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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

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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