National Signing Day Primer: 10 Most Important Recruiting Visits Left

    National Signing Day is near, and here are the 10 most important recruiting visits leading up to the big day.

    January 15, 2016

    Here are the 10 most important recruiting visits leading up to National Signing Day.

    The dead period is over. And, thankfully, that doesn’t come with any zombies — unless you want to count how college football coaches will feel once they get through these next three weeks without any sleep.

    It’s definitely a stressful time for everyone involved.

    Some coaches are recruiting for their jobs. Some are recruiting to build a reputation. And then there’s Nick Saban, who recruits like he’s playing the world’s slowest game of whack-a-mole.

    It’s also a stressful time for the recruits. They’re trying to decide which program to attend in what amounts to the most important decision of their lives.

    That’s why on-campus visits are so important. It gives athletes a chance to envision themselves as students and what it’d be like to make a certain school home for the next several years. It’s an opportunity to imagine their new football family and the types of relationships they can form.

    On the flip-side, it’s just as important for the in-home visits to go well. A recruit needs to feel comfortable with the men who will be coaching and developing them. And of course their parents have to approve.

    When it comes to recruiting, nothing is more crucial than the visits coaches and players will make. With National Signing Day approaching, we broke down the 10 most important visits left for the 2016 recruiting cycle.

    10. Landon Dickerson, 4-Star OT: Official Visit to Florida Gators, Jan. 15

    The Gators lost out on 3-star offensive tackle Marcus Tatum to Tennessee, but they still feel as though they’re in the running for 4-star offensive tackle Landon Dickerson. Florida State and Virginia Tech are the two favorites, but a perfect visit can launch Florida to at least having a hat on the table.

    9. Deontay Anderson, 4-Star S: Official Visit to Texas Longhorns, Jan. 15

    Deontay Anderson has been an Ole Miss lean, and the Rebels are still favored to land him — especially with his last official visit being in Oxford, Miss. But Charlie Strong has the chance to make a gigantic impression on Anderson when he visits Austin, Texas on Friday. It’s certainly a long shot for the Longhorns to land the 4-star safety, but it’s still a shot.

    8. Kristian Fulton, 4-Star CB: Official Visit to Florida Gators, Jan. 29

    For the longest time, LSU has been the favorite to land the 4-star cornerback from Metairie, La., but the Tigers have some competition. Florida already flipped Feleipe Franks from Les Miles, and now Jim McElwain is trying to steal away Kristian Fulton. With his last official visit before National Signing Day taking place in Gainesville, Fla., you have to believe the Gators are serious contenders to land him.

    7. Lyndell Wilson, 5-Star OLB: Official Visit to Georgia Bulldogs, Jan. 15

    Remember when Lyndell Wilson named Florida as his leader? Remember when Alabama was going to steal him away? It seems as though most of that went out the window when Georgia hired Kirby Smart as its next head coach. The Bulldogs are definitely a threat to land Wilson, and a solid visit on Friday may be the final piece to the puzzle.

    6. Rashard Lawrence, 5-Star DT: Official Visit to LSU Tigers, Jan. 15

    Rashard Lawrence is 6-foot-5 and 305 lbs of nasty on the defensive line. It’s no wonder why schools have been battling for his commitment. Lawrence named LSU and Ohio State as his two finalists, but the official visit to Baton Rouge, La. on Friday has the potential to seal the deal for the 5-star defensive tackle. If he picks the Tigers, Les Miles will almost certainly lock in the No. 1 class in the nation.

    5. Nate Craig-Myers, 4-Star WR: Official Visit to Auburn Tigers, Jan. 15

    With his brother, 4-star cornerback Jayvaughn Myers, going with him, Nate Craig-Myers will get one last look at Auburn. He was once committed to the Tigers, but that seems like it was forever ago. Gus Malzahn has one last shot to pitch the 4-star wide receiver on the idea of playing early at Auburn. If the visit goes well enough, the Tigers could end up with both players.

    4. Derrick Brown, 5-Star DT: Official Visit to Georgia Bulldogs, Jan. 22

    Kirby Smart is locked in right now. He’s going after as many top defensive recruits as he can find. If he lands Derrick Brown, Smart will cement his first top five class as a head coach. The 5-star defensive tackle has five SEC schools he’s deciding between, but the edge goes to the Bulldogs. A pleasant visit will put it in pen.

    3. Brandon Jones, 5-Star S: Official Visit to Texas Longhorns, Jan. 15

    Texas has been trying to fight off Texas A&M for the longest time in order to land a commitment from Brandon Jones, the nation’s No. 1 safety. Charlie Strong needs to sell Jones on the idea that Texas isn’t far off from being a contender again. Whether or not he can do that remains to be seen because the Longhorns certainly didn’t have a good season in 2015. But Strong has pulled off bigger recruiting miracles in the past, and a great visit for Jones can help.

    2. Ben Davis, 5-Star ILB: Official Visit to Alabama Crimson Tide, Jan. 29

    He’s the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker for a reason. Ben Davis is the real deal and everything you want in an inside linebacker. He’s quick, strong, agile and can hit like a heavyweight boxer. Alabama has been the favorite to land the 5-star recruit, but Georgia is making a very strong push. If Nick Saban is going to hold off Kirby Smart, he needs to make sure Davis’ last official visit goes perfectly.

    1. Rashan Gary, 5-Star DT: Unofficial Visit to Michigan Wolverines, Jan. 22

    Rashan Gary, the nation’s No. 1 player, has many links to Michigan. His former coach Chris Partridge is now the Wolverines’ director of recruiting. Gary’s good friend, Kareem Walker, is already on campus. It just makes a lot of sense for him to choose Michigan. With an official visit to USC set for Friday, Gary will follow it up with an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor, Mich., and that could be the last push he needs to solidify the Wolverines as the perfect fit.

    MORE: Predicting What Schools Uncommitted 5-Stars Will Choose


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