Summer School: Big East Rankings of the Class of 2013 Commits So Far

We’re still seven months away from National Signing Day, but recruiting classes around the Big East are beginning to show their true colors. We’ve seen fierce battles for talented players like Ebenezer Ogundeko, mysteries like that of Chris Laviano (who’s now a Rutgers commit), and back-and-forth decisions from guys like Asiantii Woulard (he’s back to USF after de-committing from the Bulls). Talented corners have helped solidify two of the top classes so far, with Corey Clement (pictured right) and Ryan White (left).

No matter the changes to a playoff system, for SU to enter the national football spotlight, it will have to string together victories. Meaning SU needs to beat its Big East brethren on the field in its final season, but also use its ACC swag to win recruiting battles against geographic foes. Halfway through the recruiting period, here’s where the Fizz ranks SU’s 2013 class among the others in the Big East.

  • #8: UConn
  • Total Commits: 5/Highest Star Rating: 3*
  • Best Recruit: Richard Lagow

The Huskies rank last since they’ve been relatively pedestrian on the recruiting trail this offseason, with just five total commits. For those five, UConn has beaten out lower-tier schools or, in the case of ATH Noel Thomas, been the only school extending an offer. The good news for Paul Pasqualoni is that he reeled in Richard Lagow, a guy who had garnered attention from both LSU and Alabama as a pocket passer. Lagow is touted as having one of the best arms in the class, and has proven his ability to hit the deep receiver with pinpoint accuracy. The bad news for Coach P? Much like Doug Marrone, he missed out on the best quarterback prospect in his state. Pro-style signal caller Tim Boyle decided on Boston College earlier this month.

  • #7: Temple
  • Total Commits: 8/Highest Star Rating: 3*
  • Best Recruit: Buddy Brown

Temple and UConn would have been locked in a tie for last, but with the commitment of OLB Buddy Brown on Monday, the Owls pull ahead. Brown is a quick, hard-hitting pass rusher whose tape shows a cool ability to read offenses and find gaps. He was courted by 23 offering schools including Florida, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech. For a school in transition to a new, more competitive conference, the Owls have held on so far, bringing in a balanced class to compete with in the Big East.

  • #6: Rutgers
  • Total Commits: 10/Highest Star Rating: 4*
  • Best Recruit: Chris Laviano

Given the fact Crazy Eyes Schiano bolted for the NFL, RU has managed to put together a respectable class for 2013. Stealing Laviano from the Empire State was huge, and the Scarlet Knights’ class is an offensively heavy group. Rutgers has a top quarterback prospect, two 3-star tight ends in Nick Arcidiacono and Taylor Marini, a 3-star wideout in John Tsimis, and a 3-star runningback in Dontea Ayres. This group will develop together into an offensive unit with multiple threats at its disposal.

  • #5: Cincinnati
  • Total Commits: 8/Highest Star Rating: 3*
  • Best Recruit: Mykel Traylor-Bennett

The Bearcats edge out the Knights with an impressive class dominated by local kids including Syracuse target and deep threat Mykel-Traylor Bennett. Much like Syracuse, Cincy brought in two promising pocket passers in Florida product Alton Meeks and Ohio signal caller Kyle Kempt. Add to the two passers two offensive linemen, a tight end and a wide receiver (all rated 3-stars), and it becomes clear Cincy has focused on the scoring unit as well.

  • #4: Syracuse
  • Total Commits: 7/Highest Star Rating: 3*
  • Best Recruit: Zach Allen

SU is only just getting started and is showing no signs of restin. Engaged in a key battle for Ebenezer Ogundeko, the Orange has impressed people in high places by snagging Texas QB Zach Allen. SU has utilized pipelines with both Florida schools and preps like Milford Academy. If SU can win an epic battle for Ogundeko over Notre Dame and Florida, it jumps to #2 on this list. The way DT commit Wayne Williams describes it, Syracuse will eventually win a highly-touted New Yorker like EO.

  • #3: Pittsburgh
  • Total Commits: 8/Highest Star Rating: 4*
  • Best Recruit: Corey Clement

Todd Graham’s dine and dash might have proved devastating for the Panthers recruiting efforts, but so far Pitt has fared well. Four-star CB Corey Clement (pictured right) is the biggest commit or 2013. Pitt also reeled in Titus Howard, a Keystone State CB who turned heads in high school as a coverage man. Rounding out the secondary for the Panthers is safety Tony Harper, a guy who seemed destined for Toledo. Pitt brings in much needed defensive depth in 2013, but still lacks in offensive talent for this class thus far.

  • #2: South Florida
  • Total Commits: 9/Highest Star Rating 4*
  • Best Recruit: Asiantii Woulard

The health of the Bulls’ class depended on the fickle mind of dual-threat quarterback Asiantii Woulard, a guy who Syracuse was getting help with from teammate James Washington. Finally, after de-committing once, Woulard re-affirmed his intent to play for Skip Holtz. But the talent for USF in 2013 doesn’t end with Woulard. Holtz also convinced 4-star RB JoJo Kemp to wear green and white. Kemp is called an “exciting and productive runningback” by ESPN’s scouts, and noted as a guy who doubles as a short distance receiver. Kemp is extremely quick, running a 4.67 40-yard dash, and provides USF with two highly rated players at skill positions. Recruiting the fertile grounds of the Sunshine State will always keep USF as one of the most talented teams in the conference.

  • #1: Louisville
  • Total Commits: 10/Highest Star Rating: 4*
  • Best Recruit: Ryan White

Charlie Strong has used his Florida ties and recruiting experience to consistently land big names for the Cards. UofL has pulled in the most talented class so far in the league, dominated by defense. Louisville native and 4-star CB Ryan White (pictured left) stands atop that list of talents, a guy who had offers from 5 other schools including Arkansas and Michigan. White is one of the best zone defenders in the class and a guy who shows fantastic tackling ability which limits yardage after catch. As it seems to be the trend for Big East schools, ‘Ville also pulled in a Florida product of it’s own in OLB Donel Elam. Louisville comes in at the top class so far in the Big East primarily because it is the most balanced class in the conference. While reeling in two 4-star players, Louisville has also managed to fill the rest of its class with 3-star players.

Syracuse finds itself in the top half of the pack to this point. The battle of the summer still looms in less than a month when Ogundeko will decide, and that could jump the Orange near the top. SU’s growth on the recruiting trail is obvious, as Marrone finds his program within striking distance of the best recruiting class in the Big East.

Posted: Jake Moskoswitz


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  1. bk says:

    How did RU “steal” Laviano from New York when his only other offer was BC, and Syracuse has already locked up his QB situation and obviously didn’t consider Laviano a priority? I don’t get the absolute obsession with that kid at all.

  2. Tim says:

    As much as a cuse homer I am, and as much as I am happy with class so far, I can’t really rationalize putting us higher than 6 on this list.

  3. bgogo says:

    We’re a toss-up with Cinci for 4/5. Otherwise, it’s pretty correct. Schiano leaving RU has immediately hurt their recruiting. And yes, bk, Laviano wasn’t anywhere near the top of SU’s list, so he’s not a steal for RU by any stretch.

  4. Russell MacEachern says:

    How?bk because HCDM did’nt offer cause he knew he wasn’t interested in us!!btw..RU added 2 more recruits today…3*DT Josh Klecko (Joe’s kid) and 4*olb Myles Nash from Timber Creek a public Jersey powerhouse…I would’ve thought Klecko would follow his dad to Temple..his brother Dan went to Temple too cause at 5’11″ RU thought he was to short and regretted it!!J.C.Shurburtt has RUs classed 32nd nationally…we must get Ogundeko and Edwards!!!

  5. Russell MacEachern says:

    Hey bgogo,we were posting at the same time…I’d like to agree w/u but I don’t buy it..even if only to keep him from rivals and public relations!!btw funny RU did’nt offer Boyle??They seemed to know what they wanted early and 2 of there coach’s are from LI along w/Flood!

  6. Russell MacEachern says:

    Hey DA..thank’s for the ranking’s…I alway’s enjoy your objectivity!!

  7. bgogo says:

    Russell, No problem with a difference of opinion. It could be that each team is just looking for a different “type” of qb. But you can’t bring on a recruit just to keep him from going to a rival. We’ll know in 2-3 years who got the better qb. Right now, Allen looks like the steal of them all though.

  8. chris says:

    Better Fizz but you can still do better!! Get something on Alex Officer from western NYS. The Orangemen need to bring in quality offensive linemen this year.And a quality corner back.

  9. 4orty4our says:

    Chris. I agree we need Alex Officer. As far as having to bring in a corner. Wayne Morgan and Julian Whigham are coming in this year. One was the #2 player in NYS and one is a speedy cover guy from Florida. Plus we have some young guys who haven’t seen the field yet and bring in an element of the unknown. Rishard Anderson should be better and a healthy Keon Lyn should be better. Throw in Jaston George and I think we have 5 guys that can contribute this year. Morgan will probably sees nickel and dime packages to give him the experience to step in and be a stud his soph year. I think we have other pressing needs that corner. OL is by far the most important though.

  10. 4orty4our says:

    Russell you’re kind of a curmudgeon.

  11. Frank says:

    Guys, now this what I call fun!

  12. Russell MacEachern says:

    @4orty4our….Thank’s…I’ll assume in the friendly definative sense!!!

  13. Russell MacEachern says:

    @bgogo…Hey I’m not saying one is better than the other…I hope your right..I just meant sometimes a scholly is better used on a local kid w/promise for the goodwill it brings than taking a shot on an outsider..but i agree Allen is a “keeper”!!

  14. D.A. says:

    This list is the work of Jake Moskowtiz – great job by him. I agree with the rankings. Rutgers should probably move up by NSD on this list if the coaching staff continues to bring in the talented NJ kids. I’ll always be bothered by the Laviano thing – unless the SU QB situation is great for the next 4-5 years. B/c I have a feeling Laviano was always leaning RU and it scared everyone else away.

  15. bgogo says:

    I don’t think so. Maybe I missed something. But, I just don’t think he’s in Marrone’s vision for his offense. Still, good luck to the kid. We can still root for a local guy, just not to beat us.

  16. Russell MacEachern says:

    Good work lately D.A….keep the grid story’s coming and opening day will be here!!were’s Norma’s thoughts?…

  17. Moskowitz says:

    Guys, first off, thanks for reading.

    BK: It’s strange because if nothing else, there needs to be a reason why SU steered clear of Laviano. You have a mission to build a brand and stake out recruiting territory highlighted by New York City (and LI), and you ignore the best quarterback in the Empire State? Not only that, this guy was invited to the Elite 11 camp! If CL decidedly did not want to come here for some other reason, fine. But outside of that scenario, the two parties avoiding all contact with one another begs questions that I think need to be answered. SU has garnered some promising options for the future at QB, but there are still no guarantees. Ignoring this guy seems stupid by all accounts.

    Tim, Bgogo- You’re right, it is a toss up. This is just my general idea of how well set up these schools are at this point in time. Still 7 months from NSD.

    Russell- that’s an interesting note on RU’s class getting even stronger. Knowing that, things may have changed on these rankings. Certainly strengthens what was a fairly mediocre class for them.

    Chris, 4orty4our- If you like, read my story, published a few weeks ago here on the Fizz, about Alex Officer here: http://orangefizz.net/2012/05/ao-2-0-enormous-lt-alex-officer-can-be-syracuses-o-line-cornerstone/

    Frank- glad you’re having fun.

  18. Norma Stitz says:

    Wait so when HCDM and CO. Go out and routinely get noticed for being first in on ” under the radar” kids because they are good at evaluating talent early we say they are smart and we like that. But when they don’t offer a kid from NY Who lets be honest did not and does not have a great offer list then it is stupid? Why JUST because he is from NY? They know what they want and he wasnt it. If the coaches saw the kid, which I imagine they did, and said nah we’ll pass, isn’t that all the answer we need? I mean they didn’t even talk to him if Mosk is right! That kinda says it all. Don’t mean to sound aggressive at all I am kinda over the conversation because it really isn’t one. I love the hopeful signings of Allen and Wilson and I trust the staff. Not gonna miss what we don’t have and didn’t even think enough of to offer.
    Ps Officer would be a real nice compliment to Palmer at the 2 guard spots in the next couple years to come wouldn’t he? Big boys!

  19. Aaron says:

    AO just looks mean. SU needs to snag him!

  20. pnc123 says:

    Laviano took visits to Flordia & Tennessee, and had some interest from Alabama. ESPN rates him as a 4 star top 300 recruit. Supposedly, the SEC teams think he is not physically big enough. That might be why Marrone didn’t go after him.

  21. Adam Douglas says:

    I would love to buy whatever the author of these “rankings” is smoking. Will pay premium for what is clearly some really really really good stuff!

  22. Garret Warner says:

    Rutgers class is better than SU and Pittsburg with the additions of 4* OLB Myles Nash and Klecko. I believe we will have the best class when it’s said and done. RU has the potenial to add five more four* players like CB Nadir Barnwell, DE Alquan Muhammed, LB Skai Moore, OL Dorian Miller, and DE Tashawn Bower(who is committed to Auburn but is still considering staying in NJ). We just offered a 2016 QB who is still in 8th grade who is 6’3 190lbs and projected as the top QB in the 2016 class. His father went to Rutgers. Also CL wasn’t offered because coaches wanted qb’s taller than 6’2. He threw the hell out of the ball and out performed every qb at the Florida camp.

  23. dd says:

    pass the bong Jake. these rankings are preposterous, i laughed out loud.

  24. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Ron and Norma,thank’s for your thoughts Norma..there necessary in every hot topic!!has Ron chimed in ?seem’s we’ve been invaded on the board…interesting topics w/do that!!!

  25. Norma Stitz says:

    Invasion!!!! Always good to be talking football and recruiting.

  26. Mike Marks says:

    How is Syracuse on top half of this list based on what might happen. C’mon man.

  27. Terry says:

    What are you smoking!!! Yahoo’s Rival.com says SU is 2ND from the bottom of the Big east. Temple is just ahead of us and UCONN is at the bottom. Last week they had SU 3rd from the bottom. That’s not improvement. I think that not all of these verbals will be solid signatures either if HCDM fails again this year. This has to show how weak HCDM really is out there to the experts. But HCDM’s trolls think the experts are all ignorant. And we can win regularly with 2 star and NR talent. Recent history shows that HCDM can’t win that way. RIGHT!!!

  28. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Norma,by invasion I mean’t seems were drawing some UCONN and RU fans!!!

  29. Norma Stitz says:

    And Terry right Russell! What a jackass he/probably closer to she is.

  30. Moskowitz says:

    Norma- to your first comment- you contradict yourself: Marrone DOES go after “under the radar kids”, and a commonality among kids who are “UTR” is the fact that they don’t have a long offer list….which Laviano never did…which makes him, in a sense, “under the radar.”

    Obviously, if they coaches saw him and decided they didn’t want him, that’s on them and you trust that decision as a fan. But the kid was at the Elite 11- that has to speak for his talent.

    DD, Adam- how would you change these, outside of RU being ranked higher than Pitt and SU?

  31. Norma Stitz says:

    Touché Mosk touché. Still doesnt mean we deserve answers for not offering. Time to move on.

  32. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Mosk…agreed on ranking’s outside of RUs later additions…I know if written later even that would have been spot-on…timing..timing..btw I enjoy Norma’s thoughts and comments as a fan..she takes her football seriously as do most of us!!

  33. bgogo says:

    Um…I don’t think Norma Stitz is his (not her) real name. Just to be sure, I’ll contact Inspector Chest to investigate.

  34. Norma Stitz says:

    Inspector Chest is funny!

  35. Russell MacEachern says:

    @bgogo…we can always count on u for some comedy relief!!HaHa..try for 40?

  36. bgogo says:

    I can’t wait to see if Allen is successful, and to what degree, he is in recruiting other players. The fact that he’s made it to the Elite-11 finals has to carry some weight. He’s vocal about his passion to SU, and he makes no apologies about it. If he can bring in even one wr and one OL, you got to love his leadership skills by doing so. Have to already.

  37. Russell MacEachern says:

    it don’t look like Ron is destined to participate in this lively thread?…

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