Ogundeko Tells Fizz Clemson, Bama & ASU Now In Mix, Will Take Official to SU

And now the real wait is on. After 4-star DE/OLB Ebenezer Ogundeko last week moved his decision date into December, the Brooklyn native tells The Fizz he will be taking a good look at other schools outside of his top four of Syracuse, Notre Dame, Florida and now Clemson. For someone with over 20 scholarship offers, he now has five additional months to sift through them carefully, which may not bode well for SU. Ebenezer already has an idea of which schools may get some extra attention.

“Yes, I am going to take a big look at Alabama and other schools that are not in my top four, like Arizona State, Bama or Ole Miss.”

Earlier this month it seemed as though Ogundeko was destined to follow his good friend Augustus Edwards to the Hill, completing the duo’s designs to play college ball together. Ebo visited the SU campus just days before his planned announcement. But now with five extra months on his hands, it’s a brand new ballgame for him, who explained why he needed to move the date to December.

“I just wanted to take my time with my decision. This is a once in a lifetime decision and I wasn’t sure where I wanted to fully go. I wanted to take my time, and see what school I wanted to attend for the next four years because it’s a big decision.”

He’s absolutely right. There’s no reason to rush a decision like this in the middle of July. But SU is still competing with the big dogs to land Ogundeko, and the battle is growing. The Thomas Jefferson HS product felt too overwhelmed to make any hasty decision.

“Yes, It felt like it was a lot of pressure on me. It felt like it was actually Signing Day, when I had to make my decision. I recognized it’s not mandatory for me to make my decision [July 24th].”

Ebenezer is graduating in December, hence the reason he’ll make his decision then. He will be enrolling in college in January. By putting off the decision, Ebenezer will also have time to focus on his senior football season and academic work.

Ogundeko has already visited the Syracuse campus unofficially twice over the last few months, and one might wonder what else can the big 6’4” 240 lb. DE get out of looking at SU for another five months? Doug Marrone has brought in some of his best recruits by jumping on high profile prospects early in their recruitment process. Just look at Zach Allen. A 2-star QB with only one other scholarship offer a few months ago, has turned into one of the hottest prospects this summer while participating in the Elite 11 camp in California. The reason he chose Orange was because SU was there first. The more time Ebenezer has on his hands to look at different schools may limit SU’s impact of being early to the party. 

Ogundeko, like every recruit gets five official visits, and he assures The Fizz Syracuse will certainly be one of them. He’ll also take an official to Notre Dame, Florida and Clemson and is still undecided on the fifth. Many think Ebenezer moved his decision date back because Clemson gave him a late look, but that wasn’t the case. The Brooklyn product simply needed more time.

“[Even if Clemson] didn’t come in, I still wanted to take my time and see where I officially wanted to go.”

Ebo had been talking with Clemson for about two weeks leading up to July 24th, saying the Tigers left a big impression on him. Reassuring for Orange fans, his most recent visit to the Hill two weekends ago also left a big impact on him, as he got a chance to meet legends Jim Brown and Dwight Freeney while they were on campus filming a Syracuse football video. Even despite all the extra attention and looks Ogundeko will get during the upcoming fall, he wants to play with his NYC guys in the Dome.

“Pretty bad. I like those guys and I could see myself playing with them.”

Not only Edwards, but also Big Apple products Wayne Morgan, Alvin Cornelius, and Terrell Hunt. He admitted the most important factor when breaking down his prospective schools will be his connection with the players and coaching staffs. The Orange certainly has that advantage, but now the playing field has changed. SU is not clashing with only Notre Dame and Florida anymore. With Clemson, Alabama, Arizona State and others in the mix, Syracuse will have to battle harder in order to reel in Ogundeko in December.

Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald


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  1. Derek says:

    Smart kid. I’d rather have him take his time and get it right then to commit to Syracuse now only to panic 5 months from now when he realizes he didn’t give it enough thought. Hopefully playing with familiar faces wins out.

  2. bruce says:

    i can certainly understand his deciscion to wait it out and take his time to make the right deciscion for himself but myself i feel syracuse is still the best fit for this player. i beleive with the amount of playing time opportunity and a whole new conference to play in will give this young gun plenty of opportunity to make it to the nfl.i really beleive in syracuse football’s coaching staff and there approach to there whole new dimension on what doug marrone’s trying to accomplish here at syracuse.

  3. Russell MacEachern says:

    one thing is obvious…no one’s blown him away yet!..why is the list growing?..as long as no one blows him away I’ll assume he’s leaning our way….but I’ll admit recruiting is as tough on us as it is on them!!!

  4. Russell MacEachern says:

    Right bgogo,”Norma” and Ron?….yea you too CDL and Chris,Bigdipper,BKLN et al..forgive me those I don’t mention..my head is spinning..lol..

  5. Shane says:

    Maybe he wanted to commit to SU, but Marrone told him to take his time and look around to be sure this is what he wanted. He has said it to other recruits who eventually committed closer to signing day.

  6. BKLNORNG says:

    Yeah This has been a tough one on us because we have been following him so close, and it could be a watershed moment for recruiting. Might go see one of his games this fall either way just to see his game for myself.

    I think what we see even through our orange colored glasses is that this coaching staff has integrity to their players they refuse to greyshirt guys or lie to them on the recruiting trail unlike some more shady schools. Syracuse is a great school with a solid staff and the opportunity for lots of playing time to develop for the NFL we may not have the name brand yet but my feeling is that is a YET.

  7. chris says:

    So he visits Alabama ? Kiss him off the list. He won’t be able to resist the call of a possible NC. Another loss of a huge state athlete for Doug and his coaches. Winning may help but he has to win big a,not just a 6 win season and a small bowl game like the Pinstripe event. Start with BCS bowls and then you can pound your chest . Not until then .BTW You might want a new story up there . Its beginning to look like a certain rival site that leads with the same story for days at a time.

  8. Ron says:

    You all are getting yourselves worked up for nothing. Step back and take a deeeep breath and relax. Ebenezer Ogundeko will enroll at Syracuse in January after graduation and will participate in spring football for a starting spot on the squad in 2013.

    GO CUSE

  9. OrangeCrush22 says:

    I’m sorry, i know he is a young kid and wants to take his time, but this does not look good for ‘Cuse… The more schools he looks at, the least likely he is to commit to SU…..

  10. Terry says:

    Another PR kid who likes the attention. He made a decision to commit, either to SU or else where!! Now he thinks the whole world is after him. We have seen this before from our top NYS talent in the last few years. I haven’t seen them on ESPN high lights as of yet. But its early for now. This is not about the right decision for this kids future. Its about how he and his posse can get his/their face/name in the recruiting media. Let him go!! The lime light is not at SU, for now. Maturity should be a factor for a incoming recruit to SU. Lights do not shine real bright now at SU. But a player(s) who come to SU and play the game like it should be played (team play) not individual play is what we need to build a winning program. AO is for himself. Then go big time AO. Man up and do as you say not as you want. SU deserves the best talent from NYS who wants to come to SU.

  11. Norma Stitz says:

    I agree with Shane. I have heard that Marrone has told recruits to be sure and make sure SU is where they wanna be. And also bringing in these other power schools doesn’t hurt when/if SU ends up with him. It would look like SU beat them out too. Maybe a silent verbal? Dangerous game but not if the recruit has always wanted to be ORANGE anyway. We will see!

  12. Russell MacEachern says:

    Yea Norma,but we might have missed out on a PR bonanza w/a live anouncement on Mike Quick’s MSG station which all the local (NY/NJ) kids watch and who knows if he anounced how many might have followed?Especially as we were on a hot streak….lets hope the iron don’t cool due to poor timing!!I think the “Dougie” is smarter than that!IMO..

  13. bigdip says:

    I hope the move to the ACC benefits SU, like the Mizzou ( great recruits from in-state, definite upgrade) move to the SEC, or WVU (good recruits overall, consistent talent) to Big12….SU is a huge brand..HUGE in collegiate sports…getting out recruited by the likes of RU, U of L, & Pitt has gotten old! When an EO isnt a big loss to the program, thats progress!

  14. Russell MacEachern says:

    I hear ya Dipper but UL and RU are (even w/o Schiano)out in front of us….Im concerned we stay ahead of UConn and Pasqualooney,…that would be the ultimate humiliation…were ranked 69th in recruiting?Thats tough to swallow even though its seems we are improving.Im confused…Pitt w/all there coaching problems seem’s to be doing alright!!Hopefully things (EO,AO,LS) will improve on the trail (recruits)….(check out UCF,Houston)and a couple other “Johnny come latelys” recruiting…depressing!!

  15. Statesman 1 says:

    Who’s kidding who? If ‘Bama or any other SEC school really wants a recruit over us we’re screwed- he’s not going to end up here unless he doesn’t like cash.

  16. 44pride says:

    He should take his time. What if HCDM goes 1-11 or 2-10 or 3-9 this year? Will he be the coach next year with a record like that? Who knows. I can tell you one thing, anything less than a bowl game will make this young man go elsewhere.

  17. bigdip says:

    Sure no bowl back to back seasons, would discourage a few recruits SU is targeting. Bama offered Wayne Morgan if I’m not mistaken… i smell “revenge recruiting” concerning national recruit: EO? But when Clemson comes calling… sheesh! Get ready for Oregon too….then Florida State ..to sit the bench three seasons? PSU to go no bowls until senior season?

    HEY FIZZ..NO EO STORIES TIL CHRISTMAS…”ON TO THE NXT 1!! “

  18. Lou R says:

    Take your time EO ,, Just remember one thing. Your posse of friends will be here and you will have an opoortunity to practice in the spring and be a starter here. Also, you have the talent to be the next Freeney and also your family can watch you as New York’s College Team enters the ACC. Whatever your major is SU has your best interests at heart.

    Good Luck!!!

  19. Russell MacEachern says:

    unfortunately for us I’ve detected a troubling recent trend…aren’t their enough athlete’s in the South/SE?…it seems NY/NJ has been all of a sudden attracting every school’s in the SEC/Big12/PAC top gun recruiters…its tough enough dealing w/the BiG,ACC,BE and all the independants,..we just don’t put out Texas-style #s of athletes….whats drawing these greedy factories?

  20. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ive already once suggested we hire a “top gun” type closer/recruiter ala MDs Locksley…..RE has a similar temperment as the “Dougie” and MDs recruiting fortune’s skyrocketed w/the hire….can HCDMs ego/pride accept it?My only fear is ego’s clash in that type of atmosphere and i’ll be watching RE and MD closely this year!!!

  21. Russell MacEachern says:

    crack…crack…crack…sound’s like the PSU wall is about to come crashing down…

  22. [...] Ogundeko Tells Fizz Clemson, Bama & ASU Now In Mix, Will Take Official to SU OrangeFizz And now the real wait is on. After 4-star DE/OLB Ebenezer Ogundeko last week moved his decision date into December, the Brooklyn native tells The Fizz he will be taking a good look at other schools outside of his top four of…[read more] [...]

  23. OD says:

    you mean a high school wants to take advantage of system that allows him to travel around the country to some of the top football programs he grew up watching?!?! BLASPHEMY WARRRGGGHH HOW DARE HE!!!!!

    Relax peeps! If he wants to have an actual impact upon a real tradition, he will be at SU. There is no family out there better than that of the Orange.

  24. Norma Stitz says:

    Great post OD! Completely agree.

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