Thin Up Front: A Look at 2013 O-Linemen

Syracuse football recruiting is tricky in the Class of 2013 with fewer scholarships available, and a position feeling the pinch perhaps more than most is on the offensive line. CuseNation.com examines the matter on the heels of several targets pledging elsewhere.

June was a tough month for Syracuse football recruiting, at least up front.

Several offered prospects at offensive tackle, guard and even center – made pledges elsewhere. Several were in the Big East or ACC, so the lost opportunity may directly hurt the Orange down the road. However, there are still some targets left on the board and some offers still to be dealt.

Undeclared offensive linemen holding Syracuse offers

There aren't many on the list, but some of the remaining contenders have previously admitted that they hold the Orange in somewhat of a high regard.

-Alex Officer : New York's top offensive linemen and projected guard has been on the radar of the SU staff for a while, and the Orange was one of the first programs to extend the Rochester (N.Y.) Eastridge standout. He plans on narrowing things down in the fall before taking official visits. Officer has seen the Syracuse campus on several occasions, and the "local" school should be in it until the end. He is the only guard with an offer that remains undeclared since Cameron Ruff committed to USF earlier on Tuesday.

- Shawn Curtis: The three-star tackle out of Orlando (Fla.) Olympia High holds a dozen offers, and won't be deciding any time soon. He, along with teammates Ramar Dennis and Johnny Armstrong, plans to announce a top five after the first game of the 2012 season. Dennis, a defensive end, has an offer while running back Armstrong has solid interest from SU. Curtis will be one to keep an eye on going forward.

-Dennis Finley: Another solid prospect from Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech, and another one SU appears to have missed on. The massive 6-foot-7, 305-pound three-star has not pledged elsewhere just yet – but he recently informed Scout that he is focused on Ohio State, Michigan State and Illinois. Finley plans on committing sometime during his senior season.

Interested undeclared targets

Several linemen have committed over the last two weeks, including four-star Derwin Gray (Maryland), Ruff and potential offerees Derek Edwards (Central Michigan) and Sam Zeff (Massachusetts). The list of available names is thin, but there is talent on the table.

-Zach Duffy: The Pennsylvania prospect makes the most sense to snag SU's next offer. He has been to campus, camped with the Orange and was admittedly waiting on others ahead of him on Syracuse's board to make a decision. With the latter portion of what he was told seemingly over with, he may be next in line to receive an extension. Temple is the only reported offer Duffy currently holds.

-Jaryd Jones-Smith: Philadelphia is an area Syracuse has been more willing to dip into this year, and the 6-foot-7, 290-pound tackle prospect could be on the offer docket. He has seven offers already, but an offer from the Orange would be among the closest to home for him.

-Vinnie Palazeti: The Flint (Mich.) Powers Catholic product holds some MAC offers to date, but Syracuse has been on the radar of late. A camp showing may have given the coaches what they need to see in order for an offer to come down, similar to Duffy's "wait-and-see" situation.

-Clark Clancy: Another Michigan prospect with MAC offers looking to dip into the BCS category. Syracuse has been the first automatic qualifier school to offer a bevy of prospects before, and it will happen again – possibly on the offensive line.

Note: The class will be smaller than most, so the staff could be looking at taking in just one offensive lineman


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