Syracuse will likely look to bring one offensive lineman into the fold in the 2013 class. The top offensive lineman in New York, Alex Officer from nearby Rochester (N.Y.) Eastridge, appears to be the primary target. Officer outlined an unofficial list, and which schools are coming at him the hardest.
At 6'4", 310 pounds, Alex Officer has the frame college programs covet coming out of high school. He has had a busy summer, participating in different events such as the Rivals Challenge and the Nike Football Training Camp. That allowed him to go up against some of the best talent in the country. Officer says he held his own.
"I'm on pace with a lot of other kids who are the top kids in the country," he explained. "It was pretty good to show that I can handle them and keep up with them."
Those types of performances are what intrigues college coaches. Officer currently holds ten offers and is receiving interest from other places as well. So far this summer, he's taken a few unofficial visits to get a feel for different programs.
"I've been to Syracuse a few times," he said. "I've been to Rutgers, UMass, and a couple other places. Syracuse is a very nice place. They showed a lot of interest. I can tell they really want me to come there.
"They really seem like they want me to come play there. I like them. They're pretty good people down there."
The offensive lineman, who says he can play anywhere on the line but projects currently as a guard, said Tyrone Wheatley is the primary coach recruiting him at SU. He also explained that Syracuse is in touch with him on a regular basis. Wheatley calls, sends letters, and visits him at his school.
Rutgers is also on him more than most.
"My visit to Rutgers was pretty fun," Officer explained. "They have nice facilities. The coaches are very good people. A lot of them went to the Buccaneers so it's a bit different right now."
Another school Officer has shown a lot of interest in is Virginia Tech. Cornell Brown has been Officer's primary recruiter with the Hokies, and he has taken visits there as well.
"I like the atmosphere at Virginia Tech. It's like a pro sports team down there," said the versatile lineman. "The community shows them a lot of love including the football players. So it's like a nice college town. It's a pretty nice place to be."
Despite the interest Officer has in the Hokies, he says they are only in contact with him once or twice per month. That is far less than other interest schools such as Syracuse, Rutgers, UConn, and others.
Officer says he speaks with UConn on Facebook a lot, and Pittsburgh sends him a lot of letters. He says it's hard to keep up with all the schools showing interest, but he tries to stay in communication with all of them.
While Officer does not want to commit to an official top-10 right now, he says he has an unofficial top-11. That list includes Boston College, Buffalo, UConn, UMass, Monmouth, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Syracuse, Temple, and Virginia Tech. However, he insists he is still wide open and has no favorites.
In order to help trim that list down, Officer says he needs to take more visits and talk the different programs some more.
"I want to take a few more visits," the three-star prospect explained. "I want to get a better feel for the atmosphere. I want to talk to coaches more to get a better feel for who they are.
I'd like to take a visit to Virginia Tech, and to Syracuse to see how they're doing. And a few other stops along the way."