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Fantastic Four: Syracuse’s Quartet of the Biggest Impact Recruits this Summer

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With summer officially upon us, it’s time to assess what Syracuse football is working to accomplish during some of the more important months on the recruiting calendar. As of now, the Orange is still sitting at only 7 verbal commitments in the Class of 2013.
Doug Marrone has brought in some exciting prospects thus far, but his class is currently only rated in the middle of the Big East: 6th in the conference by Scout, and 5th by Rivals. However, it’s the final product that counts in recruiting. Who SU has signing the dotted line in February is far more important than the program’s status in mid-June. And the Orange has plenty of time to bolster its class. These are the impact recruits Syracuse has the best chance land this summer.
  • Ebenezer Ogundeko – DE, Thomas Jefferson HS (Brooklyn, NY)

And here we are again. A ferocious New York pass rusher names a top three, pitting Syracuse against two powerhouses. The top player in the state of New York is set to announce his decision on July 20th, and will choose either SU, Florida, or Notre Dame. Ishaq Williams and Jarron Jones, two previous recruits of EO’s ilk, both wound up choosing the Fighting Irish. Will Ogundeko break with convention and bring his talents to Scott Shafer’s defense? What kind of impact will his pal Augustus Edwards have on EO’s decision? We’ll find out in July.

  • Augustus Edwards – RB, Tottenville HS (Staten Island, NY)

Here’s something that suggests Edwards and Ogundeko are no longer a package deal (as EO previously told The Fizz): They’re not announcing their decisions on the same day. Gus is scheduled to declare his commitment 10 days earlier than Ogundeko, on July 10th.

It’s an all-ACC battle for Edwards, which could prove to be an early example of why SU’s conference change will help its football recruiting. Syracuse, N.C. State, Virginia, and Maryland sit atop Edwards’ list. If he wants to stay close to home, SU is his only option that fits of his favorites. Syracuse should be able to gobble up a higher rate of northeast recruits now with the allure of the ACC, and less geographic competition than it had in the Big East.

With some recruiting help from NYC players Wayne Morgan and Brandon Reddish, as well as Edwards’ high school teammate Alvin Cornelius, there’s a solid chance Edwards will be putting on an Orange cap on July 10th.

  • Alex Officer – OG, Eastridge Senior HS (Rochester, NY)

Since we last wrote about AO 2.0, the 6-4, 300 pound behemoth’s stock has predictably risen. His offer list now reaches double digits, including more recent scholarship offers from Boston College, UConn, and Purdue. Luckily for Syracuse, the decisive Doug Marrone once again pulled the trigger with an offer long before some of his biggest competition did. That should greatly help the cause to bring another AO to The Hill. Officer has the size, strength, and the footwork to be a dominant force on SU’s offensive line if he chooses the Orange.

  • Laray Smith – RB, Xaverian HS (Brooklyn, NY)
Here’s what Laray said about his playing style back in April:
“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.”
And Syracuse was one of the first schools to notice his athleticism and versatility. But the big dogs came barking soon after the Orange did. SU is up against UConn, Tennessee, and Oregon for Smith’s services. Smith will travel to CNY for a visit later this month, which will surely be key in the coaching staff’s pursuit of the speedster. Watch out for Oregon, though. The Ducks are the only school in the track star’s top four that hasn’t actually offered him. If Chip Kelly eventually comes through with an offer, there’s speculation Smith will quickly commit to Oregon.
  • Catch Fizz Radio Saturday morning with Alex Plavin for a full NBA Draft preview of where SU’s stars will go.
Winter Park, Fla. QB Asantii Woulard would have found himself a place on this list, but the 4-star signal caller has re-committed to South Florida after de-committing in April. He said his original commitment back in February resulted from pressure by his high school coaches to make an early decision. Now, the dual threat quarterback has affirmed his desire to play for the Bulls, committing this time on his own accord. If Woulard had stayed away from USF for good, Syracuse may have had a realistic chance to get him, with his high school teammate and incoming SU recruit James Washington helping to recruit the QB.

 

Posted: Andrew Kanell

 

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