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Empire State of Mind: The Top 3 New York Recruits Syracuse is Targeting

SILive.com

While expectations might be varied for this upcoming Syracuse season, there are some bright spots and young talent on this team. Doug Marrone has his best recruiting class coming in, and has made strides extending the recruiting pipeline through ACC territory.

Even though we’re only at Spring Football, the coaches are already working on the ’13 recruiting class. The Fizz chatted with NCSA’s Randy Taylor who broke down some of the high profile recruits SU is after led by Peach State product Alvin Karmara. But Marrone has made it his mission to dominate recruiting in the New York/New Jersey area. The Fizz breaks down the top three Empire State prospects that Syracuse is after.

Augustus Edwards – RB (Tottenville HS, Staten Island)

Edwards is a big back at 6’1″ 21o lbs. and has good vision hitting holes quickly. As a junior he had a solid season, accumulating 1,411 total yards, 9 total TDs for the Pirates. He tallied these numbers playing second fiddle to a passing game headlined by SU commit Alvin Cornelius, which has to help the Orange land him. It could have the same effect as Brandon Reddish helping reel in Wayne Morgan.

Edwards has made visits up to the Hill and the SU coaching staff is going hard after him. He has offers from Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Temple, UConn and Purdue. SU has started targeting big play running backs every class, so Edwards could be the ’13 addition.

LaRay Smith – RB (Xaverian HS, Brooklyn) 

Smith is also an impact back, considered that rare can’t miss player from New York. At 6’2″ 185lbs. he is a speedster with a ton of wiggle. LaRay says it’s his speed that sets him apart from most.

“I’m not the biggest running back, but the one thing that stands out is my speed. It stands out a lot. It’s better for the team to have a speed back, for those outside plays – the open field. I feel like I’m an all-purpose back that if you want to, you can put me out at wide receiver and I can run to the middle, outside, inside, all around.”

Last season Smith posted 993 yards rushing on only 135 carries (7.36 avg) and found pay dirt 11 times. He could be a killer on the Dome’s fast track. Smith doesn’t have big time scholarships on the table right now. Buffalo, UConn, and Western Michigan are his offers. Here are his highlights.

Ebenezer Ogundeko – DL (Thomas Jefferson HS, Brooklyn)

Ogundeko stands at 6’3″ 230 lbs. and might be the most talented player in the state. He had had 79 tackles and 11 sacks for the Orange Wave last season.

SU was the first to offer him, but faces fierce competition. He seems to be Jarron Jones 2.0 – a huge defensive hulk gaining major interest from outside the Northeast. EO has offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Boston College, UConn, Maryland, Stanford, Rutgers and Ohio State. He originally committed to the Huskies in February, but quickly decommitted in March to reopen his recruitment.

Ebenezer is quick for his size and is always in the backfield. He is a pass rushing specialist who will create havoc in the backfield. Syracuse needs to lock up the top talent in New York to get the program to a higher level. Winning the Ogundeko sweepstakes against the big dogs like Ohio State and Stanford would be huge. Here’s his highlights.

The recruiting season never stops, and Marrone needs to lock up as much NYS talent as he can before SU joins the ACC to compete in a top football conference.

Posted: Dave Van Moffaert

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