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SU’s Next Justin Pugh? Florida LT Shawn Curtis To Visit Orange in November

Orange Fizz has confirmed that Orlando, FL offensive tackle Shawn Curtis (6’5″, 270) will take an official visit to Syracuse. The good news continues for SU after a crucial win over Pitt Friday night. The Orange offensive line looked like a different unit with the return of Justin Pugh, and Curtis could very well be his heir apparent. Curtis is listed as just an inch shorter, and twenty pounds lighter (a college weight program will even that out). Pugh is a junior, so the Orange could have its LT situation sorted out for the next six seasons. With a red shirt Curtis could conceivably slide into his LT spot for the 2014 season and spend four years there.

Curtis told The Fizz in August¬†SU was a likely destination for one of his five allotted official visits. The three-star prospect traveled to Charlottesville two weeks ago, and here’s the rest of his schedule so far:

– Wake Forest, October 20th
– Iowa State, October 27th
– Syracuse, November 3rd

Being the last of four schools, Syracuse has to hope that Curtis isn’t sold on any of his other choices before visiting CNY. That weekend is actually not an SU home game, the Orange will play at Cincinnati. He previously told The Fizz he would strongly consider committing to a school during a visit.

Curtis tells us he “will probably commit after the visits I have set up.” He wants to take all of his visits before making a final decision.

Curtis is significant because he‚Äôs the quintessential “ACC get” for SU. The Orange likely wouldn‚Äôt have been in the picture if not for the move to a new conference. Curtis is a legitimate three-star talent (ESPN even gives him four stars). He‚Äôs from Florida, and southern schools are primarily interested. Virginia, Wake Forest, Iowa State, Syracuse, and South Florida make up his top five. Curtis has said the biggest reason he‚Äôs interested in Syracuse is the the ACC. Without the impending conference change, it‚Äôs tough to imagine SU winning very many recruiting battles for high-level southern talent against southern schools. The ACC makes that task far easier.

Looking at the offensive tackle’s tape, it’s easy to see why Curtis considers his biggest strength his footwork. He needs to increase his strength, and that will come with time and a college weight program. But his explosiveness off the line of scrimmage is evident.

Curtis isn’t a household name like Ebenezer Ogundeko or Laray Smith, but he could be just as valuable down the road. Just remember what it was like seeing Lou Alexander start at right tackle for four straight games. Curtis could aid Syracuse’s tackle depth following the graduation of Pugh.

Stay tuned for an update on what Curtis is looking to learn from his visits. And The Fizz will keep you posted on Curtis’ status after each visit he makes.

Posted: Andrew Kanell

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