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Georgia, Oklahoma Among Programs Hosting Critical Recruits This Weekend

There is still plenty at stake in college football's recruiting class of 2022 less than two weeks from National Signing Day

Pop open social media, especially Twitter, in the college football space and you're likely to see similar this week. There will be a chunk of transfer portal updates and new scholarship offers rolling out to high school recruits with coaches making campus visits all over the country. 

Most of those coaches will be flying back to their respective schools in the next 24 hours, though, as critical visit weekends lie ahead before the class of 2022 officially begins to wrap up on National Signing Day February 2. 

Programs in transition typically have more spots available this time of year, so some of the biggest visit weekends are of course planned at LSU, Florida, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oregon, etc., but some of the heavy hitters looking to cap the class with the last piece or two are also in line for important visitors on campus. 

Sports Illustrated looks at the 10 most intriguing visits set for the weekend. 

DE Shemar Stewart - Georgia

The top uncommitted recruit in the nation, Stewart has long been down to his final three of Texas A&M, Miami and Georgia -- likely in that order. The Aggies surged late in the fall like it did with most elite prospects en route to the No. 1 class to date and Miami has made up ground with the local star since Mario Cristobal took over. The Canes were the first school to see him during the contact period, showing up in droves at his house at midnight last Friday, and they will get the last visit next weekend. It means this trip to Georgia will likely make or break UGA's chances at contending for the best pass rusher class in the country with fellow SI99 recruits Mykel Williams, Marvin Jones and Darris Smith already on board. 

S Jacoby Mathews - Florida

The top available defensive back in the country is a former LSU verbal commitment and there's no doubt a big part of that initial pledge from Mathews was to notable assistant coach Corey Raymond. Of course the longtime LSU coach was the splash hire of Billy Napier's new coaching staff at Florida, and now Mathews will get to see Gainesville for the first time. Throw in the fact that Napier's Louisiana-based staff had long recruited Mathews and their previous stop and UF projects as an interesting dark horse in a race still busy with programs like LSU, Alabama, Texas A&M, Texas and others competing for his signature. 

DE Caden Story - Clemson

A versatile defensive lineman out of Lanett (Ala.) High School, Story had been a longtime verbal commitment to local Auburn University until last weekend as other programs have continued to push for a change of heart. While AU is still in the mix, per the senior All-American Bowl standout, it's Clemson and Florida making up ground in short order before pen meets paper on signing day. The ACC Tigers are the newest offer on the table and he'll see Death Valley this weekend along with multiple Alabamians as Pelham (Ala.) High School product Dabo Swinney looks to again close well on the recruiting trail. 

TE Danny Lewis - Alabama

The late-rising tight end recruit has played his way up SEC recruiting boards and his last three offers help to tell that story. The New Iberia (La.) Westgate star backed off of a fall commitment to Luke Fickell and Cincinnati on January 12 and earned the in-state offer from Brian Kelly's LSU staff the same day. Florida and Alabama would follow over the next week and now trips to each are on the docket over the next two weekends. Alabama is up first and it will need to make a banner impression to win the late race for Lewis, who would become the fifth Louisianan to jump on board should he elect to roll with the Crimson Tide.

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RB Trevonte' Citizen - LSU

Speaking of coveted Louisianans, another former LSU commitment is in focus with running back Trevonte' Citizen. A bevy of programs have been pushing to get the Lake Charles (La.) Prep star on campus down the home stretch and he has already shown up at Auburn, has plans to get to Florida and will be on campus again at LSU this weekend. Of course Citizen committed to Ed Orgeron's staff initially, back in July 2021, so it goes without saying the new group has its work cut out for it. Citizen averaged 11.4 yards per carry as a senior. 

RB Jordan James - Oregon

A longtime Georgia Bulldog commitment who did not sign in December, James has become coveted late in the game by Oregon, Florida and others. The Tennessean will see each of the two programs under new management over the next two weekends as both staffs have made enough of an impression in short order. The national champion Bulldogs signed SI99 running back Branson Robinson in December but are set to lose several from the title backfield to graduation and/or the NFL Draft. 

IDL Ahmad Moten - Oklahoma

Brent Venables should help the defensive recruiting profile of the Sooners improve, along with new assistant Todd Bates, and the duo combining to court Moten could be tough to compete with. The Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Cardinal Gibbons star has many suitors, from Tennessee to North Carolina and local Miami but our eyes are on the Sooners right now. The Hurricanes will get the last visit in what should be the banner prospect weekend January 28, so it could come down to the two programs working with new head coaches in the end. 

"Coach Venables recruited me at Clemson," Moten recently told SI. "He was recruiting me hard at Clemson, but then he made the move to Oklahoma, and I was his first offer as the head coach at Oklahoma. 

"That is special to me because he is trying to take a chance on me and keep the program where it is at or do even better." 

S Gentry Williams - Oklahoma

A longtime in-state OU pledge who picked the program under Lincoln Riley's regime, Williams has been courted by other schools in the meantime. Now that he will be back in Norman for the Venables approach, it will be interesting to see if he shuts it down and signs with the Sooners after all. This will be Williams' second official visit to OU, permitted by the NCAA because of the change of leadership within the program. Florida is pushing among those on the outside looking in. 

LB EJ Lightsey - Georgia

A summer commitment to Florida out of south Georgia, Lightsey backed off of the Gators just before the early signing period but he looks like he will play in the SEC either way. South Carolina holds some momentum going into the weekend, but he will see the in-state Bulldogs to gauge the changes on Kirby Smart's defensive staff before a final decision. It's Shane Beamer and USC who get the final official visit next weekend, though. Both programs spent time at the Lightsey household last week. 

OT Matthew McCoy - UCF

As far as dark horse chances go, UCF hosting the hottest offensive tackle recruit in the state of Florida could go a long way towards pushing for an upset. It is likely shaping up to be a Sunshine State battle for the athletic, converted tight end talent, who is also being pushed by Miami and Florida, among others. The Hurricanes got him on campus last weekend and McCoy has since been visited by Florida, where he will trip next weekend to close out his recruitment. Gus Malzahn and company have beaten Power 5 programs for several current signees, but beating two in the home state for a truly coveted target like McCoy would be arguably the best win of the cycle for the Knights.