Speed Merchant: Syracuse Closing in on Big Play Brooklyn Back Laray Smith?

Oregon may have dropped out: “I’m still the fastest kid in New York City.”


Syracuse continues to smash the recruiting trail of the speediest player in the Big Apple. Rest assured Orange Nation, Doug Marrone is still large and in charge in New York CityThree-Star Xavarian HS RB Laray Smith reiterated to The Fizz Syracuse is still high on his list. But not for all generic reasons you’d expect.

“It’s not just about [knowing] people there, and it’s close to New York. It’s more about the respect [SU] has shown me, and the love they show me. They make me know that they are interested in me and like me a lot.”

Other schools that have offered Laray can’t keep up with SU. When we asked the 6’1”, 190 lb. Brooklyn native if Syracuse and Tennessee were still his top two schools, he replied, “Yes. Especially Syracuse.” Smith talks with John Anselmo and the Orange coaching staff twice a week. The senior admitted this connection sets SU apart from other interested schools.

Smith also tells The Fizz he has two official visit dates set for Syracuse and Tennessee. He’ll be down in Knoxville either the weekend of November 23rd or the 30th, and will be on the Hill December 7th. SU QB commit Zach Allen also confirmed to The Fizz that’s the weekend he, Austin Wilson and Augustus Edwards will also be on campus. Smith said Coach Anselmo wants to bring up all the top recruits at once.

The Fizz also talked with Laray about another big time NYC recruit, 4-star Ebenezer Ogundeko. Ebo still has Syracuse amongst his top schools with Florida, Arizona State, and Mississippi. But could SU be emerging as the favorite? The two talk frequently, especially about SU.

“We talk about games, Syracuse, us going there. [Ogundeko] brings it up once in a while.”

You be the judge Orange fans. We remember the E&E Boys, Ebenezer and Edwards, were supposed to be a package deal this summer. With Ebo talking more about going to SU with Laray, there might be a new deal on the horizon.

According to Laray, there might also be fewer schools Syracuse has to battle with. Oregon has not offered, but has been expressing interest in him for months. Now the Ducks seem to be backing off. Laray hasn’t talked to the coaching staff out in Eugene in about three weeks, and doesn’t think an offer is likely. West Virginia is also high on him, but has not offered yet, either.

On the field, Smith has torn it up, and is improving game by game. Last week, in a 53-12 drubbing of Holy Trinity HS, Laray carried the ball 9 times for 209 yards and 3 TD’s. The speedy back broke touchdown runs of 65 and 75 yards. Once he gets past the front line of the D, there is no stopping him. Defensive backs are not quick enough to bring the senior down.

“This last week, I was in a different zone. Last game I just had fun. I felt like I had to step up for my team and try to lead us to a championship still, because we still have the opportunity.”

Xavarian is only 2-5 on the season, but will be playoff bound after its regular season finale this weekend against St. Anthony’s HS. Smith did not play in the Clippers’ first two games of the season, after suffering a high ankle sprain, but feels like he’s now. Laray has a confident swagger to his game. It’s what allows him to take his athletic ability to the next level. One aspect that has improved is his versatility and vision.

“I always had good field vision. It was always about me having the opportunity to get to the secondary. In my head, once I get to the secondary it’s a different show. It becomes me against the safety, and I’m pretty sure a safety isn’t going to tackle me”

The tailback also has worked extensively on putting on some more muscle and bulking up before heading to college next fall. It’s the more physical aspect of his game he’s worked on this season, like hitting the holes harder and blocking.

After Smith finishes up his senior season, he’ll head out to Arizona to play in the Semper Fi All-America Bowl. Fellow Brooklyn native Wayne Morgan played in it last year. Morgan was actually the one who convinced Laray that he’d be good enough to play in the game.

So as Laray gets better and quicker on the football field, Syracuse is getting closer and closer to reeling in New York’s fastest recruit.

Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald

19 Comments on this Post

  1. Getting both Ebenezer and Laray would make this Doug’s class to date with respect to impact players. No doubt no argument just a fact of life . The program is due to win some of these battles . Add Edwards and the two Quarterbacks and we will be in the business of kicking some butt in the ACC in football. Don’t forget the other part of the equation. Thats the O-line kids who make the speed boys look good by clearing the pathway.

  2. This would be a GREAT get!

  3. Russell MacEachern

    Somebody’s handing us a line of bs,I was just looking at recruits on the rivals recruiting site and was surprised to find Fla and Az.St as his top 2 and ND dropped from the list and we were’nt on his top 5??Carlton noticed a week or 2 ago Fla and ND were his top 2?He added Miss ST and 1 other but I did’nt see us!?!?I wish he’d let us know one way or the other!!This leading us on is nuts!!

  4. Russell MacEachern

    Hey guys check the free rivals recruiting board to see whats happening!!

  5. Russell MacEachern

    @btw Im talking about A Egundeko above,excuse me for assuming…. we all know Laray Smith should be a get!!

  6. Russell MacEachern


  7. Kevin Fitzgerald

    I completely agree about what you said about “impact” players. Laray is 6’1″ 190=has speed. Gus Edwards is 6’2″ 220=has power (and keep in mind Gus runs about a 4.5 40!!). Just look at the size on these two. They are seniors in high school!!!–And already with more size than basically the entire current SU backfield. You add Ebo as well, 6’4″ 240 lb DE. The sheer SIZE is what is critical. If you don’t to the ACC without size, that’s not going to work out to well.

    Someone like Zach Allen/Austin Wilson as well. They’re both 6’3″ 200+!!

    You cant teach physicality or size. That is what this class has. It’s already an advantage.

    Huge key to point out Chris.

  8. Confused did we get kicked outta EOs top 5 or no?

  9. Russell MacEachern

    @Chris,Im not sure if rivals recruiting site can always be trusted but I wish AO would give us an honest indication if were still in the running with the “factory” schools!!I guess ND dropped out of the mix and now AZSt and MissST along with Fla are the leaders at this point!?!He would certainly be the prize if HCDM could snag him!!

  10. Russell MacEachern

    Isn’t it Abner?AO? or Ebner?Ogundeko?EO?!!Either way Kevins right getting Agustus Edwards and Laray Smith together would be HUGE!!

  11. Russell MacEachern

    Are we still in the mix for the Philly kid Olb/DE Justin Moody 6’4″230,I know were still in his list of 5 and he wants to stay in the East close to home!!

  12. Since Russ keeps typing AO, have we heard any update on Officer, the O-line kid from Rochester I think?

  13. @Malone, Officer is from the ROC. He sat out of the 1st rd of sectionals due to an injury. I know that’s probably not the update u wanted but it’s all I got 😛

  14. Russell MacEachern

    Malone,ur right Im confusing Ogundeko with AOfficer the OT,whats our status w/him?He’s certainly staying low-profile!!Id be happy to get him and think Officer is more likely to sign w/us!!I really think Ogundeko is just trying to be polite to the local school”us”[email protected],todays the big day for the Irish,good luck!I think they’ll make a game of it!

  15. Russell MacEachern

    I know BK is a good coach but for some reason I get the feeling hes arrogant!It would make ND more palatable w/o Kelly as the coach but I hope they rock the Sooners today bigtime!!The BiG12 “Tex/Okla” are getting to big for their britches!!I love to see Tex w/all the 4 and 5 Star recruits struggling!!They have absolutely NO respect for eastern football!!Todays a big day for “Cuse” to get back to back wins and get in the Bowl mix otherwise everyones gonna say same ol Cuse!!”Go Cuse”..todays an oppurtunity fellas,keep ur fingers crossed!!USF is a talented underachieving team who could jump up and bite us!!

  16. Russell MacEachern

    Where the heck is my nephew Dip and Ron,Smitty129sec and Derek?I seen Malone and Carlton!!Is CDL who lost his gf still out there?HaHa,sorry to hear that CusedontLuse!But ur team is still here!

  17. FYI!!! Check on the NYC HS FB info and you’ll find some interesting news. I have hardly seen EO in any news!!! MVP for a game or anything. How can that be a 4 star talent. Heard plenty of other “quick” players from the “Big Apple” area also. But really no great play written about EO. As of yet. Come on you’d see something from a real star!!! Something just does not smell right here!!

  18. Russell MacEachern

    Yeah Terry,it seems EO has got hisself a case of “Starfever”….sniffing around only out of state football factory’s!!

  1. […] Orange closing in on Brooklyn RB Laray Smith […]

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