8 Potential Sleeping Giant Recruiting Programs

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJune 6, 2013

8 Potential Sleeping Giant Recruiting Programs

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    Several programs have the potential to join the Alabamas, Floridas, USCs and Ohio States of the world. They just lack a missing piece to become a great recruiting school. Some may need a coaching change, others should look into upgrading their facilities and a few need to move into a BCS conference.

    There is a school in Florida who has the potential to turn the "Big Three Florida Schools" into a quartet. An SEC school has a coach who has recruited shockingly well early in his tenure and is on track to turn the program into a Southern version of Stanford.

    The ACC will find three schools on this list who have the potential to be recruiting juggernauts.

8. TCU

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    TCU, which is in Ft. Worth, is in an excellent location for talent. The program is close to Dallas and Texan recruits practically grow on trees.

    With the Horned Frogs being a favorite to win the Big 12 this year, Gary Patterson has a chance to use that momentum to secure a great class. As seen with Texas A&M, all it takes is a good jolt of energy and the recruiting floodgates can open wide around Texas.

    TCU would love to see that happen with its program's recruiting. 

7. Louisville

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    The Cardinals need to do two things to jump-start their recruiting. First, Charlie Strong must capitalize on the momentum his program has since it beat Florida in the Orange Bowl.

    Next, a study at Texas A&M's rise up the recruiting pecking order. The Aggies have a young coach, run a spread offense and have one of the best quarterbacks in the country.

    Louisville has the same characteristics, so there is a blueprint for the Cardinals' potential recruiting success. 

6. Kentucky

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    The Wildcats are under new management with Mark Stoops taking over in Lexington. With Kentucky being an SEC school, that is a huge plus and it could be a sleeping giant recruiting school.

    Stoops has many connections on the recruiting trail and that includes in talent-rich states like Florida and Ohio. He is not coming to Kentucky to be the caretaker of a dormant program, but rather insisting on the Wildcats ascend the SEC ladder.

    If things shake right, Kentucky could make some noise on the SEC recruiting trail under Stoops. 

5. South Florida

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    Recruiting at South Florida can be tough since the school lacks the profile of Florida, Florida State and Miami. However, there is so much talent around the Sunshine State that the Bulls can still bring in solid classes.

    Willie Taggart has taken over the program and he has an energy to him that will get Florida prospects' attention. The program resides in Tampa, plays in a BCS conference and has had some success on the field in past seasons.

    If Taggart's plan goes accordingly, the Big Three Florida powers may all have a new in-state recruiting rival.

4. Maryland

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    The area of Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia is known as the "DMV" and has more football talent than given credit for. In 2012, DMV native Stefon Diggs was one of the best receiver recruits in the nation.

    This year, elite prospects like offensive tackle Damian Prince and cornerback Jalen Tabor represent the DMV area. 

    So Randy Edsall has a good backyard to recruit from and just needs to plant his fence firmer around his turf. Maryland is in the ACC, so DMV recruits have a chance to stay home while still competing for BCS/prominent bowl berths. 

    Plus they can wear some wacky uniforms. 

3. Vanderbilt

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    James Franklin has signed back-to-back top-25 recruiting classes and pigs were expected to fly before that happened at Vanderbilt.

    Some feel Franklin is destined to leave for a higher profile job, while others think he's inclined to see his vision come to fruition in Nashville. 

    The Commodores boast outstanding academics and offer students the chance to receive a great degree.

    Should Franklin continue to recruit well, he could turn Vandy into an SEC version of Stanford, where recruits are sold on the chance to play big-time football while maintaining academic excellence. 

2. Virginia

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    Virginia is a state that routinely produces good football talent. However, more times than not, the top talent in Virginia choose to leave the state.

    With Mike London holding a commitment from 5-star safety Quin Blanding, a breakthrough has been made in Charlottesville. The Cavs need to start capitalizing on the great talent around the state and contending for more ACC championships also wouldn't hurt.

    UVA also prides itself on having good academics. This program has a vast amount of potential and many advantages, and it is up to London to awaken this sleeping giant. 

1. NC State

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    The Wolfpack have to deal with many SEC schools on the recruiting trail and that can be detrimental. Having SEC affiliation carries much weight to recruits from the South.

    However, Clemson and Florida State do not complain, as they have the same problem. The Tigers and Seminoles do not back down from SEC schools on the trail and new NC State coach Dave Doeren must adapt this same mentality.

    The state of North Carolina has good talent to bring to Raleigh, and the state capital just so happens to be the location of the campus of NC State. 

    Doeren may have walked into a potentially bigger job than he anticipated.

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.