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I've Got Five On It: Breaking down five big September visits

Kaden Cooper
Kaden Cooper (Rivals.com)

Fall is knocking on the door and it will usher in the thick of official visit season for the class of 2023 along with it. A flurry of activity on that front is starting to unfold as prospects narrow their focus.

This week in I've Got Five On It, Rivals recruiting director Rob Cassidy highlights five crucial September official visits and explores what’s at stake when each takes place.

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1. KADEN COOPER 

The visit: Kansas

The date: Sept. 16

Cooper’s recruitment becomes more interesting the longer it drags out. Gonzaga once seemed to hold an edge, but that line of thinking is beginning to shift due to the fact that Cooper has yet to set up a long-discussed visit to Spokane.

Combine that with the fact that people close to the Kansas program are starting to feel a bit more optimistic about their chances, and the Oklahoma-based star’s upcoming trip to Lawrence starts to feel massively important.

The Zags may well still land Cooper in the end, but Bill Self has positioned himself well if cold feet about going 1,800 miles away for college begin to take hold. The Jayhawks have become a team to watch. LSU and Alabama are also in the mix to differing extents.

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2. WESLEY YATES 

The visit: Texas

The date: Sept. 3

The Longhorns have put together a furious push to make themselves the favorites to land Yates, who once seemed like a strong Auburn lean. Now, it’s starting to feel as though the five-star guard’s upcoming official to Austin could separate UT from the Tigers for good.

Nothing is set in stone, obviously, but that’s what makes the upcoming trip so vital for Chris Beard and his staff. Yates has already taken an unofficial visit to Texas, which makes the return trip feel like a signpost moment in his recruitment. If things go well, a commitment may not be far off. If not, Auburn stands to benefit.

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3. CURTIS WILLIAMS 

The visit: Louisville

The date: Sept. 16

Williams’ upcoming trip to Louisville is starting to feel like the kind of visit that could seal a commitment, but the nature of recruiting makes it impossible to be sure. Florida State and Providence remain involved and should be seen as options, but it’s clear that the 6-foot-6 forward’s interest has been piqued by the Cardinals, who offered in July and have pursued Williams with zeal ever since.

Kenny Payne and company have reason to feel good about where they stand as Williams looks toward a late September decision. The Cardinals could seal the deal with a positive visit.

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4. DENNIS PARKER 

The visit: NC State

The date: Sept, 30

Parker is a priority target for the Wolfpack, and Kevin Keatts has made him feel as such for some time. That said, the competition here is stiff. Parker has already taken an official visit to Georgetown and plans to tour Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys and Hoyas seem like the biggest threats to Keatts, who hopes to keep Parker close to his Virginia home for college. Parker seemed impressed by his unofficial visit to NC State back in September of last year.

A lot has changed since then, however, as Parker’s primary recruiter, Roy Roberson, is no longer with the school. The upcoming visit could do wonders for the Wolfpack, however, as they remain heavily in the mix, to say the least.

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5. CODY WILLIAMS 

The visit: USC

The date: Sept. 16

USC has been on Williams' mind since the Trojans offered back in June, as they were one of the first major schools to get involved in the 6-foot-8 forward’s recruitment after he started to blow up this spring.

The Trojans will need to use the visit to edge out a number of suitors, including Santa Clara, the school at which his brother, Jalen Williams, became a star and an NBA Draft pick.

Arizona, Colorado, UCLA and LSU are also involved and seem like threats to differing degrees. The Trojans have work left to do here, as Arizona and others may be difficult to beat. Still, there’s no better way to make up ground than with an official visit.

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