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Update: OL Recruit Alex Officer Tells Fizz “There’s No Clear Front Runner Yet”

Syracuse LT target Alex Officer is the best O-lineman in New York State. What was a quiet early recruiting period for the Eastridge HS (Rochester) tackle has quickly developed into a bidding war among Division I schools. Amidst the attention, Officer tells The Fizz he’s taking his time and has not yet set a decision date.

“There’s no clear front runner yet, and I’m not really focused on when I’ll decide. I just want to focus on this season. After that, I’ll take my official visits, and I’ll decide then.”

The 3-star prospect has been in touch with a few of the schools on his list, though, including Syracuse. He says he first met with SU coaches at the first spring scrimmage in Rochester a few months ago.

“I’ve met with Syracuse many times. They came up here for a scrimmage, and I’ve been down there before. I’ve talked to Coach Marrone, Coach Atkins, and Coach Wheatley. They’ve been constantly in touch with me.”

Sounds like Syracuse’s approach at reaching out to its fans west of the Hill could pay dividends on the field as well. Officer is clearly valuable to Marrone as The Fizz discussed months ago. Plus, Officer’s criteria for choosing a school is nothing SU can’t deliver on.

“I want to go to a school that has a chance to win, a stable coaching staff, and just a nice college town. It would be big for me to make it to the NFL. To do what you love every day would be a blessing.”

With Andrew Tiller going to the Saints in the 6th round this year, SU adds to it’s alumni in the NFL, and on the O-line. But the expectations for Officer – should he commit – are going to be much higher. Not only does SU have to make up for the departure of Justin Pugh after this year, it also has to construct an line capable of protecting a first-year starter. Officer welcomes the challenge.

“Yeah, I think I could carve out a pocket for a first year QB. I feel like I could come in and contribute my first year. Obviously, the coaching I’d receive would make me better.”

Officer has the size, the skill, and the confidence. He’s a naturally instinctive blocker and could be a catalyst for a new, more exciting, fast-paced offense. All he needs now is to decide where he’ll take his talents.

* * *

A look into Syracuse recruit Alex Officer’s twitter reveals his sights are set like many elite high school football players on the NFL. Tiled across his background is the unofficial “NFL Draft 2016” logo, and in his description he lists himself as #D1Bound and #NFLBound.

Sometimes we take for granted the NFL clout that SU can call upon to win a particularly valuable recruiting battle like the one for Ebenezer Ogundeko, or this one for New York’s best O-lineman in Officer. EO was slated to run into Dwight Freeney, Chandler Jones, and even all-time great Jim Brown during what was his supposed final visit to SU before making a decision. For Ogundeko, what an indelible mark that can make on a young player. For Officer, SU can also boast having an offensive lineman taken in this year’s NFL draft: Andrew Tiller was selected by the Saints in the 6th round. SU actually is tied for 6th most ever NFL Hall of Famers by a school with 7, equal to always powerful Alabama.

Rumors buzzed saying Ebo decided on Florida during his time at the Opening camp, but he has now delayed his announcement until January. His three finalists: Florida, Syracuse and Notre Dame all have deep NFL success.

The same friends in high places could be crucial in landing the 6’4″, 300 lb. Officer. While his recruitment has ballooned into a ten offer bidding war the past couple weeks, two smaller schools can probably be crossed off the list of contenders. Monmouth (NJ) is not Division I. Old Dominion is an FCS school. Players with NFL dreams are unlikely to choose either one of those programs.

If ESPN’s offer list is to be believed, AO’s recruitment is a tight, exciting, two horse race between Syracuse and Pitt. However, while Officer has reportedly been in no rush to make a decision, he has picked up a signal on many bigger radars. Officer now sits with offers from Boston College, Buffalo, UConn, UMass, Pitt, Purdue, Syracuse, and Temple. The battle for New York’s best offensive lineman is on, and if it comes down to ties with the NFL, the Orange has a strong leg to stand on.

Posted: Jake Moskowitz

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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