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Weekend Visit Preview: Marquee match-ups attract top prospects

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Notre Dame and Stanford will be squaring off again in South Bend.
Notre Dame and Stanford will be squaring off again in South Bend. (AP Images)

The first month of the college football season ends this weekend with a pair of Top 10 match-ups headlining the slate of Saturday games. Top 10 confrontations attract top college football prospects, so it is no surprise State College and South Bend make our list as we look at the biggest recruiting weekends across the country for Sept. 29.

Top remaining targets for Big Ten teams | SEC | ACC | Pac-12 | Big 12


Miles Sanders
Miles Sanders (AP Images)

With the class of 2018 Penn State made the best effort to end Ohio State’s eight-year reign atop the Big Ten team recruiting rankings, but ultimately the Nittany Lions fell a few hundred points short and settled for second. James Franklin and Co. are making another strong bid to unseat the Buckeyes in the 2019 class, and they are utilizing the annual on-field showdown between the two Top 10 ranked teams to mount an offensive.

The contingent of prospects headed to Happy Valley on Saturday is headlined by an official visitors list that could reach double digits, and includes key targets such as Indianapolis wide receiver David Bell, Brooklyn defensive end Adisa Isaac and Arizona safety Noa Pola-Gates. LSU commit Kardell Thomas is also scheduled to officially visit and is one of at least six five-stars expected at Saturday’s game.

Penn State’s 16 commitments in the 2019 class have the Nittany Lions currently ranked second in the Big Ten’s 2019 team recruiting rankings, but they are more than 200 points ahead of Ohio State, which sits third with 14 commitments. This weekend could be a watershed moment in the 2019 Big Ten team recruiting title race, both because of what happens on the field and how successful Penn State is in impressing its visitors.



Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray (AP Images)

Oklahoma’s where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain, and it’s also where top football recruits in the 2019 class will be congregating to watch the Sooners take on Baylor in their bid to remain undefeated. This weekend will be primarily official visitor driven, and three of the four prospects expected to make their official visits reside in the 2019 Rivals250.

Four-star Florida safety Jordan Battle may be the most interesting name on the official visit list because Battle has been committed to Ohio State since June. That commitment came immediately after taking an official visit to Columbus – his only other official visit in the process. Fellow Florida native Kenny McIntosh will also be on an official visit to Oklahoma this weekend, as will Dallas-area safety Jalen Catalon.

Representatives of Oklahoma’s Top 10-ranked recruiting class will also be on-hand to welcome this weekend’s official visitors, including five-star wide receiver Trejan Bridges and four-star tight end Austin Stogner. The list of unofficial visitors likely will not be too extensive, but it includes the No. 1 prospect in-state for 2020, Tulsa wide receiver Javian Hester.



Christian Wilkins, left, and Clelin Ferrell
Christian Wilkins, left, and Clelin Ferrell (AP Images)

The Bulldogs were a party to one of our top five visit weekends last Saturday when they traveled to Missouri. This weekend they are the hosts, and while only one official visitor is expected to be in attendance when the Tennessee Volunteers come to town for a 3:30 ET kickoff, the list of unofficial visitors is lengthy and distinguished.

Starting with the official visitor, though, it is Dallas four-star safety Lewis Cine, who will be making his penultimate official visit ahead of a planned October decision. While having the No. 84-ranked prospect in the Rivals100 on-campus is big, the highest-ranked expected visitor will be five-star offensive center Clay Webb. Georgia is battling home-state programs Alabama and Auburn for Webb’s services, and this will be a key visit as this recruitment hits the home stretch.

With an 18-member 2019 class that ranks No. 1 currently in the team recruiting rankings, Georgia will have the benefit of commitments on-hand to help encourage the undecided visitors to join them in Athens. The list of underclassmen visitors is also impressive, with five-stars Myles Murphy and Arik Gilbert among the expected crowd.



Jafar Armstrong
Jafar Armstrong (AP Images)

There is a second match-up of Top 10 ranked teams on Saturday, this one going down in South Bend, where No. 8 Notre Dame will host No. 7 Stanford. Though not as revered in the history of Notre Dame football as its rivalry with another Pac-12 program, USC, the game against Stanford has been played annually since 1997, and the Cardinal has won the last three meetings.

Since taking over at Notre Dame, Brian Kelly has always taken advantage of home football games to host visitors, and he has never shied away from having big recruiting weekends in conjunction with the biggest home games on the schedule. That will again be the case this weekend, with top prospects from across the country headed to South Bend, including California four-star tight end Isaiah Foskey and Houston three-star wide receiver Genson Hopper. Both will be official visitors.

The majority of Saturday’s expected recruiting visitors will be underclassmen. Four-star St. Louis teammates Reggie Love and Teriyon Cooper are among the biggest names, as is class of 2021 quarterback Tyler Buchner out of San Diego, who already holds a Notre Dame offer. The Fighting Irish already have three commitments in the class of 2020, and their 18-member 2019 class ranks 15th nationally.



Skylar Thompson
Skylar Thompson (AP Images)

There are several schools that have two or three official visitors expected for the weekend, including Arizona State, Kentucky, Nebraska and Washington. We’re holding the final spot on this list for Kansas State, though, because having three official visitors in Manhattan for a home football weekend is a huge weekend for the Wildcats in the Bill Snyder era. These are the first official visitors of the season for Kansas State, which only hosted a couple official visitors back in the spring.

The biggest name among Kansas State’s expected official visitors is four-star running back Daniel Carter out of Florida. Carter has taken one previous official visit to Pittsburgh back in June, but is considered pretty wide open heading into the final three months of the recruiting process. He will be joined by another Florida-based official visitor in Zay Flowers, whom the Wildcats project to defensive back, and Georgia three-star Neil Ilenerey, who is listed as a safety, but is being recruited to play linebacker by Snyder and Co.

Kansas State’s location away from major metropolitan areas means the list of unofficial visitors will not be as long as they are at Penn State or Georgia, but a few key in-state targets are also expected, including offensive tackle Hayden Pauls, the No. 3-ranked state of Kansas prospect in the 2020 class. Kansas State has just eight commitments in its 2019 class, which ranks outside the top 80 in the country. The Wildcats will play host to Big 12 rival Texas on Saturday in the stadium named for its head coach and his family.