CFB Recruiting 2013: Dark-Horse Schools for the Top 15 Uncommitted Recruits
With each step of the recruitment process comes new information that helps us as recruiting fans to get a sense of where a prospect is leaning. Some prospects choose to release very little information and fail to name any favorites, while others are more open to listing final schools and favorites under consideration.
Some recruits have their obvious favorites, and we can see where they may be headed. However, the dark-horse schools are also interesting to look at because we've seen so many surprises. In this piece, I'm going give a dark-horse school or two for each top-15 uncommitted recruit.
15. Laquon Treadwell, WR
As it sits right now, Michigan appears to be the choice for Treadwell, but he hasn't committed. So that leads one to think that a few other schools have a chance.
Florida is the latest big-name school to offer him a scholarship and may get a visit, according to Scout.com. I would also look out for Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Oklahoma State.
14. Leon McQuay, S
Scout.com lists Florida State, USC, Vanderbilt, Michigan and Oregon as the final five for McQuay. At one point Michigan could have led, but the Wolverines may have fallen back in the pack.
If I had to name a dark-horse school for McQuay, it would be the Ducks. He's setting up a trip to Eugene, and we all know the facilities are great there.
13. Mackensie Alexander, CB
Alexander named Notre Dame as his leader, says Scout.com, but he also mentioned several other schools. One of them really stuck out to me.
Alexander revealed he was considering Boise State, and if that's not a dark horse then I don't know what is. The Broncos signing Alexander would give them maybe their highest-ranked recruit perhaps ever.
12. Greg Bryant, RB
With Bryant so bent on playing in the SEC, it was a shock that he also named Florida State as a school under consideration. The former Oklahoma pledge was thought to be an SEC lock, but he told Scout.com that the Seminoles are in the race too.
11. Tim Williams, DE
Williams comes from Baton Rouge, and one would think he'd be well committed to LSU by now. But he's not, and he even told Rivals.com that Florida State and Miami are his top choices right now.
With Alabama also in the mix, could hometown LSU actually be the dark horse for Williams? Maybe so, but USC has been mentioned by the 6'4", 230-pound DE as well.
10. Derrick Green, RB
Green took an unofficial visit to Georgia in mid-August, but he maintains a top six of Michigan, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Oregon per Scout.com.
He states that he will definitely visit Michigan and Auburn this fall, but the other three visits are unknown. Right now I would view Oregon and Ole Miss as the dark-horse schools.
9. Priest Willis, DB
Willis paid a quick unofficial visit to UCLA last week and also has official trips scheduled to see Notre Dame, LSU and Nebraska, according to Scout.com. The big DB may also be a prospect for USC, but Nebraska would be my dark horse in this hunt.
8. Derrick Henry, RB
Henry revealed to Scout.com last week that he would be committing on September 27, and the consensus is that Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia are the finalists.
Alabama is my prediction, and I doubt he goes back to committing to Georgia, but I can see Tennessee perhaps scoring an upset victory for the 6'3", 245-pound RB prospect from Florida.
7. Vonn Bell, DB
My good friend Kynon Codrington at Rivals.com predicts Tennessee will win out for the talented Bell. I agree, but for a dark-horse pick, watch out for Ohio State.
Bell paid a visit to Columbus in the summer, and if he joined Cam Burrows and Eli Woodard, then the Buckeyes would have a great secondary.
6. Robert Foster, WR
5. Antonio Conner, S
Conner told Scout.com that his main four schools are Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama and LSU. I believe Ole Miss will be the pick, but don't count out the other three.
Conner has a solid friendship with MSU commit Kailo Moore, Alabama is a great school to attend as a defensive back and LSU is a perennial powerhouse.
So this one could go in any of the four ways.
4. Matthew Thomas, OLB
Thomas has a group of main suitors that includes Florida State, Miami, Alabama, Georgia, USC, Florida and Louisville per Scout.com.
My dark-horse pick would be Louisville because Charlie Strong is a defensive-minded coach and knows how to recruit in the state of Florida. Thomas has hit the reset button on his recruitment and maintains he's on even ground with everyone.
Alabama and Florida State could be the favorites, but watch out for Louisville, Miami and USC.
3. Montravius Adams, DT
Adams recently told Scout.com that he speaks with a lot of coaches but the most with Auburn and Clemson. Though, I believe he is intrigued by Michigan State and is taking a trip to East Lansing this weekend for the Notre Dame game.
The Spartans could be the dark-horse team to watch for the big-time DT prospect.
2. Ricky Seals-Jones, WR/TE
Seals-Jones suffered a dislocated left kneecap last week and will miss 6-to-8 weeks of his senior season. The Sealy, TX athlete is in the process of setting up some trips.
His list of standouts includes Texas, LSU, Baylor, UCLA, Oregon and Texas A&M according to many, and most notably Scout.com. It's a bit hard to pick a dark-horse school here, but for super dark-horse let's go with UCLA.
The Bruins have an up-and-coming football squad and the basketball team speaks for itself; maybe RS-J could play on Ben Howland's team also.
1. Laremy Tunsil, OT
Tunsil has Georgia and Alabama at the top of his list, reports Scout.com. At one point, I thought Florida would be the pick, but now I'm picking Florida as the dark horse.
The Gators are the hometown team, and I would be shocked if Tunsil doesn't pay Gainesville a visit before making any final decisions. If forced to predict where Tunsil would sign right now, I would pick Georgia, but don't count Florida out just yet.
Edwin Weathersby has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (now ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.