While Syracuse wasn’t able to pull off the shocker against USC, the Orange still reaped rewards. Three-star Cass of ’13 RB Laray Smith was among a group of important SU recruits from the northeast at the game. Syracuse is very high on Smith’s list, and the speedy 6’1” 185 lb. back from Brooklyn explained to The Fizz how exciting it would be to play in a game like that.
“It would unbelievable. It’d be a dream come true to be able to play at MetLife and have my family watching me on TV and being at the game. Playing against some of the best competition in the country, I’d have to thank God for that.”
Just another example of how critical these Meadowlands games are in recruiting the NYC area. Smith said his family would love for him to stay close to home, especially if that means playing in NFL venues against the best college programs in the nation.
The senior rushed for 993 yards at a ridiculous 7 yards per carry clip last season, and is very close with Assistant John Anselmo, a New York native as well. Anselmo talked extensively with The Fizz before the game about how critical recruiting NYC is for the Orange. He personally has been recruiting Laray since he his freshman year. Smith tells The Fizz their friendship is second to none.
“We have a good relationship. When me and Coach Anselmo talk now, we don’t even talk much about football anymore. We just talk about life, and moving on to the next chapter and things besides football. He tells me about going to a school for what I really want, just not for the football team, but also for the education and making sure they have my major. He’s a good role model.”
Being from NYC, Smith is also friends with many SU players. He is very close with WR Alvin Cornelius, as well as Wayne Morgan and Steven Rene. The RB says it would be terrific to compete with players you’re familiar with.
“It would mean a lot. Playing with someone you’ve been playing with all your life, you’re going to have a good relationship [with them]. I feel comfortable with them.”
Doug Marrone has discussed how pleased he is with his progress in dominating the Big Apple recruiting. Laray says he hasn’t met a coach quite like Marrone before.
“He’s a different kind of head coach. He goes hard for his recruits but in a different way. He doesn’t try and pressure you; he wants you to go to whatever school you feel most comfortable with. He talked to me about other schools, too, he doesn’t mind. He doesn’t downgrade any other schools, and he talks good about everybody. He just said at the end of the day, the choice is up to you.”
Smith is a very intelligent kid with a good head on his shoulders. The Brooklyn product has received seven scholarship offers so far from schools like Tennessee, Purdue and UConn. He tells The Fizz Syracuse and Knoxville are two places he will definitely take his official to, most likely in December after his season. But over the last few months, Smith has been getting increased interest from Oregon and West Virginia. Neither has offered, but if they did, Laray would certainly give them a look. He also admitted that if they don’t offer soon, they might be too late.
Right now, SU remains atop his list. Smith is not only the 5th best recruit in the state, right behind Augustus Edwards and Ebenezer Ogundeko, he’s also a track star at Xavarian. He says his football game is all about quickness and agility, and track certainly benefits his play on the field.
“Track helps me a lot. It helps me transition my speed, and change gears during plays. I know how to change my gear to make a defender miss, and it helps me with my stamina. Suppose I make an 80-yard run, I can run full speed the entire run.”
Smith runs a 4.4 40. Yup, you read that right. Laray liked the idea of coming in with fellow Class of ’13 power back Edwards. The two are close friends, and he thinks the duo could create a thunder and lightning combination in the SU backfield. Edwards brings the size, and Smith brings the speed.
“I’m a fast player. When I get the ball, I take my time until I see that hole, and once I burst out, I know nobody is catching me.”
Smith always keeps a positive attitude, and quite simply is a really nice young man. It was enjoyable chatting with him for a bit this past week. We ended up shooting the bull about SU’s tough loss to Northwestern last weekend. He’s a smart player that SU would love to reel in for February. Even with a loss, Syracuse took a step forward in its future with a night inside Metlife Stadium.
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald