The spring evaluation period is in full swing and multiple college football coaching staffs are hitting the road, checking in on key prospects throughout the Southeast.
NCAA rules state that an authorized recruiter may visit a prospect once to asses a prospective student-athlete's athletic ability and another to asses a prospect's academic qualifications during the period, which is limited to four weeks at the discretion of the institution from April 15 to May 31, excluding Memorial Day and Sundays.
That means many coaches are dropping by schools that have key targets.
Florida's coaching staff, which has been the top recruiting staff in the Southeast for the past two recruiting cycles, hit the road this week to check up on many elite prospects.
On Monday, Gators head coach Urban Meyer and area recruiter Greg Mattison visited the Jacksonville, Fla., area and paid a visit to First Coast High School. Florida is not giving up on linebacker Nigel Carr, a Florida State commit.
The pair also was at Bartram Trail High to check up on pre-evaluation Rivals100 cornerback Xavier Brewer.
Earlier this week, Florida stopped by Choctawhatchee High in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., to check in on defensive lineman Chris Martin. The 6-foot-6, 270-pounder is coming off a solid showing at the Tallahassee NIKE Camp. Martin, who could potentially play defensive or offensive line, moved well for a prospect with his tremendous size.
On Tuesday, the Gators were one of several teams to check in on Tallahassee (Fla.) FAMU running back Richard Watson.
"Florida, Duke and LSU came by and Georgia Tech is coming in (Thursday)," Watson said.
A Gator coach also was in Nashville earlier this week to check out Montgomery Bell offensive line prospect Preston Bailey.
"So far Florida, North Carolina State, Army and Tennessee have come by," he said. "Clemson is coming by (Thursday)."
On Wednesday, Gators head coach Urban Meyer and recruiter Stan Drayton were in the Atlanta area and stopped by Gainesville High School to check up on defensive end Keith Wells.
The visit reportedly went very well and Wells could be receiving an offer from the Gators soon. Alabama assistant coach Burton Burns also was expected to be in on Tuesday.
Flocking to see Futch
Georgia head coach Mark Richt and linebackers coach John Jancek were in South Florida to check up on Pre-evaluation Rivals100 linebacker Jordan Futch last Friday.
"They couldn't really talk to me, but they were there seeing how I was doing," Futch said.
Futch added that he expects North Carolina assistant John Blake, Florida head coach Urban Meyer and assistant John Holliday and coaches from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, among others to be by the school in the coming weeks.
Tigers in Tampa area
Auburn's coaching staff dropped in at the school of at least two prospects in the greater Tampa Bay/Lakeland area of Central Florida.
Auburn and Iowa dropped in to see Pre-evaluation Rivals100 lineman Matt Patchan. Patchan is one of the Sunshine State's top overall prospects The 6-foot-7, 260-pounder added that more coaches should be by soon.
"There are a lot coming to see me next week," he said.
The Tigers and Central Florida stopped by to check on Frostproof (Fla.) running back Carlton Thomas. Thomas has offers from the Tigers, Golden Knights, Arkansas, Notre Dame and others.
Phillips has attention
On Tuesday, Tennessee was in to check up on sleeper quarterback prospect Curt Phillips of Kingsport (Tenn.) Sullivan South. Wake Forest will be in to check up on the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder on Thursday.
"Tennessee didn't mention anything to my coaches about an offer," Phillips said. "But coach David Cutcliffe is going to come by one of my spring practices.
Phillips picked up a scholarship offer from Duke, his first, last Friday night. On Friday afternoon, he was impressive at the Elite 11 regional workout on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta and also had some very nice moments the following day at the Athens NIKE Camp.
Coaches check out Louisville prospects
Several coaches have stopped in to check up on Louisville (Ky.) Dupont Manuel offensive lineman Dave Ulinksi.
"Coach Joker Phillips from Kentucky came down on Monday," Ulinski said. "Coach Don Dunn from Auburn and one of Tennessee's coaches will be here next week, along with a Western Kentucky coach, too."
A Wildcats coach also stopped by Monday to check on tight end prospect Sam Robey of Louisville Trinity.
Coaches active in Palmetto State
South Carolina wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. visited Moncks Corner High School in Berkeley, S.C., earlier this week to check up on all-purpose back Andre Ellington.
"It went well," Ellington said.
Clemson and Kentucky also are in pursuit of the 5-foot-9, 170-pound speedster. The Tigers are the leaders for his services.
Clemson, North Carolina State and South Carolina coaches have been in to check on Johnsonville (S.C.) offensive lineman Justin Lewis. The Wolfpack remain the only offer for the 6-foot-4, 270-pounder.
Florida recruiter Charlie Strong, one of Rivals.com's Top 25 recruiters for the Class of 2007, is expected to be in the state next Friday to check up on Rivals100 defensive end Robert Quinn and Rivals100 cornerback Charles Whitlock, among others.
This, that and the other
Ole Miss and Mississippi State have been by Hernando (Miss.) High to check up on defensive lineman Andre Wadley. …Ole Miss assistant coach Ryan Neilsen dropped in at Riverwood High in Atlanta to check up on offensive lineman James McIver. A Middle Tennessee State assistant coach also stopped by. … McIver recently picked up a scholarship offer from Air Force. …Tampa (Fla.) Chamberlain wide receiver Fred Sykes expects coaches from Ohio State, Florida, Oklahoma State and Iowa State to stop by to check on him and says Purdue and South Carolina are showing interest. He recently picked up a scholarship offer from Toledo. …Orlando (Fla.) Timber Creek athlete Quincy Quetant has picked up a scholarship offer from Indiana to go along with Troy and Akron. Mississippi State, Central Florida, Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Colorado and Cincinnati are expected to be by the school as well. …Georgia, Georgia Tech, Middle Tennessee State, Louisville, Troy, California and Central Florida all have been by Northview High in Duluth, Ga., to check up on wide receiver Xzavian Brandon and quarterback Justin Tuggle. .. Ole Miss, Memphis, Kentucky and Central Florida came back to check on Marietta (Ga.) Sprayberry safety Brynden Trawick, Michigan State came Wednesday and Louisville will be in on Thursday. …Largo (Fla.) running back Brynn Harvey is expecting Central Florida to stop by and check on him. …Florida State has been by and Florida is expected to check on Tallahassee (Fla.) Florida all-purpose back Santuan McGee. …Louisville and Colorado have been by to check on Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge running back Brandon Davis. Vanderbilt will be in Thursday. Ohio State, Notre Dame, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Boston College, Connecticut and others are expected in during the period as well…. Coaches from Tulsa and Tennessee have been to Camden (Ark.) Fairview High School to check on defensive lineman Lavunce Askew and running back De'Anthony Curtis this week.