Ebenezer Ogundeko is ready to end the suspense.
Thomas Jefferson’s standout defensive end/outside linebacker, who has received more than 20 BCS-level scholarship offers, has cut his list down to three — Notre Dame, Florida and Syracuse — and plans to announce his decision by the end of June or early in July, he said.
“I think it’s the best decision for me to get it out of the way, focus on my season and stuff like that, that’s important for me,” said the 6-foot-4, 240-pound standout, who amassed 79 tackles and 11 sacks in leading Jefferson to the PSAL City Championship division quarterfinals last winter. “Nothing happened, I just really felt it was time to take my time off [from school] getting better. If I make my decision, I have the whole summer to keep on getting better. It will benefit me for my future.”
Ogundeko cut down his list to Syracuse, Notre Dame and Florida, which he visited over the weekend, because “each of those schools have big-time recruits that came out of New York and I felt a connection with the schools,” he said. “I can see myself playing for one of those schools.”
Ogundeko has previously said Notre Dame was his leader, but the standout junior now says the three are on equal footing. They each offer different qualities that intrigue Ogundeko, he said.
Syracuse was the first school to offer him a scholarship back in February, have made him a priority and would give him the opportunity to play a bevy of former city standouts. He enjoyed his visit to Florida, in which he met the entire coaching staff and sat down with head Coach Will Muschamp.
He stayed with defensive tackle Dominique Easley, the former Curtis star, and was impressed by the school’s facilities and winning pedigree. As far as Notre Dame, the famed South Bend, Ind., school has the best combination of academics and athletics, he said, and would give a great opportunity to get to the next level.
“I’m going to the school that best fits me,” he said. “I’m not worrying about not playing. I know whatever school I go to I can play. I’m going to have that kind of confidence.”
Ogundeko said he isn’t worried about not being able to take official visits because he’s been to all three schools. He also maintained he won’t change his mind again about a commitment date after initially saying he would decide in December, then during the Under-Amour All-American Game.
“It’s a definite,” he said.
Sunday’s Upstate-Downstate Football Classic featured New York state’s top seniors, players who will be going their separate ways to different Division I schools.
Few were as lightly recruited as Flushing’s Andrew King.
He showed that was clearly a mistake. King had a game-high 14 tackles, blocked two punts and returned one to the house from 10 yards out to lead Downstate to a 27-23 victory and garner MVP honors at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
“It felt like I was on top of the world,” the Army signee and first team All-City selection by the New York Post said. “It proved I should’ve been recruited way more than I was. It meant a lot to me, representing Flushing and Queens and the New York City area. It said Army has a big recruit coming in.”
Playing just one side of the ball certainly helped, King said. At Flushing, he was the team’s top weapon at running back and also the team’s top linebacker.
“It allowed me to catch my breath on the sideline,” he said. “My body was real refreshed.”
King said several Flushing teammates and even a few coaches told him if he wasn’t committed, he probably would have a few more options. But he said he’s happy where he’s headed.
“West Point saw what I could do and I have no regrets in going where I am.”
©2012 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.