Lamont Wade

A look at the top visitors in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Pac-12...

Oct. 14 -- Scout takes a look at the biggest visitors for the upcoming weekend in the Power 5 conferences, including some key UCLA targets taking trips...


Five-star cornerback Lamont Wade will make his first official visit, but it is his third trip to Tennessee this season. He will see the Vols take on No. 1 Alabama on a huge visit weekend. This trip could go a long way in determining where Wade winds up. He told Scout previously he plans to visit Penn State (Nov. 5), UCLA (Nov. 19) and Pittsburgh (Nov. 26) before he makes his Dec. 17 decision. The early enrollee attends Clairton (Pa.) High, which has been very good to Pittsburgh the last few years.

This one is not 100 percent set yet, but No. 6 running back Anthony McFarland is planning to officially visit Miami for Saturday's game against North Carolina. McFarland, who is out for the season with a leg injury, was originally going to visit last weekend for the Florida State game, but had to cancel because of Hurricane Matthew. McFarland has long had a strong relationship with Hurricanes coach Mark Richt from his days at Georgia. Tennessee, Maryland and Alabama (Nov. 26 official visit) are also in contention, but it looks like a Miami-Maryland battle.

Jonathan Taylor, who committed to Rutgers in May, will make an official visit to Wisconsin for the game against No. 2 Ohio State in what should be a raucous environment. Taylor has been looking at the Badgers for a while, and the school has a history of recruiting running backs from South Jersey. The Scarlet Knights should consider it a small win if Taylor returns to New Jersey still committed, but there is a chance that happens, especially given other schools (including Virginia Tech) are also pushing for Taylor to make an official visit.


This trip to Florida is official visit No. 3 for center Cesar Ruiz. He has already visited Michigan and North Carolina, so this is the Gators chance to catch up to those two. The Wolverines are viewed as the team to beat, so if the Gators want to become a true player for the Scout 100 offensive lineman, this weekend is crucial.

Brelin Faison-Walden committed to Penn State in July, but he has already taken an official visit to Michigan and now he will check out Georgia this weekend. He also took an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech in September. He is committed, but his recruitment is far from over. This weekend at Georgia should not be too busy with recruits, so this should give Faison-Walden and the UGA staff a lot of time together.

Thomas Johnston has recently added offers from Arizona State and Michigan State, but his attention this weekend will be on Arkansas. The Razorbacks are an SEC school that have Johnston's attention. He likes the style of play in the SEC and he is ready to see what it is like in Fayetteville.

Justin Thomas is an LSU commit, but he is still taking a look at other options. He is an Alabama legacy, and he will take an official visit to Tuscaloosa (Ala.), but Arkansas is the SEC school set to host him this weekend. His commitment to LSU seems fairly solid, but he is not 100-percent to the Tigers.

Georgia commit Robert Beal will take his second official visit, and this one will go to Florida State. This was set up last minute, but Florida State was a school in the running for Beal's commitment in July when he chose Georgia. He still plans to take his final three official visits before enrolling in college in January. His commitment to Georgia remains solid at this time.


Michigan State will get their shot with the top prospect in their home state, Detroit Cass Tech wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones this week. Peoples-Jones visited Ohio State last week and is expected to be in East Lansing on Saturday when the Spartans take on Northwestern. Michigan is considered the leader for Peoples-Jones and it has been a little while since he has been up at MSU, so it is significant for the Spartans that he is making it up this week.

Wisconsin will host several from Cass Tech, but the biggest name expected is safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell, a four-star senior who the Badgers are hoping to climb the ladder on and catch schools like Michigan and Alabama. Along with him will be two juniors, cornerback Kalon Gervin and safety/linebacker DeAndre Square who hold Badger offers and sophomore running back Jaren Mangham, who already holds FBS offers.

It's not an official visit, but Notre Dame will still get an unofficial trip from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star junior cornerback Houston Griffith on Saturday. Originally from Chicago, Giffith has an offer from the Irish and familiarity with the school and program. He has not narrowed down his list, but the Irish are one of the schools we believe has a legitimate chance to land him.


After picking up an offer from the Texas Tech Red Raiders recently, linebacker Riko Jeffers will be in Lubbock this weekend for an official visit. This could be a big trip, because it seems like Tech is the main in-state player for the Texas Hot 100 defender at this time, and any defense could always a tough, hard-nosed inside linebacker in the Jeffers mold. IndianaMississippi StateColorado and Washington State are some other programs to watch closely in his recruitment.

Plano (Texas) East linebacker Anthony Hines will be making it Florida after postponing the official visit by one week, as Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc on the area last weekend and forced the NCAA to postpone the game between UF and LSU. The Gators will be able to make a strong play for the five-star from Texas, as it is likely to be the only SEC program that Hines will visit outside of the his home state. Hines has already taken official visits to Texas A&M and Penn State and after this weekend he will have two visits remaining.

The one-time Tennessee commit, athlete KD Nixon, has been back on the market for awhile now and Colorado is one program that has done a great job with the four-star’s recruitment since that day. The Buffaloes hold a commitment from his DeSoto (Texas) teammate WR Laviska Shenault and he will also be making the trip with Nixon this weekend. Nixon is the type of explosive prospect who could really make waves in the Pac-12, and if CU can reel him in could also help firm up an newly established relationship with the Dallas-area prep power that boasts double digit D1 prospects.


Notre Dame will host the nation's top offensive lineman this weekend when Graham Kapowsin (Wash.) tackle Foster Sarell comes to town. Sarell, Scout's No. 2 overall prospect, has been linked with Stanford and Washington but a summer unofficial visit to South Bend put the Irish right in the middle of this race. Sarell has already visited Nebraska and will take a trip to Alabama later in the year.

La Mirada (Calif.) defensive back Elijah Hicks will also visit Notre Dame. Hicks, who just jumped in to the Scout 300 at No. 259 earlier in the week, took his first visit to Northwestern two weeks ago and is also looking hard at Cal, UCLA, USC and Washington. The athlete is having a tremendous senior year on both sides of the ball and in the return game. He projects as a potential shut down cover corner at the next level.

Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins athlete Greg Johnson is the third West Coast visitor for the Irish. Johnson is a current Arizona commit and seems pretty solid in his pledge but you never know what can happen when a player steps foot on campus. We do think it will take a lot to sway Johnson but South Bend has wowed more than a few visitors in the past.

Colorado had a big group of visitors on campus a few weeks ago and will host another talented group this weekend . Sacramento (Calif.) Inderkum teammates Josh Falo and Trajon Cotton are two of the headliners.

Falo is a Scout 300 prospect and one of the nation's top tight end prospects. Oregon has been thought to be the leader and Falo visited back in September. Cotton is a versatile defensive back who is being looked at primarily as a safety. He has already visited Oregon and Nebraska and will check out Illinois as well.

One of Arizona's key targets, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) defensive back Thomas Graham will be in Tucson this weekend. Graham is ranked the No. 76 player in the country and is a very talented cover corner. Graham already visited Nebraska and Notre Dame and has a November trip with Oregon set up. UCLA is involved here too but we've always felt the Cats were the team to beat.

Mountain View (Calif.) St. Francis running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio will visit Boise State over the weekend. Habibi-Likio de-committed from Washington State last month and just landed an offer from USC a week ago. BYUIowa State and Utah are a few other schools we've heard are involved with the running back.

Oregon State was the first offer for Portland (Ore.) Westview defensive lineman Brandon Pili and he'll be in Corvallis this weekend for a visit. Pili, who moved from Alaska over the summer, is a fast rising prospect that more and more schools are starting to look at. USC offered earlier in the week and Hawaii and Utah should all get visits as well.

Chandler (Ariz.) teammates T.J. Green and Kolby Taylor will also visit Corvallis. Green, a talented running back and Taylor, a big play receiver are both Beaver commits. The Chandler program has been very good to Oregon State over the years and these two prospects could see the field early next fall.

National recruiting analysts Allen Trieu, Brandon Huffman, Brian Dohn, Chad Simmons, Greg Biggins and Greg Powers contributed to this notebook.

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