Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco athlete Marcus Valdez is listed as a defensive tackle on Scout. But when Syracuse extended an offer on Tuesday, they had other plans on where he fits within their system. They are recruiting him as an athlete who can play tight end, fullback and even as a specialty pass rusher on third downs.
Valdez is a two-star prospect who has another power five offer in Rutgers. The Don Bosco standout is teammates with Syracuse quarterback commit Tommy DeVito. Valdez says the two are close friends, and their relationship has gotten a lot stronger in recent years. Those factors add extra weight to Syracuse jumping into his recruitment.
"You don't need me to tell you how good of a quarterback, leader and hard worker he is," Valdez said. "He already has made that known by his Elite 11 status. But off the field, he is always humble, working hard and bringing out the best in others.
"Tommy is a close friend of mine. Our friendship has grown throughout these last couple years."
Valdez said almost immediately after picking up the Orange offer, he spoke with DeVito over the phone and is already being recruited by the future Syracuse signal caller.
When the 6-foot-1 athlete visits Syracuse, potentially in the next few weeks, he hopes to have DeVito there with him to help show him around.
"I've heard a lot of good things about the school," he said. "Obviously being that Tommy has made multiple visits and has really good things to say about the school. He just really needs to take me on a visit and show me around."
Valdez says he is "very interested" in Syracuse and is looking forward to visiting. He says there are no favorites in his recruitment right now, and is looking for a possible August decision.