NY's top prospect headed south

Ebenezer Ogundeko

Long considered the top football in the Empire State in his class, Ebenezer Ogundeko has been one of the most highly-recruited prospects in the region for some time. On Friday, while participating in the Under Armour All-America game, the defensive end/outside linebacker talent decided to end his recruitment by announcing his commitment to Clemson. He detailed why inside.

Recruiting has been quite the process for Ebenezer Ogundeko.

The Brooklyn (N.Y.) Thomas Jefferson product burst onto the scene as a junior locally, picking up offers from area schools like Syracuse and Connecticut. A quick commitment to UConn ended once word got down the coast of the talented pass-rusher's ability.

Several big-time offers later, in addition to four official visits and plenty of drama in between the beginning of his senior season and a December graduation, the three-star finally announced his decision on Friday on national television.

"I'm going to Clemson," he told FOX Sports NEXT/Scout.com.

Why Clemson?

"The great opportunity to play in the ACC and to play with a great team as well as great D-lineman that are in the same class as me," he said. "I just wanted to try something different…I prayed on it.

"It's great, I'm actually moving into Clemson on Sunday."

The Tigers edged the program that extended Ogundeko his first official offer, Syracuse, and it wasn't easy.

"It was pretty close, a lot of people convinced me (for SU), but at the end of the day it's a business and I have to do what I have to do," he added. "I had to keep all these people off my mind, people that just met me this year just trying to convince me and trying to get close to me.

"All that doesn't mean anything to me, family is first and I'm ready to create a new family at Clemson."

After announcing at the Under Armour All-America game, the process had come full circle after once thinking he was just a regional recruit at best.

"It's a dream come true," said Ogundeko with a smile. "De-committing from UConn was the best decision I've ever made in my life. It opened everybody up and showed how good I am which made everybody want me. "

Ogundeko's mother played a big role in his recruitment, and it often seemingly pointed toward him staying closer to home in Upstate New York, but it wasn't the case.

"She thinks it's great, she thinks it's a blessing," said the 6-foot-2, 235-pounder. "She thanks our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for everything. She's happy, but it shows that all my hard work is paying off and I'm just ready to move on and just start a new legacy.

"I have to work even harder and make it to the next level, which is the NFL."

Now that his decision is final and move-in day is in a matter of hours, Ogundeko is ready to take on a role with the Tigers – one that could have him in multiple positions.

"Like a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker," he envisions. "Being great at that position, and just have the great opportunity to play early and to be coached. A lot of people think I'm raw, and I think so myself. I need to be coached up.

"I'm doing all of these things without being coached-up, imagine if I really did get coached-up…"

A pair of coaches helped secure New York's top 2013 football prospect in Death Valley.

Said Ogundeko, "Coach [Brent] Venables and Coach [Marion] Hobby. These coaches are great, they are really down to earth and they keep it real."

Clemson now has 14 commitments in the class of 2013.

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