When looking for sleepers in the west, Marcus Ruppel might be one of the best. The 6-foot-7 forward from Deer Valley High School in Arizona fits the mold of someone that is lying under the radar.
Even after a successful junior campaign where he averaged 21.4 points and 9.8 rebounds a game and a strong performance at the Pangos All-American camp in June, Ruppel is still waiting to break out on the high-major scene.
"I would like to think [that I am a sleeper]," Ruppel says. "I haven't been playing with the biggest club team out there so people haven't really be able to see me this summer. When I see all of these big names going to all of these schools, I think I can play with them. But that's okay. I'll go and get my education somewhere at a mid-major and then do my thing there."
If one thing is for certain, Ruppel is a must-get guy for a number of quality mid-level programs.
He is claiming offers from Boise State, Lamar, San Diego, San Diego State, Oregon State, James Madison, George Mason, UC Riverside and UTEP. USC, Arizona State and UNLV are also in the mix, he said.
Ruppel will take the SAT for the first time on Sept. 13, he said. Shortly after taking the test, he will set up dates for his official visits. Ruppel said he does have a handful of schools that he would like to consider visiting.
"The only four that I know for sure is UTEP, Lamar, Boise State and Oregon State," he said. "UTEP has been on me really hard. They do a good job of staying on top of me."
Ruppel participated at San Diego over the summer, too. The plan, he says, is to sign early in November after taking his official visits.
"I want to find somewhere on the West Coast and somewhere that I can play and get a good education," Ruppel said. "After college, I will be set and be able to do whatever I want if I can find that."