The Top 9 Most Important Recruiting Visits for Week 5
Week 5 of the college football season presents several interesting matchups on the field, but also another round of critical visits. Programs across the country are set to host some of their top remaining recruiting targets this weekend.
Some visits have a higher importance than others. Whether it's a 5-star prospect making a visit to one of his finalists, or a high 4-star recruit opting to take a closer look at another school, the focus will be on the most important scheduled visits of the week.
An SEC team has a big weekend planned, and a pair of elite prospects are coming to town. A Pac-12 school will entertain a linebacker from the South, while a Big Ten school has a long lineup of visitors.
Juwann Winfree, ATH
Juwann Winfree is a 4-star athlete who is simply a natural football player. He works mainly as a receiver and defensive back, and his instincts and awareness are his main assets.
Winfree, a 6'2", 180-pound New Jersey native, has solid speed to make big plays. On offense, he can build into his routes off the line, displays a large catch radius and shows big-time ball skills. As a safety, he can sit on top of a defense, get cleanly out of transition to squeeze passing lanes and also flashes the ability to play man coverage.
He'll visit Pitt this weekend, says 247Sports. This is a huge visit for the Panthers because ACC rival Maryland is also hot on Winfree's trail.
Montae Nicholson, S
The initial thing that is impressive about Montae Nicholson is that he is 6'3" and 200 pounds. He displays a long frame, but it has surprising thickness and definition.
Nicholson can play receiver on offense, as he has good hands, solid speed and deceptive short-area quickness. However, his best football appears to be played on defense as a safety. Nicholson makes sure he keeps plays in front of him and has outstanding vision and ball-location skills. Plus, he shows a quick drive to close plays.
The 4-star Pennsylvania native will trip to Pitt this weekend, says 247Sports. Pitt must give Nicholson a lot to think about, or face losing him to perhaps Penn State.
Rashaan Evans, OLB
Anthony Barr, a talented outside linebacker/defensive end, is UCLA's top defender. However, in all likelihood, he'll be gone to the NFL next year. Therefore, the Bruins need to find his replacement, and 4-star 'backer Rashaan Evans could be the guy.
He'll be in Westwood this weekend, says 247Sports.
Evans, who is from Alabama, is 6'3" and 220 pounds. He has good speed, uses his hands well and can buzz back into space to factor in coverage. Evans can pressure passers with quickness and has a good burst to finish on the ball.
UCLA will have to pull out the red carpet, as Auburn, Georgia and Alabama are also among his top schools, reports 247Sports.
Johnnie Dixon, WR
Ohio State has a big game on Saturday versus Wisconsin, but the Buckeyes also have several top-level recruits visiting Columbus this weekend.
From Florida, Dixon is a 5'10", 187-pound receiver who can run sharp routes, quickly detach from coverage and has deceptive strength to break a tackle or two after the catch.
He has the skills to play in the slot and perimeter, which is another reason why Ohio State covets him.
Tyler Luatua, TE
A 4-star prospect, Tyler Luatua is the top tight end in the country. He is a weapon on offense who can explode upfield out of his stance, dart past linebackers, quickly separate and use his soft hands to haul in passes.
Luatua, who is 6'4" and 230 pounds, can be flexed to the slot and perimeter. He also is not allergic to blocking, as he displays good toughness and strength to challenge defenders at the point of attack.
He will visit Ohio State this weekend, according to 247Sports.
John Smith, ATH
John Smith is a 5-star athlete whose skills are far more flashier than his name. The Los Angeles native can impact the game as a receiver or safety due to his great athleticism, speed, agility and strength.
Smith, who is 6'1" and 200 pounds, can explode around the field to make plays. He has good initial quickness as a receiver, shows a second gear when the ball is in the air and has solid run-after-catch skills.
Smith also has great ball-location skills as a safety, loose hips and possesses great range. He's got several schools in the mix, but is scheduled to be at Ohio State this weekend, per 247Sports.
Tony James, RB
Oregon is trying to pull off a big recruiting coup by landing 4-star running back Tony James. Not only is the speedy runner from distant Florida, he resides in Gainesville, which is the headquarters for the Florida Gators.
James will travel to Eugene this weekend, says 247Sports, and there could be some fireworks.
The 5'10", 170-pound runner is a perfect fit for the Ducks offense. He has a shifty running style, excellent speed and outstanding quickness.
Oregon appears to be his leader, via 247Sports. If the visit goes well, perhaps a commitment may be made.
Josh Malone, WR
Landing Malone would not only obviously be a boost for them, but it will also hurt SEC rival Tennessee, who 247Sports say is also hot on Malone's trail.
Standing nearly 6'3", Malone, who is from the Volunteer State, weighs 190 pounds and has a chance to develop into a No. 1 receiver at the next level. He has great build-up speed, athleticism, length and can be a physical bully to cornerbacks.
Raekwon McMillan, LB
Georgia has a great list of visitors for its game versus LSU this weekend, but none are as big and important as 5-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan.
The Peach State native will be in Athens, says 247Sports, and is one of the most critical prospects Georgia can't let slip away.
UGA has some ground to make up with the 6'2", 242-pound 'backer, so the coaches and players will put a lot of focus on McMillan during the trip. He has the size, strength, athleticism and instincts to make an immediate impact in the Dawgs defense as a true freshman.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Don't forget to check out the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map. This serves as an excellent resource for recruiting information, and also allows recruiting fans to see where exactly all of the elite talent is located!
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.