NSD Question of the Day: Which final weekend visit stands out?
With National Signing Day less than a week away, the Rivals analysts answer a question each day. Today, the analysts are asked which final weekend visit is most important and why.
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ROB CASSIDY, Florida analyst
Whichever school closes with Zachary Evans will ignite its fan base, so Tennessee and Georgia are programs to watch. Florida State could also have a strong close, as they hope a recent in-home visit with Rivals100 commit Malachi Wideman is enough to hang on to his pledge through signing day.
ADAM FRIEDMAN, Mid-Atlantic analyst
A committed top-five player taking an official visit to a school he’s not committed to is important at any point in the recruiting process. Georgia commit Broderick Jones taking an official visit to Auburn the weekend before signing day is huge. The No. 5 player in the nation has been committed to Georgia since April 2018, but Auburn has made a major push over the last few months. Jones actually flipping after being committed for nearly two years would be unbelievable.
ADAM GORNEY, National and West analyst
The word right now is that five-star Evans is not supposed to visit anywhere on the final weekend before signing day, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up on a campus. Florida State had been mentioned but if he doesn’t take a trip that has to bode very well for Ole Miss.
For guys on the road, I’m taking Jordan Burch to South Carolina as the most-important visit of the weekend. I don’t care that it’s literally down the road. What’s important here is that it feels like LSU is surging in the closing days and coach Will Muschamp has to sway that back to the Gamecocks. It will be a huge trip to reinforce to Burch why he picked South Carolina in the first place. Losing him like this - especially to LSU - would be brutal.
JOSH HELMHOLDT, Midwest analyst
In the Midwest, the biggest visit this weekend is four-star St. Louis offensive guard Jalen St. John and whether he goes to Missouri. A former Missouri commit, St. John took an official visit to Arkansas the weekend of Jan. 17 and the Razorbacks look like the team to beat right now. He had originally planned to officially visit Florida State this weekend, but the commitment of Robert Scott to the Seminoles earlier this week ended the chance of this visit. This will be one of the most closely-watched two-team battles heading into Signing Day next week.
CHAD SIMMONS, Southeast analyst
Jones is the No. 1 offensive tackle this cycle, and it shows he’s committed to Georgia on his profile, but is he? He will be at Auburn this weekend, and the Tigers have made this one very interesting. Jones has also taken official visits to Arkansas and Illinois, but this will come down to two SEC foes that go head-to-head on the field every year.
Georgia had Jones in Athens last weekend, and the Bulldogs may have grabbed a little momentum, but this one is far from done. This weekend will be huge for Auburn, Georgia and Jones. Both teams are in need of another elite offensive tackle in this class, so this one is likely to go down to the wire. Jones will announce his decision at 10 a.m. on Feb. 5.
SAM SPIEGELMAN, Texas and Louisiana analyst
You can easily make the case that four-star Princely Umanmielen returning to Texas and possibly heading up to Waco is critical toward his eventual decision on Wednesday, or that Ashaad Clayton returning to Boulder one last time before deciding between the Buffs and Gators looms large, or that Donovan Kaufman's first visit up to Baylor might ultimately be the visit that provides some clarity in his upcoming decision.
However, the biggest visit of the weekend is really wherever Evans ends up. He could wind up visiting USC or maybe even Florida State or there could be a wild card thrown in there as well. The feeling is if he takes a visit this weekend then he could wind up at that school as his recruitment continues to stay wild in the closing days before signing day.