At this point in the recruiting process, any advantage is a huge advantage, so the Georgia Bulldogs have to be feeling good about their standing with 5-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.
Tunsil is an elite offensive tackle recruit and has a top two of Alabama and Georgia, according to his 247Sports interest list (Florida State is also in the running). Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide are extremely formidable recruiting opponents to say the least, but in regards to Tunsil, Mark Richt and the Bulldogs have been able to hold their own so far.
In fact, according to Kipp Adams of ESPN.com on the DawgNation message board, Georgia is expected to have an in-home visit today (Tuesday):
UGA is expected to see OT Laremy Tunsil on Tuesday. Mike Bobo and likely Will Friend and John Lilly will be there to see their top OL target. He is taking an official to UGA this weekend.
The timing of this is huge for Georgia, especially considering that Tunsil has an official to Athens coming up this weekend, per Adams. These last final weeks before National Signing Day are arguably the most important in the whole recruiting process, so the more Georgia can make a personal connection with the 5-star offensive lineman, the better.
The official visit is extremely vital because that's when a program can really show a recruit all it has to offer. That said, home visits can be just as crucial to the recruiting process.
First off, it shows a ton of initiative by the program to the recruit. The very fact that coaches (who are notoriously busy) are taking time out of their lives to sit down and talk to a recruit about football, life, school and their future is a huge personal touch. It shows a recruit that the program wants them to be a part of a football family, not just a football team.
This also allows the recruit to ask questions and talk about the logistics of the team with the coaches, and when it's an assistant coach visiting, that's extremely valuable. Remember, while the head coach is the most important figure in a program, players spend most of their time learning from the assistant and position coaches—so building that relationship is integral.
Being able to sit down with the offensive coordinator (Coach Bobo), and potentially his position coach (Coach Friend) and the tight ends coach (Coach Lilly), could offer Tunsil with extremely valuable insight into how Georgia would want to use him as an offensive tackle. I'm sure he already knows that anyhow, but this visit would just reinforce that, and it could very well reinforce Tunsil's recruiting relationship with Georgia.
I still have a very hard time counting Alabama out for any elite recruit (in fact, I predicted that Tunsil will end up with the Crimson Tide), but this is a case where it could go either way—especially after this weekend. If Georgia can make a good impression during the official visit, that plus the in-home visit Tuesday could give them a big-time edge over Alabama.
The whole vibe of Tunsil's recruitment could drastically change if Georgia comes up big this week on the recruiting trail. I'm starting to think the Bulldogs will do just that, and in the process, they'll gain the edge for the 5-star offensive tackle.
Will they be able to hold on to said edge until National Signing Day?
You never really do know in the world of college football recruiting, and that's the fun of it.
We'll have to wait and see, but that Tunsil to Georgia bandwagon is passing by, and I'm strongly considering hopping on.