Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
There’s never really a calm part of the calendar in college football.
Although the on-field action has wrapped up with Alabama beating Georgia 26-23 on Monday, the dramatics off the gridiron are starting to heat up.
With the coaching carousel almost done spinning, the new staffs in place at some of the nation’s top programs are looking to poach coveted recruits from the established powers of the sport.
The top unsigned prospects in the country will make their last round of official visits over the next month before national signing day on February 7.
Below is a look at a few of the top players left on the board.
Patrick Surtain Jr., CB, American Heritage (Plantation, Florida)
All eyes will be fixated on Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this weekend as defensive back Patrick Surtain Jr. makes his official visit to LSU. The 5-star prospect confirmed his visit on Twitter on Tuesday night.
Head coach Ed Orgeron and his staff will get one final chance to impress Surtain before he heads for Tuscaloosa, Alabama, next weekend for an official visit.
Not only is Surtain’s decision being watched closely by LSU and Alabama, other elite programs across the nation are concerned with his college pick because it could send a ripple effect through the corner market, which has a few unsigned commits left.
If LSU adds Surtain to the class of 2018, Alabama could go in harder for players like Tyson Campbell, Isaac Taylor-Stuart and Olaijah Griffin, all of whom are attracting SEC interest.
If Surtain joins the Tigers, he’ll sit alongside wide receiver Terrace Marshall and defensive back Kelvin Joseph as the centerpieces of Orgeron’s recruiting class.
Penei Sewell, OL, Desert Hills (Saint George, Utah)
Alabama has the chance to swoop into the Pac-12 market and steal one of the nation’s best remaining offensive line recruits.
Penei Sewell has the Crimson Tide in his final four alongside Oregon, USC and Utah. By most accounts, the Utah native’s decision will come down to Alabama and Oregon, as Chris Kirschner of SEC Country noted.
The Crimson Tide have had a wave of offensive linemen selected in the NFL draft over the last five years, a trend that may draw Sewell into the southeast.
Oregon doesn’t have a pedigree like Alabama, but new head coach Mario Cristobal could work his magic and keep Sewell on the west coast with the Ducks.
This is a race that could come down to the final day of the recruiting process, and don’t count out a late surge from USC or Utah to sway Sewell’s decision to another Pac-12 school.
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Episcopal (Bellaire, Texas)
It comes as a shock to no one that Alabama is also in the market for wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.
The Crimson Tide will do everything they can to secure the signatures of as many highly coveted recruits to add to their already impressive haul between now and February 7.
However, Waddle’s connections at other schools in his top six could lead him away from Tuscaloosa.
Texas, Texas A&M, Florida State, Oregon and TCU are in the market for Waddle, who played in the Army All-American Bowl.
“I already have good relationships; it will just be wherever I feel like I’m comfortable, stability and where I think I am going to be successful at the most. I’ll really sit down and look at it, take all six schools and just chop them down and see which one is for me,” Waddle said, per Josh Helmhodt of Rivals.
Expect the new coaching staffs at Texas A&M and Florida State to make a play for Waddle, who has made official visits to all of his potential suitors except for Texas.
Plenty could change in the next month, but it appears Waddle could stay in his home state for the next three to four years.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Recruiting information obtained from 247Sports.