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SI99: Nation's Top College Football Recruits Making Moves

October means movement in the recruiting calendar as many of the nation's best enter the home stretch of the process

October presents a new feel in college football recruiting. The summer boom on various commitment lists seems trivial as the nation's best hit the road for big game visits and inch closer to the only tangible mark in the business -- signing day. 

The Early Signing Period opens December 15, so programs and prospects alike are zeroing in on the actual end of the process for most. 

Over the weekend, there wasn't a bigger recruiting storyline than that of the most coveted senior out there, Travis Hunter. SI All-American's No. 1 prospect made headlines with a scary leg injury on Friday night, eased hours later after SIAA and NoleGameDay reported the lower leg injury would not require surgery. 

Just as Hunter was wrapping up his thank-yous on social media, he became the surprise visitor for Georgia's noon kickoff against Arkansas. The Florida State commitment hadn't visited a campus beyond Tallahassee in some time and despite saying the right things about the long term pledge to Mike Norvell and his staff, getting to see perhaps the nation's top team in person in such a dominant fashion can't hurt the Bulldogs' chances of a late flip. 

Losing Hunter would be as gutting to FSU faithful as it was to see Sam Howell flip to in-state North Carolina after a seemingly-strong commitment in 2018. Hunter hasn't commented on the trip to Athens and likely won't, though he did take to social media to support a fellow Seminole pledge who reaffirmed his status with the 1-4 program. A source close to Hunter said the trip was supposed to be taken "on the low," a tall order in the day and age of social media. 

Time will tell. 

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Georgia had a loaded weekend of visitors including others in the SI99, from No. 2 edge Shemar Stewart to another banner prospect committed elsewhere in Mykel Williams. The USC pledge recently visited Florida and could continue to take trips following the dismissal of Clay Helton in LA. 

Movin' on Up

A pair of premiere prospects ranked at or near the top at their respective positions have pushed up their commitment dates. 

Top 10 prospect and Lakeland (Fla.) defensive lineman Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy, who is likely to miss the rest of the 2021 season recovering from hand surgery, has long been down to Oklahoma and Texas A&M. He will now decide between the two mid month, on October 12, he announced via social media. 

No. 1 tight end recruit Jaleel Skinner has pushed him his decision day, too. The IMG Academy star, originally from South Carolina, is set to come off the board before the end of the week. Skinner has long held a top five of Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Miami and Texas. He took a visit to Florida for the Alabama game and was on campus at Florida State for its opener versus Notre Dame. 

Arch Watch

The hottest name in the recruiting game, overall, is of course Arch Manning. The 2023 New Orleans (La.) Isidore Newman star with that certain surname has been busy on the visit trail himself. After leading the Greenies to a 3-0 start to the 2021 season, the junior traveled to Tuscaloosa to see Alabama's convincing win over Ole Miss. He had been at Georgia for its game against South Carolina two weeks prior and Manning has trips on deck to Texas, Clemson and Ole Miss throughout the fall. 

There is no rush in this recruitment despite so much hype, Newman coach Nelson Stewart confirmed last week. And despite conventional thought of the Manning recruitment being a five-team race between Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ole Miss and Texas, the in-state LSU Tigers still appear to be in the mix. Manning and/or his camp have never released a group of top schools, for what it's worth. 

Related: SI All-American Team Recruiting Rankings