Doug Marrone said at¬†Big East Media Day he’s never felt better about his recruiting,¬†and that includes growing influence down in Georgia. Earlier in the week The Fizz discussed Syracuse’s top 3 targets down there for the¬†Class of 2013, and 3-star DE/OLB Rakim Peters from Apalachee HS made the list. He’s ranked in the top 100 nationally at his position. The 6‚Äô4‚Äù 230 lb. hybrid pass rusher tells The Fizz he will be taking an official to SU at some point. That bodes well for the Orange, as it battles with ACC and SEC schools in landing the Winder, GA native. Peters has over a dozen scholarship offers, but fortunately for SU, Rakim places a big emphasis on being the first Orange recruiting class to play in the ACC.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs very important. If I go to Syracuse I can have my mom drive out and watch me play [at road games]. I just know I have family and friends that can come out and watch.”
Peters has scholarship offers from schools all over the southeast, but his top 5 right now includes Syracuse, Clemson, Missouri, Kentucky and Mississippi State. Rakim will most likely wait until after his football season to take his official visits. He originally wanted to plan a visit to SU back in June, but never made it to campus. The Georgia product admitted that he and Greg Adkins, who has been recruiting Peters, will be planning one for either November or December.
For now, Rakim will focus on his senior season. Peters is very versatile because he can play in either the two or three point stance at the DE or OLB position. His coach Shane Davis describes to The Fizz why¬†that makes Rakim so dangerous on the football field.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs got height, and really good size and he just moves well. He understands the game well. He plays fast, and does a little bit of everything on defense. We played him at the DE spot in our 4-3 front, but when we go to our three-man front we actually drop him into the secondary. He can do a little bit of everything.‚Äù
Peters recorded 70 tackles and racked up 6 sacks last season. The pass rusher is a very respectful and intelligent kid, and would certainly fit in with the type of players Marrone brings in. Coach Davis said Peters is looking for the perfect fit – a school where he is most comfortable and not just a big name. He‚Äôd rather focus on the character and success of the team, something that Marrone stresses. Davis believes Rakim has one of the best team attitudes.
‚ÄúRakim is a very humble kid and all this is very new to him, and it‚Äôs been a great experience for him. The last thing he wants is the spotlight to be on him, he‚Äôd rather it be on his team.‚Äù
Reeling in a player like Rakim Peters¬†will further extend Syracuse‚Äôs ever growing roots in the Peach State. Marrone has brought in 5 Georgia prospects in his last two classes, most recently George Morris and Josh Manley. Marrone is also targeting a specific region in Georgia, right around the Atlanta area. All 6 SU players that hail from Georgia on the roster right now and two more ’13 targets are all from within an hour‚Äôs drive around Atlanta. That includes¬†WR Keenan Hale, RB George Morris, LB Cameron Lynch, OT Kris Curtis, TE Josh Parris, and DE Josh Manley as current Orange, Peters & 3-star OLB Kristopher Smith for ’13.
Marrone is trying to brand the Syracuse name in that specific location, and it certainly has paid dividends. The Orange will play in Atlanta regularly when it travels to play Georgia Tech in upcoming seasons.
One other tidbit to keep in mind is Peters will also be a four-year varsity starter on Apalachee‚Äôs basketball team this winter. He’s a huge hoops fan, and tells The Fizz getting the chance to watch the SU basketball squad every year is a big factor to him. Peters is also a Carmelo Anthony fan.¬†Can somebody get him a Midnight Madness ticket?
It‚Äôs still a long way off before Peters makes his decision, which he says will be in either December or January. But SU is already high on the sensational pass rusher‚Äôs list. And that could only mean good things for Marrone‚Äôs thriving pipeline in Georgia.
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald