On Saturday, Florida International (1-2, 0-0 Sun Belt) hosts No. 18 Louisville (3-0, 0-0 Big East) in South Florida on Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium. While the Golden Panthers are not expected to host any official visitors, the 7 p.m. game is still expected to be attended by a number of major targets for Mario Cristobal and company.
South Plantation quarterback John Franklin is one of several visitors set to be at FIU this weekend.
Arguably FIU’s top quarterback target, South Plantation (Fla.) signal-caller John Franklin, is expected in the stadium. In addition to FIU, the 6-foot-1, 165-pound dual-threat quarterback holds offers from Air Force, Bowling Green, Georgia State, Navy, Samford, and Temple, among others.
Miami (Fla.) Columbus three-star all purpose back Daryl Chestnut is expected to attend. Chestnut has previously mentioned Texas Tech and West Virginia as schools standing out to him, but don’t count out the lure of a local school for the 5-foot-9, 190-pound back.
Miramar (Fla.) wide receiver Sean Avant is expected to make the short trek to FIU for Saturday’s game. He is a top target for the Golden Panthers at wide receiver and remains high on them. While he hasn’t narrowed his list, a couple of other schools that stand out are Bowling Green, Marshall, and Wake Forest.
At least two tight ends are expected on campus this weekend and both are already committed to schools. North Palm Beach (Fla.) The Benjamin School tight end Jonathon Pavlov is a firm commitment to the Golden Panthers. Pensacola (Fla.) Pine Forest three-star Shamar Johnson is considered an offensive tackle by 247Sports.com, and that could be his position long-term, but the Golden Panthers are recruiting him as a tight end. Johnson is committed to Louisville but very interested in Florida International.
The offensive line group expected on campus will be a mix of commits and targets. Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Boyd Anderson three-star offensive tackle Sandley Jean-Felix and Vero Beach (Fla.) offensive tackle Christopher Flaig are both pledges to Florida International. They will be joined by at least one major target for the Golden Panthers, Bradenton (Fla.) Braden River offensive tackle Trevon Young. Young is high on FIU as well as FAU and Purdue.
Along the defensive line, a pair of South Florida targets are expected to make the jaunt. Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) defensive end Malik Brown and Lake Worth (Fla.) defensive tackle James Looney. Both prospects remain pretty wide open with regards to the recruiting process.
The Golden Panthers are in the top five for Hollywood (Fla.) McArthur three-star inside linebacker Jeremy Benjamin. They will have a chance to impress the talented Sunshine State defender with him expected to attend the game. The other schools in Benjamin’s top five are Tennessee, Texas A&M, Wake Forest, and West Virginia.
The deepest position group expected on-campus at FIU this weekend is defensive backs. Miami (Fla.) North three-star cornerback Troy McCollum, Miami (Fla.) Belen Jesuit three-star cornerback Xavier Hines, and Opa Locka (Fla.) Miami Carol City three-star safety Simeon Thomas, all of whom are committed to Florida International, will visit.
McArthur linebacker Jeremy Benjamin has FIU in his top five.
Among the uncommitted defensive backs expected at the game are Vero Beach (Fla.) three-star cornerback Sean Paul, Bartow (Fla.) cornerback Vontarius West, Miami (Fla.) Southridge four-star defensive back Lamar Robbins, and Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee safety Willie Smith.
Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School two-star safety Jalen Battle, a Kentucky commitment, is also expected to be in attendance.
Also, Delray Beach (Fla.) Atlantic athlete Brisly Estime is expected. Estime will likely end up in the defensive secondary at the next level.
Florida International is also expected to have a kicker on campus with local product Emilio Nadelman from Miami (Fla.) Miami Central dropping by. Nadelman, a one-time FIU commitment, is now committed to South Florida. He is considered a two-star kicker by 247Sports.com.
The game is a pivotal opportunity for Florida International to make an impression upon a number of targets. It is no secret that Louisville also has strong ties to South Florida with more than two dozen players on their roster from the area.
As is always the case with unofficial visitors, some of those expected will be unable to attend while some unexpected visitors will likely make their way to the game. Stay tuned to 247Sports.com after the game for any major developments with Florida International commitments and targets.