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September 25, 2012

Southwest Mailbag: Under the Radar

Rivals.com recruiting analyst Jason Howell addresses questions from readers regarding the Southwest region in his weekly mailbag.

Who are the biggest under the radar 2012 prospects in the Southwest on your list right now? -- John in Baton Rouge, La.

It's no secret that I am a fan of receiver Joshua Reynolds at San Antonio (Texas) John Jay. He's a big receiver who puts up big numbers and is starting to see a little more attention come his way. Defensive tackle Maliek Collins out of Kansas City (Mo.) Center has seen a few BCS offers come in over the past few weeks from Missouri and Iowa St. A guy who is committed that has fallen off a few radar screens is West Orange-Stark's Travon Blanchard. The Baylor commit is tall and has speed that cannot be taught. Tyus Bowser of Tyler (Texas) John Tyler and Tulsa (Okla.) Union's Chris Hall are two of the more versatile big guys out there and both have the ability to play quickly on the college level.

Last week Oklahoma lost to Kansas State with several top prospects in attendance. How much does Oklahoma's home loss to Kansas State hurt them on the recruiting front? -- Kenny in Tulsa, Okla.

I'm just going to come out and say I don't think it really affects much with Oklahoma. Was last week disappointing? Yes. Was it damaging to their 2012 title hopes? Absolutely. However, recruits who were at the game did not seem to take it as hard as some fans and media members. Stanvon Taylor said it actually helped him realize how deeply he felt about being a Sooner. Rivals100 target Justin Manning said the loss had no impact on him and four-star offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch made it pretty clear he had a good time on his trip.

Most of these recruits who are familiar with the program, know that Oklahoma is in the running for a national title quite often. So while this year's chances may not look so bright right now, Oklahoma has shown they can bounce right back.

Should Texas fans worry about five-star defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson taking a visit to Florida State?-- John in Dallas

Anytime your five-star defensive tackle takes a visit to another school it does not make you feel good. I am sure it was not the best news of the day for Mack Brown. Compound the FSU visit with the rumors of summer flirtations between Robinson and USC and an unofficial visit to the Alabama/Michigan game in Dallas and it does make one wonder if there may be some second thoughts.

It's certainly something to keep an eye on, but unless something crazy happens, I see Robinson ending up in the burnt orange. Robinson does not say much in regards to recruiting, but this is one prospect I see staying closer to home.

Northwestern NEWS


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