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February 5, 2010

Signing Day Blitz: Best of the rest

Conferences Blitzes: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC

Notre Dame led the non-"Big Six" schools in recruiting, finishing at No. 14 in the Rivals.com team rankings after National Signing Day. Here's a look at the top six recruiting classes outside the "Big Six" conferences.

Signing Day Blitz: Ranking the non-"Big Six"
1. Notre Dame

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Headliner: Defensive tackle Louis Nix is a big and athletic player that could anchor the defense.
Sleeper: Justin Utupo is an active "tweener" at end or tackle, but he's a good one.
Overview: Considering there was another coaching change in South Bend, this is a pretty solid class for Notre Dame. New coach Brian Kelly is bringing in a bunch of high quality four-star prospects like Nix, wide receiver Tai-ler Jones, quarterback Andrew Hendrix, linebacker Kendall Moore and offensive linemen Matt James and Christian Lombard. Hendrix wasn't their only QB signee. Luke Massa and Tommy Rees are also headed to South Bend. Notre Dame will get help in the secondary with defensive backs Spencer Boyd, Lo Wood and Austin Collinsworth.
2. BYU

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Headliner: The Cougars landed the nation's top quarterback prospect in Jake Heaps.
Sleeper: Joshua Quezada is a versatile running back prospect from California that does everything well.
Overview: There's a full boat headed to Provo, and it's a solid group from top to bottom. BYU landed the nation's top QB prospect in Jake Heaps, and there's no question he helped the recruiting cause for the Cougars. Like so many before him, Heaps has a chance to put up huge numbers. Wide receiver Ross Apo and defensive end Bronson Kaufusi are two other four-star prospects headed to BYU. Standouts like running back Algrenon Brown, defensive ends Alani Fua and Kona Schwenke and defensive tackle Graham Rowley will add needed depth.
3. TCU

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Headliner: Running back Ethan Grant will give TCU some more speed at the position.
Sleeper: David Johnson is an underrated defensive tackle prospect that should shine at TCU.
Overview: You have to love what TCU did in grabbing dynamic prospects Ethan Grant and Curtis Carter. They each have speed and are playmakers. Sam Carter and Matt Brown are two three-star quarterback headed to TCU. Wide receiver Chris Hawkins is one to watch. Stephen Bryant, Travaras Battle-Smith, Matt Anderson, Jonathan Anderson, David Johnson, Marcus Mallett, Blake Roberts, Elisha Olabode and Michael Thompson are all very good prospects that will help this program.
4. Utah

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Headliner: Linebacker V.J. Fehoko should be a great fit in the Utah defense.
Sleeper: Joseph Smith is an easy name to remember, and this kid from California is a prospect who can do it all.
Overview: A pair of wide receivers - Terrell Reese and Kenneth Scott - lead the way for Utah. They are four-star prospects with some serious game. The Utes got good prospects in quarterback Brian Blechen, running back Princeton Collins, wide receiver Dres Anderson, offensive lineman Zach Bolton, defensive ends Star Lotulelei, linebacker Jacoby Hale, defensive back Damian Payne and athlete Joseph Smith. Linebacker V.J. Fehoko was a Signing Day bonus for the Utes.
5. Houston

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Headliner: One of Houston's few out-of-state signees is quarterback Terrance Broadway, a good dual-threat QB from Louisiana.
Sleeper: He may be small (5-8), but wide receiver Langston Williams is a big-play guy.
Overview: Houston coach Kevin Sumlin capitalized on a good season with a very good recruiting class. The Cougars did well in the Lone Star State, where they secured 22 of their 27 prospects. The in-state charge was led by defensive back Zach McMillian, athlete Dominique Sanders, defensive tackle Rodney Williams, linebackers Austin Wilson, wide receiver DeAndre Perry and quarterback David Piland. Houston landed two four-star prospects in Broadway and junior college defensive tackle Matangi Tonga.
6. Fresno State

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Headliner: Four-star wide receiver Davon Dunn is considered one of the top WR prospects in California.
Sleeper: Athlete Greg Watson is a quarterback that also could play running back, receiver or defensive back.
Overview: Dunn is the lone four-star prospect headed to Fresno State. Still, Pat Hill and company did a nice job with this class. They landed a number of good athletes like Watson, Sean Alston, Isaiah Burse, Victor Dean Jr , Edward Dillihunt, Lester Fontenette, Joshua Harper, Leslee Rogers, and E.J. Schexnayder. Quarterback Marcus McDade and linebackers Ofa Fifita and John Oglesby are a trio of prospects with very good upside.

Conferences Blitzes: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC

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