Ebenezer Ogundeko (left) and Sean Avant (right) are two of SU’s hottest targets.
Less than three months until National Signing Day 2013, and Syracuse hasn’t picked up a commitment since July. News will start to heat up now that high school seasons are coming to a close, so The Fizz has compiled the top 5 available recruits for SU. It features a lot of size and athleticism, popular traits of Doug Marrone’s targets. The Orange is playing its best football of the season at an opportune time, but there are plenty of needs to fill on the roster.
Here’s our top 5 Class of 2013:
5. DT Rakim Peters
3-star 6’3”, 230 lbs Winder, GA (Apalachee HS)
The Georgia D-Lineman has spent his senior year focused on a state championship. Peters told The Fizz over the summer he wouldn’t focus on the recruiting noise until after the season because of how dedicated he was to the task at hand. Although the Wildcats finished 5-5, Rakim still had a splendid season. He’s a superb pass rusher and his top schools include Syracuse, Clemson, Missouri, Kentucky and Mississippi State. He told The Fizz before his season he planned on taking a visit to SU. Marrone has invaded Georgia lately and has reeled in five Peach State prospects in the last two classes.
4. WR Sean Avant
3-star 6’0”, 185 lbs Miramar, FL (Miramar HS)
SU’s current Class of 2013 is missing a wide receiver (although the Orange does have Quinta Funderburke after his transfer from Arkansas). Recruiting Coordinator Greg Adkins told The Fizz this year’s group will be limited to 16 players. The Orange will loss Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales after this season, and Jarrod West will follow next year. Those are all Syracuse’s top wideouts, and the names behind the trio don’t jump off the page. Avant is the only receiver SU has a good chance at this class, so using its Miaramar connection would be beneficial here. CB’s Keon Lyn and Ri’Shard Anderson are both graduates.
3. DE Justin Moody
3-star 6’3”, 265 lbs Philadelphia, PA (GW HS)
It’s not often you come across a 265 lb. end that can run a 4.8 40-yard dash. That’s the type of speed the Philadelphia native has. Moody has physically dominated guys in Phily’s Class 4A, and the 3-star prospect is planning his visit to Syracuse. We spoke with Justin and his coach Ron Cohen earlier this year. It could come down to SU or Pittsburgh for the DE, luckily the Orange is having a much better season than the Panthers.
2. RB Laray Smith
3-star 6’1”, 185 lbs Brooklyn, NY (Xavarian HS)
The word playmaker is thrown around a lot, but no one deserves the tag more than Smith. Laray was the king of big plays his senior year at Xavarian. Every time I chatted with the speedy back he’d be telling me about this 65-yard TD, or that 75-yard scamper. SU’s class has home run threats (like his buddy Augustus Edwards) and the tailback brings 4.4 40-yard dash speed to the table. If Syracuse could reel in Smith, it would have one of the deepest and most dynamic backfields ever for the Orange. Prince-Tyson Gully and Jerome Smith will be seniors. Then add Adonis Ameen-Moore as a junior. Now factor in Augustus, Ashton Broyld, Devante McFarlane, and George Morris. If SU adds Laray it could give the program one of the best units in the nation. Smith has SU on his final list just ahead of Tennessee. He’s visiting Knoxville soon and will be in Syracuse the weekend of December 8th.
1. DE Ebenezer Ogundeko
4-star 6’4” 245 lbs Brooklyn, NY (Jefferson HS)
Ebo would be the biggest commit in Marrone’s four years as head coach. Ogundeko already has the size and athleticism, and will be an NFL-ready pass rusher in a few years. He has his final five schools and official visits all laid out. He was at Arizona State earlier in October, and just got back from Florida this past weekend. The DE heads out to Clemson this Saturday and will be at Mississippi December 1st. That leaves the best for last. Ogundeko will visit Syracuse the weekend of December 8th, along with the ‘Cuse Clique: Zach Allen, Austin Wilson, Edwards, Smith and more. It’s reassuring that Ebenezer will be on campus having fun with SU’s Class of 2013. Hopefully some of the guys will be doing their best recruiting jobs to sway the Brooklyn native to CNY.
Wild Card: DE Malik Brown
3-star 6’3” 215 lbs West Palm Beach, FL (Dwyer, HS)
You may not have heard much of Brown, but the Florida pass rusher is high on the Orange. The 3-star product has SU in his final three and will be making an official visit to the Hill in the near future. The agile Brown has over a dozen offers from Big East, Big Ten and SEC schools, but his top list includes Syracuse, Mississippi State and South Florida. He runs a 4.6 40, and is an absolute freight train of acceleration off the edge. Malik is just as effective standing up as he is in the 3-point stance. If he doesn’t bulk up, he’d be a great addition to the LB core or as a TE convert. He plays some wideout at Dwyer HS as well.
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald