Peach State Pipeline? Syracuse’s Top 3 Football Targets in Georgia

Doug Marrone is encouraged by his recruiting success, and one state in particular that Syracuse is making waves in is Georgia. While SU has planted its foot in the middle of NYC by reeling in 3-star RB Augustus Edwards, and brought in transfers such as John Raymon to create depth, the Northeast is still limited in its talent.

Last week at Big East Media Day, Marrone said he was pleased where his team stood in recruiting since he took over. He specifically pointed out the recent success in states like Texas. Lonestar QB Zach Allen is a rare Texas win for SU, and he continues to have a fantastic summer as he prepares for the Hill in January. Tapping non-traditional SU recruiting states like Texas and Georgia is now where Marrone can branch out to.

The Peach State is a hot bed for top football talent, and Marrone has focused in on it. He’s signed 5 prospects out of GA in his last two recruiting classes, and 2 of those were 3-star targets in ’12. In February, SU received commits from Stone Mountain’s Joshua Parris, Alpharetta’s Josh Manley and Lawrenceville’s George Morris. All three are highly touted and will make an impact on the Orange. It’s a new horizon for SU. In Syracuse’s 4 recruiting classes from 2005-2008, Groobers didn’t bring a single prospect out of Georgia. Not one.

The move to the ACC makes things much easier on Syracuse, and more importantly on these young recruits. The thought that they will be able to come back south and play road games against teams like Georgia Tech, Florida State or Clemson is a huge plus. Families of recruits won’t have to travel all the way to the Dome to watch them play. They’ll be able to see them close to home, much like the New York City recruits at Metlife Stadium.

The class of ’13 looks tantalizing as well for SU. The Fizz brings you the top 3 Georgia prospects SU has offered.

Greg Toboada: TE, Atlanta, GA. 6’4”, 245 lbs., The Marist School (pictured middle)

Toboada is a big bruising TE that also plays DE. The 3-star product is the 15th best TE ranked by Scout and is a Top 150 prospect by ESPN. SU is one of over 10 schools that has offered Toboada, including Arkansas, South Carolina, Oregon and Alabama. The Tide seems to be the favorite right now for Greg. His agility and versatility is what makes him so valuable. Toboada is a great blocking TE, and has great hands coming off the line. And with that huge frame, Toboada can flat out overpower opponents on the defensive line. Imagine a combo of Toboada and Ron Thompson.

Rakim Peters: DE/OLB, Winder, GA. 6’2”, 225 lbs., Apalachee HS (left)

The 3-star hybrid rusher has offers from nearly 15 schools that include Clemson, Missouri, Purdue and Cincinnati. But no Georgia school has offered the Apalachee HS native. SU wants to take advantage, although now that plenty of big schools are looking at him, the Orange can’t rely on getting an early commitment. Having the ability to play both in the 2 and 3 point stance is what makes Peters so valuable. The rising senior also accumulated 4 sacks as a sophomore a couple season ago for his Wildcat squad.

Kristopher Smith: OLB, Flowery Branch, GA. 6’4”, 205 lbs., Flowery Beach HS (right)

The 3-star Smith has offers from six other schools, but they’re mostly current or future Big East schools. Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and UCF are part of that list. Smith is extremely athletic and has great sideline-to-sideline speed. He has a 4.5 40 yard dash time, and is a very intelligent kid, on and off the football field. Smith is quick at changing directions and has an uncanny ability to outrun tackles on the offensive line. He has a motor that doesn’t stop until the whistle blows. The Orange has to play the ACC card while battling with Big East schools trying to land Smith.

Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald


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  1. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Carlton,check the number of NJ?PA players on NDs roster!!

  2. Ron says:

    @Carlton,out of curiosity, I checked the rosters of 4 different universities to see if they do indeed recruit the Northeast and this is what I found.

    Notre Dame has 1 NY and 5 NJ players on their roster.
    Penn St. has 6 NY and 4 NJ players on their roster.
    Florida has 2 NY and 1 NJ player on their roster.
    Tenn. has 0 NY and 2 NJ players on their roster.

    It’s funny how some people fail to see the importance of recruiting this area.

  3. Malone says:

    @Carlton-Never had a problem building lines, just don’t want to see us try and build a superhighway and fail while missing the kid next door in the process. Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan. Two good QB’s from NJ and Penn. Neither went to SU. DDarius (from NJ) has done and continues to do great things in Fla running camps and we SHOULD try to get his help as an alumnus. I just don’t think our school has a real presence in any of those parts since the early 90′s, but with the ACC, we will again. I think it will always be an uphill battle, and will likely take 4-5 years of being in the ACC just to get the necessary recognition. In the mean time we need to be competitive to turn recognition into respect. To do that, since the line isn’t strong enough yet to land big time southern recruits, we need to build the foundation on the respectable amount of high level talent in our own back yard. Paterno did it, Pasqualoni did it, Schiano did it, Edsall did it. BC has been respectable in recent years with local kids. Do we need the lines to snare a stud or two from those other regions? yes, but we can’t and shouldn’t build an entire program in NY on Louisiana and Alabama talent, no matter how good the talent is. We don’t have the draw yet. If you build it they will come, but we’re still building.

  4. Carlton says:

    The cold hard turth is SU is at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting. The north isnt a hotbed for top tier d-1 football players like it is for bball players. The fact that 50% of a teams roster on winningest teams from 04-08 comes from within 200miles makes a lot of sense. I know 1 team u wont see on that list SU. RU has been to 7 bowls in 140yrs of football. None have been a BCS or NC game. So dont borther useing them etheir. SU needs to find away to win battles in the south or they will go to the pinstripe bowl or belk bowl yr in and yr out. An if ur ok with that then cool winning NY/NJ should be priority #1. Do agree malone winning ny/nj is importin now to build a base but my point always been if u wanna see SU win at a high level they need to win the south.

  5. Ron says:

    @Carlton;I just finished reading about the 1987 Syracuse(Sugar Bowl) Team that finished the season 11-0-1 and was ranked #4 in the land.

    – 19 guys on that ’87 roster were drafted by the NFL.
    — 12 more guys on that ’87 roster were signed as NFL free agents.
    — 5 guys on that ’87 roster eventually played for Super Bowl teams.
    — 2 guys on that ’87 roster became NFL Pro Bowlers.

    None of the above players were 4/5 star athletes and 90/95% of the team where from the NY,NJ,PA areas of the US.

    The point that both Russell and I were trying to make is that this area should never be overlooked, not by Syracuse University or any other school.

  6. Carlton says:

    @Ron- aight point taken. I hope the ‘cuse can turn it around. I might get to see 1st hand just how well those ny/nj guys matchup vs the south if they travel down here to tally to play fsu. An ron just so u know that there isnt any hard feeling ur more then welcome to come tallgate at my place if u find ur way down here. My the doak is in my backyard of my apt.

  7. Malone says:

    @Ron-I would love to see a similar analysis done of the ’92-’93 team and the ’95-’96 team. Both of them finished in the top 10 and won huge bowl victories (Fiesta over Colorado and Gator over Clemson)
    @Carlton-I am never satisfied unitl we are dominant, but I feel it will take a near NC caliber program just to be able to pick and choose from the south. The data of the report is double edged sword. It says that the areas you mention are producing top recruits, yes, but it also says that those recruits want to stay close to home. Should we move the University to be more successful? I think we can do it with a base of northern talent and suplement with imports in part because the data suggests we (or anyone else outside of those regions) can’t get that talent. Why do you think the SEC has been so good of late? On another note, I am a little upset I am not invited to Florida.

  8. Ron says:

    @Carlton;thank you for the invite. Once Syracuse is in the ACC I plan on going down to North Carolina and watching NCS vs. Syracuse game.

    I’m the type of guy that once I say my piece,it now becomes moot and I move on. The only was that carry a grudge is when anyone downplays my wife or my family. I really love the fact the your here giving us your opinion. That’s your word and I respect you for not backing down from it.

    I have no hard feelings towards you at all Carlton. I hope to have more spirited conversions with you in the future.

    I would love to tailgate with you. I’ve told my sons that I’m thinking ABOUT GETTING ONE OF THOSE TAILGATER’S FOR ALL FUTURE GAMES. You know the one’s that have the TV’s in them.

  9. Ron says:

    @Carlton;I have a nephew that is a die-hard FSU fan. He’s already talking about going down to Florida for a game. Let’s keep in touch ok, because a trip to Florida for a game just might happen.

    GO CUSE;

  10. Ron says:

    @Malone;he was just spreading some of the Southern Hospitality and I accepted.

    Now let’s not get down on him to bad.

  11. Carlton says:

    @malone ur more then welcome to come down and party as well. Few yrs ago when i was doing my undergrad at Louisville abunch of fam and firends came down for a football game. Thank good they served bourbon might have been the wrose football game ive ever seen. Lost b/c of a missed extra point and a punt return for a td. If u wanted to go to away bball game this yr i suggest goin to louisville. The game will be great and the YUM! center is a nba arena. Not to mention 4th street live is 2blocks away.

  12. Malone says:

    It’s all good. I was just funnin. I have lots of family in NC and Fla and I am looking forward to getting down for a game. If and when I do, I’ll let you know. I have not been to Louisville in years. It sounds like lots has changed. May be worth a shot.

  13. Carlton says:

    @malone,Ron- sounds good. I’ve been around the fizz for a few yrs so ill be on here but if u have twitter or facebook i can u that as well.

  14. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Carlton,I hope that invite extends to me also..lol..aren’t we unreal..I think we should leave it at this..HaHa..this is crazy,were all SU fans!!!

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