The Defensive End Dynamic

Syracuse football recruiting has been an up-and-down process for the Class of 2013, and it may all be linked to the defensive end position.

Syracuse football's priority in the Class of 2013 was to lock in a pair of quarterbacks to help with the depth when Ryan Nassib departs following the upcoming season.


Austin Wilson and Zach Allen committed 10 days apart and both seem set on signing with SU on Letter of Intent Day 2013.

With the signal-caller spots secured, the focus shifted to defense - and specifically on the line.

Defensive tackle commit Wayne Williams fills a need inside and Isaiah Johnson, though not polished by any means, was the first defensive end on board.

Still, the pace of the recruiting game is set on the end position going forward with the need for another prospect on the edge despite what looks like will be a smaller class. The possibilities are not as vast as they once were, which emphasizes the need to land coveted Brooklyn prospect Ebenezer Ogundeko.

While he's set to announce on July 20 between Syracuse, Florida and Notre Dame - plenty of movement has taken place beneath him on the SU board.

Texas prospect Sam Tevi, Ohio prospect John Stepec and Virginia prospect Mark Wilson have already all but ruled the Orange out.

For those still with offers from SU at the position, Winder (Ga.) Apalachee duo Rakim Peters and Johnny Thompson both think highly of the Orange, but won't be deciding anytime soon. The same can be said for Florida DE prospect Ramar Dennis, who plans on narrowing things down to a top five after the first game of his senior season.

A wildcard in the race could be Nick Internicola. The Floridian - who doubles as an outside linebacker like Ogundeko does - told Scout that Syracuse was among his five favorite schools, although he doesn't have a clear timetable for a decision.

With Ogundeko set to announce sooner than later, it may set off a streak of new possibilities at the position should he decide to commit elsewhere. However, with what may be the case with New York's top player and other standout defensive ends that are committed elsewhere like Elijah Daniel - schools won't back off until Signing Day.

Internicola, Peters and Thompson may like SU, but Ogundeko's impending decision may determine if they have the commitable offer that is needed for the school to accept a player's pledge to the program. Even then, the race for the Ogundekos and Daniels of the world won't be over for another 7-plus months.

Buckle-up and hang tight even if a commit doesn't come SU's way in a while - the staff is dealing with a certain strategy in regards to who may be brought in.

Lastly, let's not forget about John Raymon. The pending Iowa transfer may, like all the other uncommitted defensive ends, have to wait on Ogundeko before the door is truly open.

After July 20, the class will take shape no matter what. But the ball seems to be in Oguneko's court.

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