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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

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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