New York's Top Uncommitted Prospects

Ebenezer Ogundeko

FOXSportsNEXT begins a series looking at the top uncommitted prospects in the northeast region, and it begins with five players in New York.

The high school football season is ending in New York and the recruiting season is heating up for the remaining uncommitted players from the Empire State.

While Syracuse remains in the mix for several of the top remaining players on the board, interest is spread throughout the country for some of the top talent, and four of those players call one of New York City's five boroughs home.

FOXSportsNEXT is taking a state-by-state look at the top uncommitted prospects in the Northeast region, and the tour begins in New York.

Ogundeko
Ebenezer Ogundeko
Position: Outside linebacker
School: Thomas Jefferson High, Brooklyn
Height: 6-2
Weight: 225
Official visits: Arizona State (Oct. 18), Florida (Nov. 16), Ole Miss (Nov. 23), Syracuse (Dec. 7)
Skinny: Ogudenko is looking the hardest at Florida, Mississippi and Syracuse, but Clemson, Arizona State and Notre Dame remain in the mix as well.

At varying points, Ogudenko was a Florida lean, then a Notre Dame lean, then a Syracuse lean, but this one could take some time to work itself out. One of his best friends, Tottenville High (Staten Island) running back August Edwards, is committed to Syracuse and giving him the hard sell.

Ogundeko grew up a Clemson fan, but could be a secondary target for the Tigers. Ditto with Notre Dame's interest. A wild card is whether he commits to Florida during his official visit this weekend, which is possible, providing the Gators are receptive to it.

One thing to look at is where Ogundeko fits in defensively at each program. He plays defensive end but is best suited to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

Smith
Laray Smith
Position: Running back
School: Xaverian High, Brooklyn Height: 6-1
Weight: 175
Official visits: Tennessee (Nov. 30), Syracuse (Dec.7)
Skinny: Smith is in an interesting situation. He is set to officially visit Tennessee the weekend after four-star running back David Williams of Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia) visits the Knoxville campus. He is also slated to visit Syracuse with Ogundeko and Edwards, and there will be heavy pressure on him when the three New York City kids made their trips together.

However, West Virginia is a wild card because he is talking to the Mountaineers coaching staff about an official visit but is yet to receive an offer. The school he talked about for a long time, Oregon, is yet to offer and the contact between he and the Ducks staff has cooled.

There is also the prospect of Smith being recruited for track, and he may look at that option as well.

Officer
Alex Officer
Position: Offensive guard
School: Eastridge Senior High, Rochester
Height: 6-4
Weight: 310
Official visits: Pittsburgh (Dec. 7), Louisville (TBD)
Skinny: Officer was looking hard at Syracuse, but that has changed. He is looking at Pittsburgh and Louisville, but the Orange could move back into contention giving the proximity of Officer to the Syracuse campus.

That he scheduled a visit to Pittsburgh already is a strong indication of the Panthers' interest, but the Cardinals and coach Charlie Strong are strong recruiters and will have a say in this one.

Belfort
Malique Belfort
Position: Receiver
School: Tottenville High, Staten Island
Height: 6-3
Weight: 175
Official visits: None scheduled
Skinny: Belfort told FOXSportsNEXT his recruitment is being hampered by the need to improve his SAT/ACT scores and also grade point average, but he has plenty of talent. He is hearing from a number of schools, including Rutgers, Penn State, Mississippi State, Boston College, Syracuse and West Virginia.

He is visiting WVU for the Dec. 1 game against Kansas, and is also talking with Florida State.

He is a big, long receiver who likes to block and can also stretch the field. He is not a pure speed guy, but he can get behind a defense. He also doesn't fear going over the middle and has good hands.

If he gets his academics in order and gets a written offer, a program will be in position to pick up an under-the-radar player who very good ability.

Camara
Ousmane Camara
Position: Midde linebacker
School: Bay Shore High, Bay Shore
Height: 6-3
Weight: 250
Official visits: None scheduled
Skinny: Camara can grow into a defensive lineman or trim some weight and play linebacker, so he offers versatility. He has long-standing offers from Buffalo, James Madison, Stony Brook and Purdue and is also hearing from Penn State, Bowling Green and Boston College.

At this point, whichever school shows the most interest will be the favorite to land Camara, who doesn't mind if he has to go away to school.

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