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August 29, 2008
Fastbreak Friday: First big visit weekend
College sports fans will pack their cars, spark up the grill, man the tailgate and dive head first into the college football season.
So will a number of basketball prospects as they hit the road for the first loaded visit weekend of the fall recruiting period.
Rivals.com takes a coast-to-coast look at who is visiting where in this week's edition of Fastbreak Friday.
VISITOR OF THE WEEKEND
Georgia gets the first shot at Derrick Favors, the top in-state prospect since Dwight Howard.
The five-star prospect from South Atlanta High School is the highest-ranked player to visit Georgia in basketball. The Bulldogs are very strong in the race for the 6-foot-9 center.
The last recruit with such national acclaim to make a visit to Athens was Louis Williams, who committed to UGA in 2005 but opted for the NBA Draft.
Favors won't be in Athens alone. He'll be joined by AAU teammate and close friend Terrance Shannon, also a Rivals150 prospect. The two have manned the front line for the Atlanta Celtics since eighth grade.
The Bulldogs could also be receiving good news from local center Daniel Miller. The 6-foot-10 spring and summer surprise is in the final stages of his recruitment, according to sources close to the situation, and a decision could come soon.
Also making it in for the game was Jason Morris, a five-star prospect from the class of 2010. The Augusta, Ga., native leaves for Connecticut next week to return to the Hotchkiss School.
Morris told Rivals.com he is still recovering from a brutal string of injuries in July. He has had seven surgeries on his mouth since a nasty spill at the Peach Jam that broke two teeth and cut his mouth. He also split his hand open in a freak accident at the Peach Jam.
Class of 2010 standout Harrison Barnes made the easy trip Iowa State to see the Cyclones football season opener. The five-star prospect will be popular wherever he goes this fall for visits. He's one of the most recruited players in the nation regardless of class.
Droney is looking hard at the Panthers along with Wake Forest, where he'll visit in September. Richardson is a big-bodied, blue-collar guy who emerged nationally in July with Houston Elite in Las Vegas.
Big man Sam Dower will be at Marquette for an unofficial visit. The Minnesota post player was one of the fast risers from the summer. Another Minnesotan, Ethan Wragge, was also on campus earlier in the week.
Georgetown will play host to Nate Lubick, a top 2010 target in the post, for an unofficial visit.
The Bruins may have the best collection of big-timers coming to town for a visit this weekend. All three seniors are high on the wish list in 2009. It will be interesting to see if the visit weekend equates into commitments.
The Bay Area will be bustling with big-timers. Both Cal and Stanford have some of their top targets on campus for the weekend.
Matt Vogrich of Illinois will be at Stanford. He starts his visit tour in California and ends it in September at UCLA. Cal will play host to New Orleans forward Eddie Ludwig and Clarence Trent of Washington/Nevada for official visits.
It looks like the two programs will be back at it in recruiting once again.
Vanderbilt will welcome its most important recruit on the 2009 board this weekend when North Carolina forward Ryan Kelly comes to town. The Commodores will also have John Jenkins, the most important commitment in the class of 2009 so far, in town for his official visit.
Junior point guard Eric Smith visited South Carolina on Thursday and will leave Columbia a committed man, according to three sources close to the situation. The Gamecocks hope the good recruiting luck carries over to this weekend. New Yorker James Padgett and North Carolina wing Garrius Adams will be on campus for visits.
North Carolina wing Earnest Ross will make an official visit to Auburn. There will also be a host of top underclassmen on Auburn's campus this weekend for a camp sponsored by Under Amour.
Florida loves a flair for the dramatic when it comes to visits. That's why top 2010 target Patric Young is on campus. He'll be there along with 2011 commitment and newly anointed five-star guard Austin Rivers, an early Florida pledge.
LSU will play host to hot junior college prospect Brad Reese. He's a big target for several SEC programs.
OTHER NOTABLES NATIONWIDE
Sleeper Jerome Hamilton will leave rural South Georgia for the weekend to see Wichita State. He made an unofficial visit earlier in the summer to the Missouri Valley school.
Virginia Commonwealth continues to mine the state of Florida for players. Point guard Ben Eblen will be in Richmond for a visit.
New Mexico will play host to in-state prospect Chad Adams.
Evansville has Kentucky shooter Jacob Jenkins in town.