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