Weekend visit preview: 5 stars heading to Alabama; Sooners, Trojans set for big visits
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Weekend visit preview: 5 stars heading to Alabama; Sooners, Trojans set for big visits

Jeremy Crabtree13 days
jovantae-barnes
Jovantae Barnes is scheduled to visit Oklahoma this weekend. (Scott Schrader/WeAreSC)

Week 12 of the college football season is upon us and there are a lot of good matchups, which means top recruits will be flocking to campuses again for official and unofficial visits. We’re also less than 30 days until the start of the early signing period, so visits will continue to ramp up. On3 previews the top recruiting trips scheduled for the weekend and breaks down the most important visits.

5-Star Plus+ Evan Stewart to visit Alabama

Alabama hopes to clinch the SEC West title and a berth in the SEC Championship Game with a win this weekend over Arkansas. The Crimson Tide also hopes to clinch some commitments from top targets visiting this weekend.

What was already shaping up as a solid recruiting weekend for Alabama got even better on Wednesday with the news that Frisco (Texas) Liberty Five-Star Plus+ receiver Evan Stewart was going to be in Tuscaloosa for an official visit.

Stewart is ranked as the No. 3 player in the country, according to the On3 Consensus, a complete and equally weighted industry-generated average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. He also ranks as the No. 1 receiver in the country and the top overall player in the Lone Star State.

Even though he’s visiting Alabama this weekend, most intel has Evan Stewart as a “strong lean toward Texas A&M.” On3 Director of Recruiting Chad Simmons reported on Wednesday the Aggies are clearly the team to beat. But it will be interesting to see if the trip to the Capstone shakes up his recruitment.

5-star junior QB also set to visit Alabama

Downey (Calif.) Warren five-star quarterback Nico Iamaleava is one of the most coveted juniors in the country. He is being recruited nationwide, and he’ll also be on campus at Alabama this weekend for an unofficial visit.

This will be Iamaleava’s second trip to Tuscaloosa in the past six months after attending a camp there this summer. The 6-foot-6, 200-pounder holds offers from the Crimson Tide, as well as Oregon, USC, UCLA, Georgia, Ohio State and others. Iamaleava is one of two major quarterback targets in the 2023 class for Alabama, along with No. 1 overall prospect Arch Manning. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Manning has the Crimson Tide among his top five schools, along with Ole Miss, Clemson, Texas and Georgia.

Read more about other visits heading to Tuscaloosa this weekend.

Key RB target Jovantae Barnes to visit OU

The Sooners have made a living out of recruiting Las Vegas over the years – going all the way back to the DeMarco Murray and Ryan Reynolds days back in the early 2000s. The Silver State continues to be kind to Oklahoma in the 2022 class, with the Sooners already having a commitment from On3 Consensus four-star offensive tackle Jake Taylor. Now, the Sooners are hoping to cash in on another Vegas star in four-star running back Jovantae Barnes.

Jovantae Barnes will be in Norman this weekend on an official visit. The trip comes after past visits to Alabama and Florida State. Barnes says he’s “extremely close to a decision.” Intel indicates the Sooners are in a very good spot with him. But still, the visit will be important for Barnes to continue to build a bond with the Sooners.

DL targets also will be in Norman

The Sooners are playing host to one of the top junior college players in the country this weekend on an unofficial visit. Independence (Kan.) Community College DL Jeffrey M’ba will be on campus for the game against Iowa State. He’ll also be at Auburn for an extended weekend of official and unofficial visits for the Iron Bowl. He also has official visits planned to Tennessee (Dec. 3) and Oregon (Dec. 10), and he already visited Miami.

It’ll be interesting to see how hard the Sooners push for a commitment from M’ba this weekend and where things stand after the visit.

Another name that is quickly moving up the charts with the Sooners is On3 Consensus four-star LB Jaishawn Barham out of District Heights (Md.) St. Francis Academy. Barham was basically down to Penn State, South Carolina and Maryland, but the Sooners are now making a big push and will get him on an official visit this weekend. Having St. Frances teammate and On3 Consensus four-star Sooner commit Derrick Moore in on an unofficial alongside Barham certainly doesn’t hurt for the Sooners.

Also scheduled for an unofficial visit is five-star 2023 DL David Hicks of Allen (Texas) High. Hicks is one of the most coveted prospects, regardless of class, in the Lone Star State. The Sooners are definitely a factor in his recruitment, along with Texas A&M and others.

Hicks and M’ba will be joined on the unofficial visit by On3 Consensus four-star junior DL Hunter Osborne of Trussville (Ala.) Hewitt-Trussville. However, Osborne recently said he was wide open and listed the Sooners in a large group of national-level programs.

Read more about Oklahoma’s big recruiting weekend.

USC to host Five-Star Plus+ CB Domani Jackson

Even though the USC Trojans are searching for a head coach, recruiters on campus are still searching for commitments to round out the 2022 class.

The Trojans have the No. 22 class in the country, according to the On3 Consensus Football Recruiting Rank. And where USC finishes up largely could be determined by key official visitors scheduled to be on campus this weekend.

With rival UCLA coming across town, the Trojans are using the opportunity to try and get back in the hunt with Five-Star Plus+ cornerback Domani Jackson of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei.

Jackson made a much-publicized decommitment from USC last week. Intel indicates Alabama, where Jackson visited earlier in the process, has taken a commanding lead in his recruitment. Michigan is also heavily involved.

This will be a critical visit for the Trojans. Jackson has a special bond with USC interim head coach Donte Williams. But there still is no guarantee he will be there once the Trojans figure out their coaching situation. This weekend’s trip could go a long way toward helping Jackson feel good about all the other things USC has to offer – including the NIL potential.

Also scheduled to come in for official visits are On3 Consensus four-star WR Kevin Coleman out of the St. Louis area. Three-star running back Jaydn Ott of Norco (Calif.) High is also scheduled to take an official visit.

Some key unofficial visitors are coming to campus, including On3 Consensus five-star offensive tackle Josh Conerly Jr. and four-star safety Zion Branch.

Read more about USC’s key recruiting weekend.

Buckeyes to host QB Devin Brown

The start of a monster two-game stretch for the Ohio State Buckeyes begins this weekend with Michigan State. It also begins with quarterback Devin Brown – one of the few remaining top targets on the Buckeyes’ board – making an official visit.

Brown, the No. 59 player according to the On3 Consensus, is committed to USC. But until the Trojans have a coach, other schools – namely Ole Miss, Texas, Ohio State, BYU and UCLA – aren’t going to stop pursuing him.

Brown caller from Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon raved about his official visit in October to Ole Miss, and he also gave the visit last weekend to Texas high marks. Now it’s the Buckeyes turn to impress.

Read more about why Brown’s visit is important for Ohio State.

Utah using big game for big visit weekend

Oregon heads to Utah for what should be one of the biggest games of the weekend and Pac-12 division titles on the line. The Utes plan on using the game as a massive recruiting weekend with around nine official visitors expected.

Sources in Salt Lake told On3 they’re hoping to keep some of the official visit names under the radar – largely because they are committed to other schools.

That being said, the Utes plan on hosting recent commitment Chris Reed of Apopka, Fla., on an official visit this weekend. Reed committed to Utah on Oct. 6.

Also scheduled to visit is On3 Consensus three-star safety Wade Woodaz of Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit. The Utes joined the mix for him last month with a scholarship offer. DL Isaiah Ward of Ontario (Calif.) Colony is another name to watch this weekend on an official visit. Oregon State is the Utes’ top competition for Ward.

And the final confirmed visitor is juco cornerback Moses Alexander of Kilgore (Texas) Junior College. Alexander has 17 scholarship offers and is also scheduled to visit Missouri on Dec. 3. Tennessee, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi State and Texas Tech are also involved.

Other key visits:

  • Charlestown (Ind.) five-star offensive tackle Kiyaunta Goodwin took an official visit to Florida State last weekend. This weekend, the Kentucky commit will be in College State on his official visit to Texas A&M. “When I expressed I was going to take my visits, the communication picked up big time,” Goodwin said. “On the visit, I just want to meet the staff in person and get a feel for the culture, the atmosphere, as well as the players.”
  • Key visitors at Miami this weekend will are On3 Consensus four-star CB Khamauri Rogers, a long-time commit to the Canes who is also getting heavily recruited by Mississippi State, and four-star linebacker Wesley Bissainthe. Bissainthe recently announced he will make his college commitment on Dec. 4. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder holds more than two dozen offers. But he has largely focused on the Seminoles, Miami, Penn State, Florida and West Virginia since this summer.
  • Ole Miss will play host to committed four-star DL Zxavian Harris on an official visit this weekend. He is the top overall commitment in the Rebels’ class and the No. 162 player in the On3 Consensus. Also expected to be in for an unofficial visit is Oregon OT commit Percy Lewis of Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. Both the Rebels and Mississippi State are pushing Lewis hard to flip.
  • Three-star IOL Jacarrius Peak of Valdosta (Ga.) High will be on campus at NC State this weekend for an unofficial visit. However, Matt Carter of The Wolfpacker is reporting that Peak will return next weekend for an official visit. Peak is a fast-rising prospect that has become a priority target for the Pack.
  • It’s not a monster recruiting weekend for Notre Dame. But one name to keep an eye on coming in for an unofficial visit is Christian Gray of St. Louis DeSmet. Gray is the No. 192 player in the 2023 class and the Irish are on his list along with Ohio State, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Missouri.
  • Missouri is hosting top 2023 prospect Samuel M’Pemba, a St. Louis native playing at IMG Academy. The On3 Consensus five-star athlete has long list of national programs after him, so it’ll be interesting to see where Mizzou fits in after the visit this weekend.