Ohio State instead, it seems the Bulldogs are out of the mix -- likely by choice. That makes sense. The 6-foot, 196-pound prospect would probably be a better fit for a spread offense, which Ohio State utilizes. Tennessee's spread attack could also be a good fit. That's why Kitt was in Knoxville this week. Oregon could be a possible dark horse if the Ducks pursue Kitt aggressively.
WR Cornelius Sturghill, Ole Miss (Memphis, Tenn./Melrose): Sturghill seemed close to ending his recruitment recently but told ESPN on Friday that he will wait to announce his decision. Still, Ole Miss has turned patient prospects into commitments far too often. If the Rebels extend a scholarship offer, watch out. With several visits pending, Sturghill's recruitment seems poised to take off. As long as Sturghill shows up and proves to recruiters that he's at least his listed size of 5-11 and 170 pounds, they will be interested.
CB Garrett Taylor, Virginia Tech (Richmond, Va./St. Christophers): A rising junior, Taylor will visit Virginia Tech this weekend. So why is this visit so important so early in his recruitment? Because Taylor is one of the top 2015 prospects in Virginia. He already has scholarship offers from Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech, among others. There could be another big one on the way. The 6-foot-1, 187-pound Taylor is scheduled to visit Alabama on April 20. This weekend provides the Hokies a chance to build a lasting relationship.