National Signing Day: Surprise Schools That Will Steal Top Recruits

Max MeyerCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2013

Will Robert Nkemdiche follow his brother's footsteps and sign with Ole Miss?
Will Robert Nkemdiche follow his brother's footsteps and sign with Ole Miss?Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The traditional powers are always on the top of the recruiting scene. However, there are always a couple schools that manage to surprise college football nation by stealing a few of the top prospects. Let's look at two of those schools with the best odds to have a top class this year:

Ole Miss

The Rebels already have a great new batch of recruits on the way, but there are two more available for them that would make their class amongst the best in the nation.

The consensus No. one overall prospect, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, is deciding between Ole Miss, LSU and Florida. However, his mother wants him to play with his brother Denzel at Ole Miss. It’s difficult to see Nkemdiche going against the wishes of his family, which is why Ole Miss is the favorite to land him.

The Rebels also hope to land safety Antonio Conner. Conner, according to ESPN recruiting rankings, is the second-best safety prospect in the nation. Nearly all of the SEC schools have interest in him, but it seems like the race is down to Alabama and Ole Miss.

However, it looks like the Rebels may have the upper hand. That’s because his friend, running back Kailo Moore, has stated that he and Conner will be attending the same school. Moore has already committed to Ole Miss, and it seems like Conner will follow shortly.

Additionally, Ole Miss can guarantee Conner more playing time early on, which has to be intriguing considering Conner definitely has the talent to play right away.


Even though USC is making more noise (in more ways than one) with their recruiting on the other side of town, the Bruins may be able to steal a couple of prospects on signing day. Coach Jim Mora has shown that he is a strong recruiter, and that UCLA is trending upwards.

Former USC commit Kylie Fitts, a defensive end from California, is now eying the Bruins. Fitts apparently doesn’t trust the USC coaching staff, especially after giving his early enrollment spot to Leon McQuay III.

Fitts would be a better fit in UCLA’s 3-4 defensive scheme because of his constant ability to pressure the quarterback with his quickness. Fitts also has a sibling that attends UCLA, so the family factor could be the icing on the cake.

UCLA is also in a race with Texas A&M for linebacker Isaac Savaiinaea. The middle linebacker has great size and is an imposing tackler. The reason why I think UCLA will sign him is because Texas A&M already has six middle linebacker commits. If Savaiinaea wants the opportunity to separate himself on the depth chart, he’ll choose the Bruins.

Finally, the best prospect UCLA has their sights on is defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes. Although it’s unlikely that the former USC commit will return to Los Angeles, Vanderdoes has shown interest in becoming a Bruin. He’s made a visit to the campus and he likes the staff.

If Vanderdoes shocks the recruiting world by choosing UCLA over Alabama, that would be the biggest piece in their class.