Orange Hope: Why Did Ogundeko Swap Florida for Syracuse in His Final Two?

The Brooklyn pass rusher is now down to Clemson and SU before Jan. 5th.

How much of a shot does Syracuse have at landing Ebenezer Ogundeko? Earlier in the week Ryan Murray from Rivals reported the Brooklyn pass rusher had changed his final two schools from Florida and Clemson, to Syracuse and Clemson. Does the Orange have a legitimate 50/50 shot?

First, what eliminated the Gators from his decisions? There are thoughts that competition at his position pushed him away. According to UF recruiting site The Bull Gator, Florida has commitments from DE Joey Ivey (Dade City, FL) and three Sunshine State linebackers, Dillon Lawson (Crestview), Daniel McMillan (Jacksonville), and Matt Rolin (Ashburn, Virginia).  There’s also plenty of youth along the defensive line and linebacker positions for UF. 

Ogundeko told The Fizz he wanted to go someplace that would allow him to become a superstar. Maybe he feels all the talented bodies at pass rusher in Gainesville would cloud his ability to truly stand out. Which would be a reason to switch Syracuse with Florida as a finalist. While the spotlight wouldn’t be as bright outside the SEC, Ogundeko would obviously be allowed to step in right away and be a regular contributor on defense.

Maybe Ebo also realizes, in today’s college football landscape there’s no shortage of attention no matter where you go. Just last April Chandler Jones was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft by a Super Bowl contender despite leaving after just three years, and being constantly double and triple-teamed on a 5-7 Orange squad that collapsed down the stretch in the Big East.

More importantly though, is the close bond he has with so many of his peers that are fired up for their time at SU. Doug Marrone’s staff has done a terrific job plucking high-end talent from the five boroughs. It’s become cool on the fields of Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island, to dream of “playing ball upstate.” Brandon Reddish begets Wayne Morgan, who begets Augustus Edwards – and hopefully Ebo and Laray Smith.

There is now a pipeline pulsing with momentum from the Big Apple into the Carrier Dome, and the energy is palpable. Coaches in New York trust sending their players to SU. In turn those athletes are doing plenty of recruiting of their friends. Sounded like Ogundeko, along with many of his fellow guests, had a terrific official visit a few weekends ago to the Hill. He might still be basking in the glow of the trip up to SU, envisioning playing alongside so many of his close friends. 

While SU has done a tremendous job rebuilding its New York State relationships, the one piece missing on Marrone’s resume is keeping the very best talent home. He’s lamented losing Ishaq Williams and Jarron Jones in previous years. Bringing Ebo to SU could be the game-changer the program has longed for.

Ogundeko says he’ll decide on January 5th, so plenty could change. Maybe Florida comes back hard and displaces SU again. Maybe a third school jumps into the fray. Maybe Clemson is the heavy favorite and he’s planning to choose Tigers anyway. No matter what, Syracuse has a fighting chance and that’s all you could hope for heading into the holidays.

Posted: D.A.

26 Comments on this Post

  1. Ebo knows now which school he will attend for free. It isn’t Syracuse.

  2. Orange FB fan

    I don’t think its the Cuse either but I wish the man well. I’m a native of NYC and I’m happy to see more and more guys from the PSAL and other city leagues become legit d1 football prospects. It gives more young people opportunities at pursuing their dreams. I just hope the brotha takes full advantage of the education wherever he lands. I saw that he was interested in one of the engineering disciplines. Thats a very tough road(I’m pursuing EE). Good Luck Ebo

  3. ithink ebenezer would be a great pick up here at syracuse and would make a perfect fit. the new york college team top ny recruit here. but if he decides not to come i wish him the best, but also feel su has covered its grounds.

  4. said he choose Florida earlier this week. This kid might be a head case and maybe its better he not come to SU. He just doesn’t sound like a “team” player either. That might be dougie’s reason for not pushing so hard for him!!

  5. Section 129 Smitty

    HOW do we spend DEFENSE in SU Land? NYC baby. Just think Bromely, EO, Wayne Morgan, Reddish the NYC boys could make a name for the themselves. The Gotham City Defense. I think EO is going to SU with his boys. EO make it an orange xmas and pick su early. Section 129 will have cheering section dedicated to you if you committ. It will like the K’s in baseball everytime EO gets a sack the EO sign will go up. Frenney, Chandler Jones and now EO to the first round from SU. EO we want you and need you.

  6. Section 129 Smitty

    meant to say spell Defense: NYC

  7. I think he has the Cuse and Clemson hat ON the table and pulls the Florida hat out from UNDER the table.

  8. He has flipped on who he wants to go to a bunch of times… lets just hope because syracuse was his last visit that he chooses da cuse over clemson… who knows it wouldnt even surprise me if he chose someone outside of his ‘top 2’ with how many times he’s changed his top two… but I will say that syracuse has been in his top three give or take since he’s been recruited then one or two flavors of the last visit.

  9. When the SU team is in NYC .. Take the team to his freaking house and invite him out to meet his teamates. If he goes to Clemson he is a lost sole and a NYC Met… He is a Met fan.

    I hear Ishaq Williams father is helping him in the process…

    He could be the next Dwight Freeney

  10. Ebenezer Syracuse has a great engineering school and the football program actually lets you take engineering unlike some other football schools. I know this because I went there and I was in classes with the starting middle linebacker at the time. Syracuse is also a university that welcomes players that leave for the pros back with open arms if they want to follow that academic dream later in life. Clemson doesn’t have a single player on their roster that either played meaningful minutes or isn’t a walk on majoring in engineering. If you have the academic chops for engineering marrone will want you to be successful there and overall as a man. You and Malik brown could be superstars together crushing QBs from both sides and when your NFL days are over you will have the excellent education to have a successful career in engineering in NYC or any other city you and your family want to call home. GO CUSE GO NY.

    Yours from BK


  11. OrangeCrush27

    I feel ‘Cuse has done all it can to recruit him here.

  12. Lou: I know you just misspelled “Sole” and meant “Soul,” but it sure came out funny. In essence, you said EO lost his fish. A crying shame when they’re having dinner at his place.

  13. Cuse Don't Luse

    bgogo i think that was the pun he was making

  14. Orange FB fan

    Btw, much respect to my fellow Brooklynite and Fizz poster. The journalism school always gets the attention at SU but I didn’t know much about its engineering school. Thanks for highlighting that. I sincerely hope Ogundeko does select the Orange. Redshirts in his first season(so he can sink his anchors into the scholastic side of things) while being a terror as a scout team player. Then as a redshirt freshman, unleash him on the ACC.

    On the high end we can hope he’s more Jones and Freeney than James Wyche(not a real shot at Wyche but I think he could have hit another level). But this is all premature. I have a feeling that he goes to Clemson or pulls a surprise out of the hat. Unlike some, I’m not going to go crazy on his apparent indecision. At this point in his young life, the selection of a school is the single biggest decision he has had to make. Like any young person he will waver back and forth. Any adult who somehow interprets this as a character flaw needs to put themselves in the shoes of a young, highly sought after teen from NYC. Heres to hoping its the Cuse.

  15. I like our chances at landing EO. Cuse has the NYC connection going right now and he would be a big piece of that puzzle. We have been in his top 3 choices since this began, so him picking us for his final 2 is a good sign. As for picking vs Clemson – we have much better history, tradition and especially football alumni. Besides, we are the 15th winningest program in college football history, Clemson – not even close. We will be in the same conf. – so no advantage there. Clemson has been solid the last decade, but just can’t help but remembering last time we played the ‘Tigers’ we destroyed them 41-0 !!! It wasn’t even close and they were just as good then as they are now.

  16. @HedgeHog;

    Great post HedgeHog and I agree with all of it. The last time we played them was in the 1995/96 Gator Bowl. A Donavon MacNabb led Syracuse Team totally destroyed Clemson and they had the 4th best rushing attack in the country.

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