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February 6, 2013

NSD: Sleepers who could surprise

MORE: NSD announcements | NSD coverage

Rivals.com recruiting analyst Kynon Codrington breaks down eight members of the 2013 class who earned three-star status but could produce big-time results in college.

TOP SLEEPERS
1. WDE Austin Hooper, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle
Hooper might be used at tight end at Stanford, but can also play defensive end. He's from De La Salle so he was coached incredibly well, he's smart, has a good frame and has a good motor as well. He has an advanced sense of the game at this level and that could translate well at Stanford.

2. APB Berkley Edwards, Chelsea (Mich.)
The younger brother of former first-round draft pick Braylon Edwards, and his father, Stan Edwards, also played a number of years in the NFL. Edwards knows what it takes to get to that level and has the work ethic to achieve it. Rivals.com's Midwest recruiting analyst, Josh Helmholdt, has watched him run 4.3 40-yard dashes and he is one of the top sprinters in the state of Michigan. But he is also built like a tank and has a frame popular in the NFL right now. When he committed, Minnesota was his only committable offer. Iowa pulled theirs and California was going through a coaching change. I know he has a chip on his shoulder and I think he makes the most of this opportunity.

3. WDE Curtis Cothran, Newtown (Pa.) Council Rock North
Cothran has the size, speed and quickness to become a standout pass-rushing defensive end at Penn State. If the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Cothran can add weight while maintaining his ability to play in space, he could become a special player. Cothran will surely learn better pass rushing techniques in Happy Valley but he is already a pretty smart football player. He and Rivals250 defensive end Garrett Sickels should complement each other at Penn State.

4. OT Dan Skipper, Arvada (Colo.) Ralston Valley
Skipper is 6-foot-10 and will likely add some weight in college. He could easily carry 310 pounds and carry it well. The Arkansas pledge has a wide frame. He moves well for his size, and anything he lacks in footwork he makes up for with pure power. His height may have actually scared off a few teams, but with the right coaching he could be a real handful in the SEC. Never bet against the biggest, strongest guy in the room.

5. WR Ryan Jenkins, Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter
Jenkins is an ideal slot receiver with exceptional quickness and athleticism. He has great leaping ability and should be a major weapon on third down as a running choice and on option routes. The future Volunteer has above-average linear speed to stretch the defense. He will need to add some upper body strength to get off press coverage, but that should come in time.

6. WR Gary Moore, Clarksville (Texas)
Moore is a guy who could project to either side of the ball and to a number of positions. He is a two-sport athlete who played both sides of the ball on the 1A level. He was recruited as a wide receiver to Texas Tech and in the Red Raiders offense could be a big threat as an outside receiver.

7. RB Matt Dayes, Cypress Bay (Fla.) Weston
Dayes led Broward County in rushing this year with 1,878 yards on 266 carries and 28 touchdowns. The three-star prospect took his team to the Class 8A state championship this fall. The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder can run through you or around you. He has a nice burst and vision while being patient setting up blocks. New Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren is getting a quality back who should be an All-ACC performer during his career in Raleigh.

8. WR Eddie Jackson, Lauderdale Lakes (Fla.) Boyd Anderson
After missing his junior season because of academic eligibility issues, Jackson more than made up for it with a stellar senior year. The two-way star hauled in 37 passes for 792 yards and 12 scores while adding a pair of interception-return touchdowns. He also returned four kicks for touchdowns while leading the Cobras to a second-round Class 7A playoff berth. Jackson will line up on the defensive side of the ball, but don't be surprised if he gets a chance at wideout. He is an dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands.

OTHERS CONSIDERED

WR Alex Montgomery, Cypress Bay (Fla.) Weston
DT Paulo Lepua, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne
ILB Marcus Oliver, Hamilton (Ohio)
RB Peyton Barber, Milton (Ga.)



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