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Key Weekend Recruiting Visit Slate Includes Arch Manning at Georgia

SEC programs set to host top recruits over the weekend, led by Georgia, Florida and Auburn

Spring football is underway for most every big-name college program in America. Position battles and the transfer portal will again surface as primary talking points over the coming month to five weeks, but so will recruiting. 

Programs coast to coast continue to host top talent while showcasing the latest samples of their potential football product, and the coming weekend has a particularly strong draw in SEC country. From the top available class of 2022 recruit in Lebbeus Overton to the recruit even the most casual fan has heard of in Arch Manning -- many of the nation's best are hitting the road. 

Sports Illustrated locks in on 10 key trips expected between Friday and Sunday.

QB Arch Manning - Georgia

Whenever that last name is headlining any type of visit, folks will pay attention to and/or talk about it and rightfully so. The first public visit in 2022 for the world's most famous football recruit goes to the last team standing from 2021, UGA. Kirby Smart and offensive coordinator Todd Monken have long been tied on trying to lure the New Orleans (La.) Isidore Newman star to the SEC East, but the family has long been more familiar with now-departed Bulldog offensive line coach Matt Luke. On what would be Manning's third trip to Bulldogs, it's the first without Luke assisting the effort. More importantly for the Manning camp, however, is the Saturday practice Arch is slated to take in while in town. The camp has made it no secret that scheme and offensive potential will play a key role in determining the final decision for Manning, so a fresh look at the Bulldog offense without a frantic game day routine could be the key to the trip overall. 

DE Lebbeus Overton - Georgia

Can the Bulldogs keep the top available class of 2022 recruit within state lines? Overton and his brother were at Oregon last weekend and came away impressed, but this recruitment could be shaping up to be a Smart vs. Jimbo Fisher situation in the end. The two champion head coaches have traded blows on the trail over the last few cycles but the Overton recruitment plays like a championship bout given a win could provide immediate return when he enrolls at his school of choice this summer. The new faces on staff under Smart will get to assist in the effort, especially with the senior's camp expected to arrive in Athens late in the weekend. The red and black carpet used for Manning could be redirected Overton's way in timely fashion in what should be a key opportunity to impress right before the top prospect goes back to College Station. 

QB Dante Moore - Florida

In breaking down how the quarterback dominos are set to begin to fall from a national standpoint, Moore could be among the first to make a verbal commitment. SEC programs have continued to intrigue the Detroit native but Florida is most recent to the party, having offered just a few weeks before what will be Moore's initial visit to Gainesville. Notre Dame, Michigan, LSU and many others have much more experience recruiting the coveted passer, so Florida will have to strike the right chords in what could be a first and last impression of Billy Napier's program before a decision is to be made. If you're Florida, the hope here is that the visit gives Moore so much to think about he slows the commitment process and potentially gets back down to see the program again. 

QB Christopher Vizzina - Auburn

Another key quarterback on the road this weekend is the Briarwood Christian star, traveling down U.S. Route 280 in his native Alabama to go see Auburn for the first time since watching a classic Iron Bowl between AU and rival Alabama in November. Since then, he has become a priority for Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia and Ole Miss, among others, so the need for Bryan Harsin and his staff to hold the Birmingham-area native's attention plays paramount. Vizzina is another who could be closing in on a decision timetable, so the trip is also quite timely for the Tiger coaching staff. If there is one recruit who could begin to reverse the perception of the programs recruiting potential with Harsin at the helm, it would be Vizzina. Having to beat blue bloods at the game's most important position is an uphill battle as it currently stands, though. 

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CB Cormani McClain - Florida

Arguably the top defensive back in the country, every program wants to get the Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson star on campus for a fresh look at their program and this will be the first impression the new Florida staff gets to make on him. The lengthy two-way star has been busy on the trail of late, taking in USC and Alabama with plenty of buzz coming the Crimson Tide's way having hosted McClain and his mother in Tuscaloosa -- but the feeling is that the race could be far from over with the rising senior. Georgia and Miami have also gotten him on campus and figure to be players in the recruitment, so like with many elites, UF has its work cut out for it. However, the strong staff Napier has built in Gainesville, perhaps headlined by elite defensive back instructor and assistant head coach Corey Raymond gives the Gators a fighting chance. The program has had no issue getting elite talent on campus under the new administration.

S Tony Mitchell - Georgia

It's shaping up to be a classic SEC recruiting battle for the Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson High School star. Mitchell has been on radar for four years, dating back to a freshman commitment to Tennessee, and has seen his stock maintain high status since as one of the premier defensive back projections in the class. Over the last 12-18 months, Alabama has prioritized keeping the balanced safety within state lines in an almost simultaneous rise with Smart's Bulldogs. Florida, Clemson, Texas A&M and most recently USC have attempted to gain footing with Mitchell, who will also see Auburn this weekend, but the battle at the top is between Nick Saban and his former assistant coach as it currently stands.

CB AJ Harris - Florida

As well-built and technical a cornerback as there is in the class of 2023, Harris has the type of suitors one would expect as a premiere player at the position. Buzz has bounced around from Ohio State to Clemson and of course Alabama and Georgia for the Phenix City (Ala.) Central star, but Florida has held staying power in the race as well. There is already strong familiarity with Gainesville and the aforementioned Raymond is as noted an assistant at the position as there is nationally, but the appeal of playing for one of the 'DBU' contenders stretches well beyond. Kaiir Elam is set to be the latest first-round cornerback selected out of the Swamp next month, something we're sure won't be ignored with the type of secondary talent expected in town this weekend. SI sources indicate Harris was close to ending his recruitment in the fall, but pushed back like many elites after the wild coaching carousel of 2021

Edge Samuel M'Pemba - Michigan

The IMG Academy star and St. Louis native has made head-turner of onlookers for use thanks to his athletic 6'5", 230-pound frame, whether projecting him at tight end, linebacker or as a pass rusher. Regardless of where Michigan wants M'Pemba, it appears to be an uphill battle against the likes of Notre Dame, LSU, Alabama and the hometown Missouri Tigers. It's why getting him on campus in Ann Arbor is critical for Jim Harbaugh on Friday, where everything from the specific position projection to actually getting familiar with campus could help the Wolverines stay in this race. If the projection for M'Pemba has anything to do with rushing the passer, no program can sell the 2021 success UM can considering Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo are each expected to come off the board early in next month's draft. 

WR Braylon James - Notre Dame

The Irish hold an impressive class of 2023 collection of commitments to date but the chase to compete for a No. 1 class has to continue to flex Irish muscle in the national reach department. James, a big and polished wideout out of Del Valle (Texas) High School, would help to bolster the needs and reach of the program under new head coach Marcus Freeman. While there has long been interest in the Irish since the program established communication and eventually offered last spring, this will be James' first trip to campus. The junior has a fresh top nine he is currently working with and he recently visited LSU, but the Irish already holds strong buzz building into the visit to South Bend as James purses that balanced program valuing athletics and academics alike. 

RB Jeremiah Cobb - Auburn

Vizzina headlines the AU visitor list and represents the climb to keep in-state elites home but so does Montgomery (Ala.) Catholic running back Jeremiah Cobb. The difference is that the speedy back, who has a well-rounded game and recently showed it off at a camp in Atlanta, is just now breaking out on the scholarship offer front. In fact, AU and Florida have each offered of late and Clemson has picked up interest in the balanced back. Texas A&M, Michigan and many others have joined the offer list since the fall, so Cobb has plenty to consider ahead of a potential pre-season verbal commitment. Tennessee also recently had him on campus, so this is another perception-changing recruit should Harsin and the Tigers keep him home. The added caveat should he pick Auburn is that Cobb grew up an Alabama fan.