June has brought national excitement back to college football recruiting as prospects and programs have taken advantage of the first in-person recruiting opportunity since the pandemic-led 15 month NCAA dead period last March.
Unofficial visits, prospect camps and mega camps featuring many college evaluators in one setting have each resulted in new scholarship offers, commitments, decommitments and more.
But the most intimate visits allowed this month are official visits -- 48 hours on a collegiate campus on the program's dime. Often with family members in tow, class of 2022 (and one important 2021 recruit) prospective student-athletes are all over the country over the weekend for the first big official visit slate on a wide scale.
SI All-American looks at 10 of the most important visits underway, nationally, as recruiting classes begin to truly take shape.
J.T. Tuimoloau - Washington
Any time the top defensive prospect, in any class, is set to take in a campus officially -- he will be, and likely lead, this list. The lone superstar recruit, whose delay in making a final decision will enable him to make official visits as a member of the 2021 class, is still looking for a home between longtime finalists Washington, Oregon, USC, Ohio State and Alabama. The home state program gets the first official impression for the nation's top edge prospect out of Sammamish (Wash.) Eastside Catholic.
As far as we can track, Washington has no class of 2022 official visitors in line for the weekend, a public reminder of the significance of Tuimoloau on campus. Head coach Jimmy Lake, defensive coordinator Bob Gregory and outside linebacker coach Ikaika Malloe are among those in Seattle just to make what is likely to be a final pitch to the nation's most coveted prospect. Tuimoloau would be a perception-altering win for Washington should the Huskies hold off the rest of the competition, a tall task considering official visits to each program are planned throughout the month.
Walter Nolen - Florida
If there were somewhat of a Tuimoloau comp for the 2022 class, from a positional, upside or even in how wide open the recruitment seems to be, it's Tennessee defensive line talent Walter Nolen. He is publicly down to eight programs and about half are hosting him this summer, beginning with the Florida official visit this weekend. The Gators' visitor list, as this story will reiterate, is as strong at the top as any program's nationally and it begins with the nation's most coveted trench talent.
An underrated aspect of Nolen's decision-making process is the program's ability to score on offense in hopes of playing in important January games at the next level, so it makes sense why he has long been high on Dan Mullen's program given its recent success in lighting up the scoreboard. Still, Nolen has been consistent in not looking to make a verbal commitment until very late in the process, meaning December at the earliest. Michigan, which had coaches work with Nolen at a camp in the South this week, will earn the other official visit this month while LSU looks like a potential July destination before official visits in the fall.
Shemar Stewart - LSU
There has long been palpable buzz between one of the nation's top pass rushers and the Tigers since he emerged as a top prospect some two years ago. Now Ed Orgeron and company will host him for the weekend along with several Floridians expected in Baton Rouge. The Opa Locka (Fla.) Monsignor Pace star set the LSU visit early relative to the rest of his schedule, possibly a hint at just how prevalent the program is expected to be in this recruitment.
Local Miami figures to be a player and it got Stewart on campus for its cookout event to kick off the month. Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Clemson are among the top competition for the south Floridian, who is likely to visit Ohio State and Notre Dame later this month. The rising-senior doesn't appear to be in any rush to make a verbal commitment, recently hinting at a late decision to SI All-American.
Evan Stewart - Florida
A one-time Texas verbal commitment, the Frisco (Texas) Liberty speedy wide receiver has a variety of national programs hot on his trail since even before Stewart publicly re-opened the recruiting process back in March. Florida now gets the first on-record visit out of the explosive talent, who wrapped up the spring with a state championship in the long jump to pair with a head-turning 10.58-second 100 meter dash mark.
As seen above, Stewart has seen his recruitment reach the peer level, as fellow Texan and Florida quarterback commitment Nick Evers is among the foundations of a class and looking to add some speed to its mix. Evers has been in Gainesville for several days, taking an unofficial visit to lead into this weekend's official visit, where he has the chance to reconnect with arguably the top skill prospect on the board. It won't be an easy pull considering LSU, where he has already worked with current Tiger QB Garrett Nussmeier, Alabama, Georgia as well as in-state programs Texas A&M and even Texas will factor into Stewart's recruitment before all is said and done.
Tyler Booker - Florida
Did we mention the Gators' huge official visit weekend yet? While the casual fan would dial into Nolen and/or Stewart as national, monumental wins on the recruiting trail, Booker could be the program's most important target when looking back at how Mullen and his staff followed up the breakout 2020 season on the field and in the NFL Draft. Not only is the competition as strong as any prospects, with Booker slated to make officials to Oregon, Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama this month, but the program hasn't shined as bright at in-state staple IMG Academy as many would assume.
Not only could Booker, who admitted UF was the "closest thing" he had to a dream school growing up, push back on the perception -- but he's among the nation's best and most versatile offensive line prospects to boot. The Connecticut native would likely represent the most coveted offensive lineman the program has signed out of high school in the Mullen era. Booker's trips are each important in general considering he is likely looking at making a verbal commitment some time in July.
Zach Rice - Ohio State
The Buckeyes currently hold the No. 1 recruiting class on SI All-American and it comes out of the June gates hot with visitors in Columbus both for camp and of course for the official visit weekend. Rice, like many on this list, has a slammed June visit schedule -- so the first impression on the first visit has the chance to be the bar-setter for the remaining visits. The Lynchburg (Va.) Liberty Christian Academy offensive tackle will also see in-state Virginia, Alabama and Notre Dame this month.
Rice is in the running for the nation's top offensive tackle in the class of 2022 and the trenches on that side of the ball are relatively light on the Buckeye commitment list to date, hence why getting him to campus is critical for Ryan Day's staff. If big picture, class rankings are any qualifier to importance, Rice could pair with quarterback Quinn Ewers and cornerback Jaheim Singletary, among others, as potential top prospects at premium positions in the Ohio State haul.
Kamari Wilson - Georgia
A true safety prospect with as much ball skills and range as physicality and versatility, Wilson is another national prospect on this list kicking off the visit slate in the SEC. The difference here compared to others, though, is the tangible buzz the IMG Academy star has publicly held with Georgia. From hinting at a commitment to throwing it on his Instagram bio, there's little doubt the ball for Wilson's recruitment is in Kirby Smart's court.
Still, Wilson will be active on the visit trail. He already took in Auburn and Georgia Tech during the week and has plans to get to multiple official visits this month and potentially beyond. Texas A&M seems poised to get him on campus before a decision, but the only program to get him on campus twice in the first handful of days in the month goes right back to perceived favorite UGA.
Keon Sabb - Penn State
Penn State has all but rebounded from a slow 2020 season and haul on the recruiting trail relative to what we've become accustomed to under James Franklin, but the smaller visitor list this weekend still packs a punch. Not only is coveted IMG Academy running back Kaytron Allen on campus, but his teammate and one of America's top secondary prospects -- Keon Sabb -- is expected as well. The New Jersey native has been recruited by PSU about as long as any program on the list, with an offer dating all the way back to October 2019.
The Nittany Lions are competing with national powers here, with Clemson, Oregon, Georgia, Texas A&M and LSU also in the mix, but the regional pull it has in the Garden State has been tangibly strong under Franklin, who is still looking for its first N.J. native within a top five class to date. Sabb will take trips to SEC programs Georgia and Texas A&M in June and doesn't appear to have a concrete timetable for a decision.
Harold Perkins - Texas A&M
The Aggies are building another strong class under Jimbo Fisher, who continues to make strong inroads within state lines on both sides of the ball. A&M may be more of a defensive squad in 2021, much due to the success of Lone Star State prospects staying home, something it is hoping for in the Cypress (Texas) Cy Park linebacker. Perkins had been a hot discussion topic on the recruiting scene with a potential late spring decision, but now appears to be on a longer timeline towards a choice.
Perkins kicks off the visit slate with the trip to College Station and he will follow it with one to USC mid-month. It's in-state recruiting rival Texas, though, who could emerge as the top competition in the end, despite Florida and Oregon among the others courting the do-it-all 'backer. The sooner Perkins pops, the better the Aggies chances appear.
Devon Campbell - USC
Another Texan on the list, Campbell is another national recruitment to track out of its fertile recruiting grounds. The Arlington (Texas) Bowie offensive lineman kicks off his visits in Los Angeles and if USC is to contend with Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas and others, it has to give him a bar-setting impression to consider ahead of seeing more familiar places.
Campbell has hinted at potentially making a decision sooner than most prospects coveted on the same scale, so time is of the essence for Clay Helton and staff, always looking to make a strong impression in Texas. The program signed four from the state in 2021 and already has a Lone Star Stater on board this cycle in Katy linebacker Ty Kana.