Cabinda Focused on Syracuse

SOMERSET, N.J. -- Syracuse commit and Flemington (N.J.) Hunterdon Central linebacker Jason Cabinda had a big debut, then spoke about his development at a new position and his status as a member of the Orange's 2014 class.

The quick drama is over, and Jason Cabinda is focusing on his senior season, and being a member of Syracuse's 2014 class.

Cabinda, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound linebacker at Flemington (N.J.) Hunterdon Central, had a dalliance with Penn State after a linebacker decommitted from its class over the summer, but said he is all about the Orange after a season-opening 42-7 win at Franklin High.

"The kid from Michigan de-committed and (Penn State) came back on me real fast," Cabinda said. "We're thinking they will come back with something real soon, but I'm 100 percent fully committed to Syracuse."

In fact, Cabinda is keeping close tabs on how the Orange are doing on the field, and how quickly he may be able to get on the Carrier Dome turf next season.

"They lose five (linebackers) this year, so we're recruiting hard and looking to get four or five,' he said. "We already have a few committed in Zaire Franklin, Colton Moskal (and) Parris Bennett. So we're definitely doing a great job with the recruits."

He also speaks regularly with coach Scott Shafer and linebackers coach Clark Lea.

"They're a hard-nosed team," Cabinda said. "Coach Shafer does a good job with those guys. Coach Lea, my linebacker coach next year, does a great job. They look at me as possibly a SAM linebacker or a MIKE linebacker, possibly. I'm comfortable playing either/or, and they know that. I'll play wherever they put me."

Making the transition to linebacker in college should be a bit easier for Cabinda since he is playing strong side linebacker this season after spending his junior season at defensive end.

"Last year my priority was on the offensive side (running back)," he said. "So, for me, it was just easier for me to play defensive end because I'm great at passing rushing and that kind of stuff. "Just the fact I will be playing outside linebacker at the next level, and just the way I played outside linebacker in camp, it was very comfortable, very natural, so the coaches thought that was the best place on this team for me, and that's what will help us the best."

However, Cabinda also knows things can change with his future position.

"I've always been an unselfish player," he said. "I'll play wherever they put me. If they put me at left tackle, I'd be fine.

"We're a run-first defense, and run is what's most important to us. Once we read pass we'll bail out and get into our drops."

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