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Manning at Texas, Conerly at USC, Overton at A&M Headline Top Recruits Hitting the Road

Top college football recruits from coast to coast are hitting the road over the weekend, with all eyes on Arch Manning at Texas

That sound you hear is Texas fans refreshing social media and message boards for the very latest on Arch Manning's next visit to Austin. 

Any time the NFL legacy makes a move, it creates considerable headlines, but it feels elevated as the spring wares on. Every trip taken seems to be pushing the most famous football recruit in modern history closer to finally coming off the board with a verbal commitment. 

Of course Manning isn't the only elite recruit planning a road trip this weekend, as even the class of 2022's best available in Josh Conerly and Lebbeus Overton will also be making stops ahead of decisions relatively soon. They arrive at their program of choice for good in a matter of months, so to say the weekend visitor slate is critical would be an understatement.

Sports Illustrated looks at the 10 biggest recruiting visits expected to take place during the final weekend of March. 

QB Arch Manning - Texas

The only rising-senior recruit to be broken down ahead of the best available 2022 recruits is of course the NFL legacy quarterback. Manning, who was at Georgia last weekend, is returning to Austin in what will be a massive group of visitors in town for the freshest look at Steve Sarkisian's rebuild. Manning will be able to see the Quinn Ewers and Hudson Card quarterback battle up close at the program's third spring practice on Saturday, taking in Sarkisian's approach to the two in the process. At this point, the Manning camp is plenty familiar with the campus and facilities at UT, so this trip is about the final boxes to check in evaluating the staff, opportunity, scheme, etc. Alabama gets Manning on campus next for a similar stop as this recruitment begins to enter the final phase before the biggest verbal commitment in the country goes down. At this moment, Texas, Georgia and Alabama appear to be in the best position with the New Orleans native.

OT Josh Conerly - USC

The two-sport star is done with basketball and wrapping up his official visit slate this weekend at USC. A source early in the week told SI the battle for the SI99 offensive tackle recruit could wind up coming down to Pac-12 programs USC and Oregon, where Conerly took his most recent trip. Lincoln Riley's staff had been heavy on the Washington native before the move to USC, which of course was also already recruiting him before their own changing of the guard in the program. The Trojans have been great at adding skill talent since the staff took over, but there is a major need for trench performers in Los Angeles as well. Still technically considering Washington, Michigan, Oklahoma and Miami along with the aforementioned USC and Oregon, there is an end date now in place to make a pick. Conerly will end he process in some two weeks, he recently announced. 

DE Lebbeus Overton - Texas A&M

The middle of the Overton spring visit slate has arrived for the reclassified elite pass rusher, who amassed a gaudy 100 sacks as a varsity star since the eighth grade. Georgia hosted Lebbeus and his older brother Micaiah last weekend and reports out of Athens are positive, but A&M has been viewed similarly as a true contender since before he made the switch from the class of 2023 to 2022. There is a strong group of visitors headlining things in College Station, but expect the Overtons to get the bulk of the attention. The brothers will visit Ohio State and Oklahoma, where their father Milton played in the 1990s, in April ahead of summer enrollment at their program of choice. 

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QB Eli Holstein - Alabama

Speaking of A&M, its quarterback decommitment is set for his second trip to Tuscaloosa in a short time span. The Louisiana state champion instantly became one of the most coveted arms in the class when he opened up the process (not long after his last trip to Alabama) and the Crimson Tide has appeared to be in the best position of any program since. Florida, Miami, LSU and even Texas A&M are among those in the hunt but by all indication, the sooner Holstein is ready to make another commitment, the better news for Nick Saban and Alabama. As is the case for all in the Arch Manning sweepstakes, including UA, it will be interesting to see how the program's board separates the pair of 6'4" athletic Louisianans relative to their decision timelines. 

RB Rueben Owens - Texas

There has long been talk of Owens getting closer with Manning since last fall and the two will be back in Austin during the same recruiting trip once again. Owens, a one-time Longhorn verbal commitment, has a who's who top group of Georgia, Alabama, Texas A&M and USC in addition to UT. He has returned to each campus on the list since the fall so he could be getting closer to narrowing his list. The Longhorns remaining in the mix following a decommitment says plenty about Sarkisian and new running backs coach Tashard Choice, who Owens had a relationship with prior to his hire at Texas. 

"I talked to him a lot when he was at Georgia Tech," Owens told SI earlier this year. "He helped me with my game a lot, you know? He knows what it takes to get there."

QB Dylan Lonergan - Florida

The Peach State native is the wildcard among elite quarterbacks recruits yet to make a decision, and his recruitment is likely to intensify over the next several weeks and months as the national quarterback dominoes have begun to fall. Alabama and Ohio State are expected to get him on campus soon, so time with Billy Napier's new staff as well as the school's baseball staff is critical for Lonergan. The elite pitching prospect has legitimate plans to play both sports in college, so it will be fascinating to see how staffs handle the communication in that light while he is on campus. Lonergan is in the middle of baseball season at Brookwood High School in Georgia. 

CB A.J. Harris - Georgia

There was a lot of buzz coming out of Gainesville regarding Harris' trip to town last weekend, even chatter about him becoming the headliner for Napier's 2023 class with a commitment. However, Harris is headed back to another longtime contender in Georgia for a fresh look at the defending champions. A new secondary coach is in place in Fran Brown, who will have to follow up Florida's Corey Raymond, part of the reason the Gators are squarely involved with the Phenix City (Ala.) Central standout. Ohio State and Clemson have also long been in the hunt for Harris, who nearly came off the board during the fall before the wild coaching carousel took motion. 

OT Lucas Simmons - USC

After dropping his top group of programs in the middle of the week, the massive (6'8") offensive tackle hits the road to check in with one of the coaching staffs he's most familiar with. The son of a former Oklahoma player, Simmons had long coveted time with Riley and his staff and he got it last year in Norman. Now, of course he'll see how things have transitioned in Los Angeles and meet the new faces working under Riley in the process. While plenty of programs are in this race, and more could be coming in the near future, USC could become one of the destinations to emerge for Simmons this offseason. Recent trips to Florida and Florida State made an impression on the Clearwater (Fla.) Academy International star, who also reports increased attention from Josh Heupel's staff at Tennessee.

QB Marcel Reed - Ole Miss

Quarterbacks dominate the conversation this time of year in college football recruiting and one to make note of is taking a key visit in Marcel Reed. Ole Miss, another in the Manning recruitment, isn't putting all of the eggs in the legacy basket despite Lane Kiffin's track record and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis Jr. spending plenty of time in New Orleans. Reed is a true dual-threat out of Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell Academy who threw for 12 and ran for 12 touchdowns as a junior in 2021. Vanderbilt hosted him last weekend while programs like Arkansas and others continue to track the athlete, who also plays basketball at MBA. The Rebels are also looking at national recruits Christopher Vizzina and Jaden Rashada, so Kiffin is casting a wide net to find the right fit within the loaded 2023 class of candidates.

DE Keon Keeley - Notre Dame

A longtime verbal commitment heading back to that program for a visit is normally chalk in recruiting, but Irish verbal Keon Keeley has been busy on the road elsewhere early this year. Alabama, Ohio State and Florida have each hosted the Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley standout pass rusher, arguably the most coveted player at the position in the entire class of 2023. Him getting back to South Bend to begin to see what the Marcus Freeman era is like, relative to the Brian Kelly staff he initially pledged to, will long play an important role in the decision-making as other top programs look to change Keeley's mind. The battle to retain this commitment will be among the biggest indicators of Freeman's prowess on the recruiting trail during his first full cycle as the head of the program.