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10 Under-the-Radar Schools Who Are Big-Game Hunting in 2013 Recruiting

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IOctober 3, 2012

10 Under-the-Radar Schools Who Are Big-Game Hunting in 2013 Recruiting

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    In recruiting, every school wants the best prospects in the country. Each school should want the best to be the best. Yet, with recruiting juggernauts like Texas, USC, Alabama, Florida, Michigan and Ohio State among many others, the little guys usually don't land the 5-star and 4-star prospects that are so highly coveted.

    There comes a time when the little guy says he's had enough. He wants what everyone else has and he goes after it. The same thing happens in recruiting and I see 10 "little guy" recruiting schools that are big-game hunting in 2013 recruiting.

    These schools have identified a big name, highly touted prospect and are going after the recruit. They're not backing down from the recruiting juggernauts and are in big-time recruiting battles.

    Here are 10 under-the-radar programs who may not be among the top recruiting programs, but are in the mix for a highly touted prospect or two this year.

Marshall

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    Big Target: Elijah Daniel, DE

    Daniel is one the best defensive end prospects in the country and ranks inside the top 100 players on many lists. He's a 6'5" end that weighs over 250 pounds right now. An athletic edge defender, Daniel has a high ceiling. 

    Daniel committed to Clemson earlier this year but he is taking visits, which recently one of those was to Marshall reports Scout.com. His brother Armonze is one the Thundering Herd roster, and Marshall is recruiting Daniel hard.

Texas Tech

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    Big Target: Stacy Coley, WR

    The Red Raiders are no strangers to big game hunting, as they temporarily had a commitment from Marcus Roberson a few years back. Not many elite prospects head over to Lubbock but Scout.com shows Stacy Coley, one of the top WR prospects in the country is interested in Texas Tech. 

    I think Coley could end up at Florida, but I expect the Sunshine State native to visit some out-of-state schools. Texas Tech could get a trip and will roll out the red carpet for the speedy WR.

Kentucky

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    Big Targets: Mackensie Alexander, CB and James Quick, WR

    Joker Phillips' team showed some fight last week vs. South Carolina, but I still believe he's on the hot seat. Phillips hasn't turned the Wildcat program around, and recruiting has not gone overly well.

    Yet, James Quick and Mackensie Alexander both appear to be interested in Kentucky. Quick recently named Kentucky as one of his leaders to Scout.com, and Alexander has visited Lexington during this recruiting cycle per Dave Berk of Scout.com

Pittsburgh

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    Big Targets: Robert Foster, WR and Dorian Johnson, OT

    Paul Chryst has come to Pitt to win, and he knows he'll have to recruit well. This year the state has two elite prospects that are uncommitted on Robert Foster and Dorian Johnson.

    All of the big boys are after these two, such as Ohio State and Alabama, among others. Pitt isn't backing down, and I think the Panthers will actually sign both of these fantastic prospects in February.

Ole Miss

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    Big Targets: Robert Nkemdiche, DE and Antonio Conner, S

    Hugh Freeze is at Ole Miss to build a program and the recruiting trail will be the foundation The Rebels aren't the most powerful SEC team in the country and usually play second fiddle to the more high profile programs in the conference.

    Robert Nkedmiche is committed to Clemson, but the nation's No 1 recruit's brother Denzel is a Rebel. One would have to believe Freeze is playing the family card to try to get the big DE to switch.

    Freeze also has his sights set on the state's best player in Antonio Conner, a talented defensive back from South Panola whom I think will sign with Ole Miss.

Louisville

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    Big Target: James Quick, WR

    The Cardinals are led by Charlie Strong and he's one of the top up-and-coming recruiters in the country. The Blue Grass State will churn out some talent, and this year James Quick is the state's top player.

    With many national programs after the 6'1", 175-pound Quick, kudos to Strong and his staff for remaining in the hunt. Quick recently told Scout.com that Louisville is among his favorites and he likes the Cardinals' offense.

Vanderbilt

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    Big Target: Jalen Ramsey, CB and Leon McQuay III, S

    Ramsey is a USC pledge but is from Tennessee. Scout.com reports that Ramsey will take a trip to Vanderbilt this fall, so watch out for the Commodores as they try to flip Ramsey their way.

    McQuay is a very talented safety from Florida and will be visiting Vandy for their game against Florida on October 13th, according to Scout.com. Clearly James Franklin wants to add elite talent to his secondary, and going after Ramsey and McQuay shows he's big-game hunting. 

Boise State

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    Big Target: Mackensie Alexander, CB

    Boise State is far from as sexy recruiting school and you'll be hard pressed to find any elite prospect wanting to head up to Boise. This year is a little different, as the Broncos find themselves in the middle of a recruiting battle for Mackensie Alexander, a top 10 prospect according to ESPNU.

    Alexander revealed to Scout.com that Boise State is in the mix and could be as high as No. 2 on his list. This one will be interesting and I'm anxious to see how a potential official visit will go. 

TCU

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    Big Target: Justin Manning, DT

    Greg Powers of Scout.com states the Oklahoma, LSU, Texas A&M and USC are some of the schools that TCU will have to fend off for the super talented Manning. From Dallas and close to the TCU campus, Manning is an athletic 6'2", 275-pound DT prospect.

    His brother is Sooner DT DeMarcus Granger, but staying close to home seems to be a theme in Manning's recruitment. 

Rutgers

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    Big Target: Alquadin Muhammad, DE

    Rutgers has shown over the years that they are capable of keeping local talent home. With players like Darus Hamilton, Savon Huggins, Kenny Britt and Anthony Davis, the Scarlet Knights have a knack for landing elite highly touted prospects every few years.

    This year it is DE Alquadin Muhammad, who is from powerhouse Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey. Scout.com reports Muhammad will likely trip to Michigan, Notre Dame and Alabama but Rutgers will be in the hunt until the very end. 

    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.

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