February 7, 2007

Rivals5: Super sleepers

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Every year, several prospects come in under the national radar and end up doing big things at the college level.

Rivals.com's experts break down one sleeper prospect in each region who they feel are in a situation where they could exceed expectations.

Here are five super sleepers in the 2007 class:

Rivals5: Super Sleepers

Midwest: Coby Fleener

As a junior, Joliet (Ill.) Catholic tight end Coby Fleener caught two passes. So it's no surprise that he went virtually unnoticed by college teams in the spring evaluation process. In fact, many believed his future was in basketball. However, Fleener worked hard in the summer to develop his receiving skills - and his body. First came an offer from Illinois State. Then came an offer from Western Michigan. From there, the offers just started to pile up - Stanford, Arizona State, Nebraska, Colorado State, Kansas and Missouri. "He really flipped the switch this summer," Rivals.com Illinois high school analyst Tim O'Halloran said. "We all knew he could run for his size, and then he put together several really impressive games. He's a 6-6, 215-pound guy that has basketball skills that can translate to the football side. He just really, really turned it on from last year and was a great steal for Stanford."

Midlands: Sam Acho

Nobody in the state of Texas, or the Midlands region for that matter, went from little known prospect to heavily recruited athlete as fast as Sam Acho of Dallas St. Marks. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder showed up at the Southern Cal camp last summer. After his highlight tape made the rounds, he added scholarship offers from all around the country. Acho went from unranked to the No. 41 rated player in the final state rankings. The three-star prospect ended up committing to Texas over offers from Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Southern Cal, Stanford and others.

Southeast: Walter Hill

Walter Hill has the size and athleticism to develop into a big-time contributor in Georgia's passing game in the coming years. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder from Gainesville (Ga.) East Hall was originally a Bulldogs basketball commit. With quarterback Matthew Stafford having the talent to make it run, the Georgia offense is in need of some dynamic playmakers in the passing game. During the coming seasons Hill could be a guy that emerges.

Atlantic East: Brandon Hogan

Athlete Brandon Hogan from Manassas (Va.) Osbourn has been the subject of many rankings arguments. Some think Hogan could be the next Pat White at West Virginia, an under-the-radar player recruited by some schools as an athlete and by others as a quarterback. Others think Hogan can be like Adam "Pac-Man" Jones, a little-known recruit who emerged as one of the best cornerbacks in the country for the Mountaineers. But everyone seems to agree that Hogan could be something special. His lack of size is a concern for some, especially on the defensive side of the ball. However, the West Virginia coaches make their players better and the weight program is excellent - meaning Hogan can go from skinny to sinewy in no time. Hogan is a stats stuffer, accounting for more than 4,000 yards of offense and 58 touchdowns as a senior. If his quick feet and natural athletic ability aren't hindered by added bulk, Hogan could be a home run for the Mountaineers on either side of the football.

West: J.J. DiLuigi

They say good things come in small packages. That's the case with Canyon Country (Calif.) Canyon three-star all-purpose back J.J. DiLuigi. The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder is heading to BYU after a great senior season. He looks to be one of the West's biggest sleeper prospects. In 2006 DiLuigi rushed for 2,159 yards and 34 touchdowns, averaging 8.1 yards per carry. He caught 29 balls for 390 yards and four touchdowns. He also threw a 66-yard touchdown pass on a fake punt against Rio Mesa Oct. 24 in the Northern Division Quarterfinals. He later led his team to a state championship. "I would like to at least get to 200 pounds by the time I get to BYU," DiLuigi said. While he might not have been big enough for some of the Pac-10 schools, here's betting he'll have a great career at BYU. "My plan is to prove a lot of people wrong and help BYU win a lot of games," he said.


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