The busy January continues for Highland Springs (Va.) High offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, who is officially visiting Virginia Tech this weekend. He was at Louisville last weekend and he will be at Oregon on Jan. 27. Virginia is still in the mix as well but if things go well for Becton at Virginia Tech, the Hokies will be in excellent position to land him.
Corey Bolds, who plays at powerhouse Paramus (N.J.) Catholic, makes an official visit this weekend to Rutgers and it could end with him being a Scarlet Knight. He made an official visit to Penn State in November, and he is scheduled to visit Mississippi on Jan. 27. Depending how things go this weekend, it could end with Bolds being a Scarlet Knight.
Defensive end Ibrahim Kante saw his recruitment suddenly take off in the last two weeks, and Temple and NC State are now battling for him. He was supposed to officially visit Temple this weekend, but midweek shifted gears after an NC State offer and now will visit the Wolfpack. Interestingly, the Wolfpack are suddenly active in the northeast, and the Trinity-Pawling (N.Y.) School standout could make it three commits in two weekends. New Jersey teammate Louis Acceus and Joshua Fedd-Jackson both committed Sunday.
There is a lot of speculation regarding Marlton (N.J.) Cherokee running back Jon Lovett and his status. The one-time Rutgers commit will visit Baylor this weekend, but the real focus is on Michigan State. There was a lot of rumblings he committed to the Spartans during an official visit last weekend, but he said that was not true. Lovett could visit Tennessee on Jan. 27, but the Spartans remain the school to watch even with Lovett heading to Waco, Texas, this weekend.
Olney (Md.) Good Counsel defensive end Joshua Paschal is committed to Kentucky, where his brother is on the coaching staff, but Penn State is recruiting him hard. Nittany Lions coach James Franklin had an in-home visit with him during the week, and now he is set to officially visit Penn State this weekend. Paschal could move inside and play defensive tackle in college, and Penn State is looking to add another interior defensive lineman.
Despite an official visit to Michigan State last weekend and one Jan. 27 to Virginia Tech, there was reason for Maryland to feel confident defensive end commit Kofi Wardlow would sign with the Terps on Feb. 1. However, concern should be growing after the Washington (D.C.) St. John's standout booked an official visit to Notre Dame for this weekend.
Alabama has been considered the favorite for quite some time now here, so is this just the visit for the Crimson Tide to close the deal with Devonta Smith? LSU has made a big push and Miami will host him next weekend, but Alabama still seems to be in a great spot here.
Is LSU the favorite for the top 50 prospect in the country, Willie Gay, out of Mississippi? Some feel that way. This visit is not only huge for Gay and his family, but for LSU to show him it is not a bad thing to leave the state of Mississippi. This should come down to LSU and Mississippi State.
Does anyone really have a chance here against Alabama for LaBryan Ray? The Crimson Tide will be very tough to beat in this race. Ray is a top in-state prospect, he is an elite defensive lineman and he is very familiar with how things work in Tuscaloosa (Ala.).
Should Alabama be worried here a little? Chris Allen lives in Baton Rouge (La.), LSU had him on campus for an official visit last weekend, two of his teammates are committed to LSU, and there is some chatter that the Tigers have made up some ground. Alabama hopes to take that momentum back this weekend, so this is a crucial visit despite Allen already being committed to the Crimson Tide.
Another Scout 100 prospect in Alabama that the Crimson Tide has been trending for, for a long time is receiver Henry Ruggs. Auburn, Florida and some others continue to hang around, but Ruggs could end up seeing all he needs to see this weekend to close out his recruitment.
Jamyest Williams is one that has some South Carolina fans concerned. Williams is an elite athlete who Georgia likes on both sides of the ball. He has family just a few miles from the Georgia campus, he has a close friend DeAngelo Gibbs already there as an early enrollee and the Bulldogs are one to watch here.
Another prospect who is committed that is visiting another school is Jacob Phillips. This flip looks like it will go down if all goes well in Baton Rouge (La.). Oklahoma hopes to hold on here, but LSU has made a big move for Phillips in recent weeks, and the Tigers are considered the favorite here despite his name showing on the Sooners' commitment list.
This is a tight race for Todd Harris. LSU may be considered the slight favorite, but Alabama is in this, and you cannot sleep on TCU. Arizona State has received a visit as well. Over the summer, Alabama took a big step in this race, so lets see how things shake out this weekend. The Tide may be trailing the Tigers entering this visit.
Another top Louisiana prospect visiting Alabama is Phidarian Mathis. It is very common this weekend and Mathis is another one who is pretty much down to Alabama and LSU. It has been a tight race for some time now, and a race that still could go either way. It seems a little momentum may be with the in-state Tigers, but expect the Crimson Tide to push hard for this one this weekend.
Brad Stewart is very quiet about his recruitment, but when you do some digging, it seems this is down to Arizona State, Arkansas and Florida. Florida will get this last visit next weekend and the Gators may hold the lead, so this weekend is big for the Razorbacks.
LSU is likely on the outside looking in for Markaviest Bryant heading into this weekend, so if they want to have a real shot at signing this edge rusher out of Georgia, they have to blow him away. Auburn and Georgia are the favorite. He visited Georgia last weekend and he will trip to the Plains next weekend.
Miami will get their shot with East St. Louis (Ill.) four-star wide receiver Jeff Thomas. A one-time Illinois lean, this one is trending away from the Illini and the Hurricanes will get their shot to impress him this weekend as it will be his first time on campus.
Carmel (Ind.) tight end Kurt Rafdal, a recent de-commit from Indiana, will visit the Iowa Hawkeyes this weekend. Tight end is a remaining need in the class for the Hawkeyes and their tradition at the position should be a benefit in their recruitment of the 6-foot-7 prospect. He is also considering Nebraska, Auburn and LSU.
Indiana is set to host Pickerington (Ohio) Central running back Morgan Ellison, who they offered on Wednesday. Ellison was an Ohio commit, but de-committed as more interest came through. The Hoosiers were his first power-five offer. A big, athletic kid, his recruitment took off late because he was injured as a sophomore and junior but he made up for lost time during camps last summer and in his senior season.
Ohio State is looking to close their class strong and they may add four-star in-state offensive tackle Thayer Munford to the fold. He does not currently hold an offer but is visiting the Buckeyes this weekend and the belief is that, should an offer be extended, he would end up as a Buckeye. If not, Kentucky is believed to be the team to beat.
Illinois will have offensive tackle Alex Palczewski on campus this weekend. The in-state prospect blew up late in the process with Illinois being his first power-five offer. We believe a good visit this weekend could greatly increase the chances that he ends up in the class. Syracuse and Vanderbilt are among his other choices.
K'Lavon Chaisson will be making his second official visit and it will be to Texas. He is fresh off of his first official visit to LSU that he rated a 1000 on the 1-10 scale. He is a very important recruit for Tom Herman and his staff at UT. Chaisson moved up to a five-star prospect on Scout on Wednesday and is the No. 1 DE prospect in the Midlands region. He is a true edge-bender with the skill set to get after the quarterback on each and every snap. He has a tremendously quick get off and plays with maximum effort.
This week Levi Jones is pulling double duty. He is currently on an official visit to UCLA and will finish the weekend off at USC. Last weekend he was at Florida, so that is three trips in a matter of just over a week for the Scout 300 OLB. He could work in trips to Texas A&M and Florida State next week to finish the whirlwind tour off. Many think that this race ends in Florida, but we are keeping a very close eye on the Pac-12 schools here.
Mohamed Sanogo took an official visit to Mississippi State last weekend and now he will be on campus at Ole Miss. It will likely be a battle between these two programs for his signature, as he decided which SEC program fits him best. He was at one time committed to Houston, but switched things up after defensive coordinator Todd Orlando took a job at Texas.
UCLA came in with an offer for the four-star offensive tackle from Austin (Texas) Westlake, Stephan Zabié, this week and he is making a trip out to the West Coast. His teammate at Westlake, Jones, was just there earlier in the week for a visit, so now Zabie gets his turn.
Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) athlete Jaylon Redd will take an official visit to Arizona State this weekend. Redd visited Oregon unofficially last week and remains a soft commit to the Ducks. He'll visit Baylor next week and will likely squeeze in an unofficial mid week trip to UCLA. The Ducks still look like the team to beat but ASU is a serious option for Redd as well.
The Sun Devils will also host Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro safety K.J. Jarrell. California and USC are the other two schools involved with Jarrell but ASU could be the team to beat right now. USC doesn't have much room at the safety position and Cal just brought in a whole new staff. ASU has been on Jarrell hard from the beginning and has recruited him harder than anyone.
Baylor will host Sumner (Wash.) athlete Connor Wedington at the top of the week when he returns from the Polynesian Bowl. The former Washington commit just visited Stanford last weekend and the Cardinal are a heavy leader at this point. Notre Dame and UCLA are trying with Wedington as well and he'll likely wait until Signing Day to make a decision.
Pasadena (Calif.) Muir defensive back Elijah Blades will visit Nebraska this weekend. Blades is a soft commit to Florida but the Huskers are making a big push here. Nebraska DB coach Donte Williams recruited Blades when he was at Arizona so there's already a connection there. USC is on Blades hard as well and is hoping to get a mid-week visit from Blades. He'll be playing in the USA All-American Game next weekend and won't be able to take a visit anywhere.
The Huskers will also host Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian athlete Deommodore Lenoir. Lenoir was an early commitment to Oregon but backed off due to the coaching change. He visited the Ducks unofficially last weekend and has a trip planned to Mississippi State next weekend. UCLA and USC were involved but seemed to have backed off a bit recently and Oregon is looking like a solid leader right now.
Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins athlete Greg Johnson will be at Oregon this weekend. He has already visited Nebraska and Notre Dame and will check out USC next week. The Trojans are the team with some momentum right now but Nebraska has always been high on his list as well. It will be interesting to see how much ground Oregon can make up this weekend. Johnson will be a Signing Day decision.
National recruiting analysts Allen Trieu, Brandon Huffman, Brian Dohn, Chad Simmons, Greg Biggins and Greg Powers contributed to this notebook.null