South: Elite hitting the road

Antonio Conner

Some of the top prospects in the country are taking their first official visits this weekend. Scout gives you a preview of where some of the best will be right here.

Alabama just won their second consecutive national championship on Monday night and they will now host some of the best in America on recruiting visits.

The top offensive tackle in the country is Laremy Tunsil out of Lake City, Fla. and he will be in Tuscaloosa this weekend. This is first of four scheduled official visits. He has named Alabama and Georgia as his co-leaders for some time.

Many other top prospects will be in T-Town with Tunsil this weekend including five-stars Antonio Conner and Matthew Thomas. Conner is the No. 2 safety in the country was scheduled to commit last weekend at the Under Armour All-America game, but he cancelled that. Some think it could be because of how tight the race is between Alabama and Ole Miss. Scout still gives the edge to the Rebels at this time, but this weekend could change that. Thomas is the No. 2 outside linebacker and while most feel he will end up signing with Florida State or Miami, the Miami, Fla. native has expressed interest in the Crimson Tide. You can't ever rule out UA when they get a prospect on their campus either.

Another interesting visitor is Dee Liner. The No. 2 prospect in Alabama is currently committed to Auburn, but there has been a lot of chatter about him ending up at Alabama. Another committed prospect expected in Tuscaloosa is Austin Golsen, an offensive tackle out of Prattville, Ala. who is committed to Florida State.

Two of the top uncommitted prospects in their respective states will check out the Tide as well. Four-star defensive end Tim Williams out of Baton Rouge, La. and four-star defensive tackle Jaynard Bostwick out of Port Saint Lucie, Fla. This will be the first official visit for both prospects.

No other school in the South will have a weekend like Alabama this week, likely not this month, but plenty of the other top prospects will be on the road this weekend.

Clemson does have three of their top remaining targets visiting. Five-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams out of Vienna, Ga., four-star offensive guard Tyrone Crowder out of Rockingham, N.C., and Scout100 defensive end Carl Lawson out of Alpharetta, Ga. will be there. Clemson is in very good shape with each prospect. They likely lead for Crowder, they are either at the top or near the top for Adams, and although Lawson is still an Auburn commitment, Clemson and Ole Miss are at or near the top of his list. This is Crowder's first visit and Adams' second visit. He visited Florida last weekend.

The top safety in the country is Vonn Bell out of Rossville, Ga. and he will be at Ohio State this weekend. This will be his first official visit of three. Many feel the Buckeyes lead heading into this visit. He is scheduled to be at Alabama next weekend, then at Tennessee the following weekend.

Another elite athlete prospect will spend the weekend in Columbus, Ohio and that is Corn Elder. He is a speedster out of Nashville, Tenn. and this will be his second official visit. He has already visited UCLA. The Buckeyes want him as a scat-back.

Reuben Foster, the top linebacker in the country, and the No. 2 overall prospect will be traveling across the country to Washington. This will be his first official visit as well. He has another visit scheduled with Georgia for the weekend of January 26. Foster visited Washington unofficially over the summer.

Jeremy Pruitt being hired by Florida State has already paid off on the recruiting trail and they hope it does again. Pruitt helped the Seminoles steal Scout100 defensive lineman Demarcus Walker from Alabama this past weekend and he will now try to take five-star corner Jalen Ramsey from USC. Ramsey was thinking about visiting Alabama this weekend originally, but now he will be in Tallahassee. This is one to watch. Florida is another school very much involved here.

The 'Noles are hosting some other top targets as well. Four-star defensive tackle Keith Bryant, a former Miami commitment, and a four-star defensive end Tashawn Bower, a former Auburn commitment.

Zach Cunningham will likely sign with Auburn or Oregon and he is taking an official visit to Auburn this weekend. He is a prospect that really emerged this season and Scout quickly moved him to four-stars as soon as we saw his senior tape. He is an outside linebacker out of Pinson, Ala.

A couple of Florida four-star skilled athletes will be on the road as well. Wide receiver James Clark is scheduled to be at Nebraska and former South Florida commitment Asiantii Woulard will be at Kentucky. He is a big 6-foot-4, 215 pound quarterback.

South Carolina has been coming on strong with Shaquille Wiggins, a Georgia commitment, and they will have him in Columbia this weekend. Wiggins is the top cornerback in Georgia and he has already taken his official visit to UGA. He plans to visit Florida, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M before Signing Day.

South Florida is scheduled to have two of the top offensive linemen in their home state on their campus. Denver Kirkland is out of Miami and Ira Denson, a Florida State commitment out of Madison will be both be in Tampa. Both are members of the Scout300.

Another prospect to watch is wide receiver Marquez North, one of the top prospects in North Carolina. He was originally scheduled to visit Clemson, but that visit will no longer take place. He could visit Tennessee instead. It may be down to the Vols and North Carolina now.

Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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