SI99: The country’s best college football rookies on the move

October presents a new sensation in college football recruiting. The summer boom on various engagement lists seems trivial, as the best in the country hit the road for big game tours and inch closer to the only tangible brand in the business – signing day.

The early signing period opens on December 15, so programs and prospects are mostly focused on the actual end of the process.

Over the weekend, there was no recruiting scenario bigger than that of the most coveted senior, Travis Hunter. On Friday night, the No.1 SI All-American prospect made headlines with a frightening leg injury, which eased hours later after SIAA and NoleGameDay reported the leg injury. would not require surgery.

Just as Hunter was wrapping up his social media thanks, he became the surprise visitor to Georgia’s noon kickoff against Arkansas. The Florida State Commitment hadn’t visited a campus beyond Tallahassee in quite some time and despite the good things about the long-term commitment to Mike Norvell and his staff, maybe see the best team in the country in person in such a dominant way wouldn’t hurt the Bulldogs’ chances of making a late flip.

Losing Hunter would be as upsetting to FSU loyalists as seeing Sam Howell travel to North Carolina state after a seemingly strong engagement in 2018. Hunter has not commented on the trip to Athens and likely won’t. , although he took to social media to support a fellow Seminole who reaffirmed his status with the 1-4 program. A source close to Hunter said the trip was meant to be done “to the bottom,” a tall order in the age of social media.

Time will tell us.

Georgia has had a busy weekend with visitors, including others in the SI99, from Edge No.2 Shemar stewart to another banner prospect engaged elsewhere in Mykel williams. The USC engagement recently visited Florida and may continue to travel after Clay Helton’s sack in Los Angeles.

Move up

A pair of top prospects ranked at or near the top at their respective positions have pushed back their engagement dates.

Top 10 prospect and defensive lineman from Lakeland (Florida) Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy, who will likely miss the remainder of the 2021 season recovering from hand surgery, has long been in Oklahoma and Texas A&M. He will now decide between the two in the middle of the month, on October 12, he announced via social networks.

First recruit close Jaleel skinner pushed him on his decision day, too. The IMG Academy star, who is from South Carolina, is expected to step down from the board before the end of the week. Skinner has long held the top five for Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Miami and Texas. He visited Florida for the Alabama game and was on the Florida State campus for its opener against Notre Dame.

Arche watch

The most popular name in the recruiting game, overall, is of course Manning Arch. 2023 New Orleans (La.) Star Isidore Newman with that certain last name himself has been busy on the visit trail. After leading the Greenies to a 3-0 start to the 2021 season, the junior traveled to Tuscaloosa to see Alabama’s convincing victory over Ole Miss. He had been in Georgia for his game against South Carolina two weeks previously and Manning has trips to the bridge for Texas, Clemson and Ole Miss throughout the fall.

There is no rush in this recruiting despite so much hype, Newman coach Nelson Stewart confirmed last week. And despite conventional thinking that Manning’s recruiting would be a five-team race between Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ole Miss and Texas, the state’s LSU Tigers still appear to be in the mix. Manning and / or his camp have never liberated a group of top schools, for what it’s worth.

Related: SI All-American Team Recruiting Rankings

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