The holiday weekend coincided with the first weekend of the New Year in which college football prospects could make visits to college campuses, so there is plenty of tangible decisions to look back on.
While the transfer portal remains the hottest topic in the sport, with quarterbacks Chubba Purdy (Nebraska), Robby Ashford (Auburn) and Hunter Johnson (Clemson) making commitments on Monday, along with Georgia's JT Daniels entering the portal -- the prep ranks remains fluid down the home stretch of the recruiting process. The traditional National Signing Day, set for February 2, is quickly approaching and many top recruits have hit the road en route to a final decision.
Many got the process over with while making moves following the NCAA's recruiting dead period ending on Friday morning.
DB Miguel Mitchell - Florida
The Oxford (Ala.) High School defensive back, who broke out as a senior and punctuated the potential with an MVP effort at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game, was set to make multiple visits before a decision. But after spending this weekend in Gainesville with new coaches under Billy Napier, who Mitchell had a relationship with at his previous stop, the hybrid defender shut the process down with his verbal commitment to the Gators. Tennessee was the other finalist and it appears the visit to Knoxville may not happen.
“We trying to bring DBU back to the Gator Nation, that’s all I got to say," Mitchell told All Gators.
Florida now sits with a dozen commitments, most of which were not on board before Napier's staff took over in mid December.
CB Myles Oliver, WR Cole Turner - Clemson
The Tigers' class has been relatively small throughout the 2022 cycle, though it is strong pound for pound with a third of the 14-man class listed as members of the SI99 rankings, but it has a pair of new additions to its collective name. Oliver adds to a defensive back haul that is among the biggest -- and best -- in the class nationally. The Douglasville (Ga.) Douglas County standout rose late in the game and was on campus over the weekend before wrapping the process up. As for Turner, a breakout pass catcher at Birmingham (Ala.) Vestavia Hills in 2021 who rose to the All-State level in the state's highest classification, a CU commitment felt like a matter of when and not if after he was offered on New Year's Eve.
OT Kawika Rogers - Oregon
Dan Lanning's first official visit weekend in Eugene, just days after helping Georgia win the national championship as its defensive coordinator, featured big-name prospects on campus. Rogers becomes the first tangible commitment coming out of the event, profiling as an intriguing late addition for the new coaching staff. Rogers stands a towering 6'6", 320-plus pounds out of his native Hawaii, just one of four Power 5 signees from the island in the cycle according to 247Sports, and the only projected tackle of the bunch. Rogers is effective at the point of contact as his size would suggest, and he has experience at both right and left tackle at the prep level.
DE Francois Nolton - Syracuse
How's this for production? The newest Orange pass rusher had as big a 2021 season as any edge prospect could have hoped for, accumulating 80 tackles, 28 tackles for loss and 25 sacks for south Florida staple Miami (Fla.) Edison High School. A former Florida Gator commitment, the long and lean edge talent reset his recruitment after the coaching change in Gainesville and jumped on the 'Cuse offer after his official visit to Central New York over the weekend. It's a big win for SU, as Nolton becomes the headlining recruit for the Orange class of 2022, now holding steady with 14 recruits on board.
Oklahoma and other programs efforted late in the game for the prospect with an elite first step, but the process is shut down to the program that initially offered him as a high school freshman.
"It felt like home," Nolton told All Syracuse. "Getting me up there early, learning all the plays and work. Get into the weight room."
IOL Van Wells - Colorado
The Buffs are one of those programs that have to hit California and Texas hard from a recruiting standpoint, and the 2022 class added another from the necessary pipeline in Wells. The Houston native is a compact interior offensive line talent who has ascended from tight end to leverage blocker up front as a four-year varsity performer. On a trip to Boulder over the weekend, he made the call to pick the program soon after leaving campus on Sunday. More than half the current recruiting class (13 of 22) under Karl Dorrell comes from the combination of California and Texas. Wells has center experience later in his prep career but those tight end movement skills still show up, along with a grit at the point of contact.
RB Anthony Grant - Nebraska
A junior college recruit and an FBS bounce-back from Florida State's roster a couple years back, Grant was again a coveted recruit this time around. While at New Mexico Military Institute, he earned second-team NJCAA All-America honors after rushing for more than 100 yards per game and 10 touchdowns in just eight games in 2021. Grant was top-five nationally in carries, yards, yards per rush (7.1) and touchdowns this fall. It's safe to expect him to make an immediate impact in Lincoln in Scott Frost's new-look offense in 2022.
Commitments weren't the only big news items coming off of the return of the official visit. Whether it be recruits committing to one program visiting another, like SI99 linebacker Harold Perkins, or uncommitted elites like Shemar Stewart taking that next step -- plenty to to be determined in the final stretch of the process for the 2022 class.
Should there be any late coaching changes, and there is smoke with current Power 5 head coaches like Jim Harbaugh and others looking at the open NFL jobs, expect more last-minute movement in the recruiting game.