No, this week is not the most important week of recruiting that Georgia will see this season, in fact, the Dawgs are hosting only two prospects this weekend (Bryan McLendon and BJ Fields). But this weekend is big for other teams such as Florida, Auburn, and South Carolina. Georgia has its slowest weekend of the recruiting year, and perhaps that is coming at a great time with the scandal about an alleged rape hitting the papers.
Florida, by far, has the most recruits visiting this weekend. The Gators have 18 prospects visiting including Leonard Pope (who recently committed to Georgia), Richard Washington, and Reshard Dudley (who also recently committed to Georgia). One of the ways for new Florida coach Ron Zook can impress Gator fans anywhere is to steal both Pope and Dudley from underneath the Dawgs.
Auburn's weekend is critical because the Tigers are hosting Kedrick Golston and Marcus McNeill. The Tigers have a ton of commitments right now. Golston and McNeil would make Auburn's list near complete.
Last week, South Carolina got a commitment from Silver Bluff's (Aiken) Troy Williamson after he visited Athens. This weekend he visits the Cocks and Carolina hopes that he can convince the likes of Brandon Jefferies and Leon Washington to commit as well. Because of Carolina's losses in the secondary after the 2001 season, it appears that Washington would be a bigger pick up than Jefferies. The Cocks will also try to persuade Mario Raley this weekend. But Raley says, "right now, Georgia is my leader."
Tennessee continues its great tradition of out of state recruiting this weekend when the Vols host 7 recruits, 6 of which are from out of the state. The biggest recruit this weekend for the Vols is Winston Justice from Long Beach's Polytechnic High. He has the USC Trojans as his leader but is coming to the East only once, and that is to visit Tennessee.
"I had been leaning to USC for a long time," Justice said. "Early on it was UCLA but I felt more comfortable at USC and they recruited me a lot harder."
LSU has nine young men visiting, and the surprising part about it is that the Tigers are only hosting two players from the state of Louisiana. Eric Winston is a highly rated prospect that is visiting the Tigers this weekend.
"LSU is one of the four that I am still considering. I'm going there this weekend." Winston is ranked as the number two tight end in the country.
Georgia only hosts two young men this weekend; they are Bryan McLendon and BJ Fields. McLendon is a wide out from Mays High in Atlanta. It appears that his decision is coming down to Auburn and Georgia. Recently he said that he enjoyed his trip to Auburn.
"I had a real good visit to Auburn. I mean it turned out really well. The best part of the trip was the players. I had a lot of fun being around those guys. I visit Georgia (1-18) next weekend. It will be Auburn or Georgia and this will be a hard decision. Right now, it is 50-50."
BJ Fields, from Camden County, has already committed to the Dawgs. He did so before the new year. "Georgia is a program on the rise that I feel real good about. I also feel good about Coach (Mark) Richt. They are going to start winning championships and I am excited about the opportunity."
So what do the Dawgs stand to win this weekend? It is hard to say. With Kedrick Golston visiting Auburn, Pope in Gainesville, and Jefferies in Columbia the Dawgs have plenty to worry about. But then again, next weekend could be the weekend that the Dawgs might make their move. Georgia hosts 7 players next weekend and they still have several scholarship slots available for prospects.