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And Then There Were 23: Leroy Owens De-Commits

The Syracuse Orange football team had a Morris, a Coleman, a Davis and an Owens in their 2012 recruiting class. How perfect was that? We just needed a Brown or a Little to kick things up one more notch and the return of 44 would have been imminent.

Alas, there's a reason verbal commitments are non-binding. Because they are easily changed.

Leroy Owens, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound outside linebacker from Florida who committed to the Orange back in July, has reportedly changed his mind and will stay close to home and attend FIU instead.

Owens told the recruiting web site Rivals.com last night that he has decommitted from the Orange and instead will sign with Florida International on national letter-of-intent signing day Feb. 1.

Owens was rated a three-star recruit (out of five) by Rivals.com. He received two stars from Scout.com and ESPN.com.

That reduces the number of committed SU recruits to 23.

Interestingly, Owens was among those in Syracuse a few weeks ago for the big recruiting shindig and had apparently bonded with some of the fellow Southern recruits. Guess he didn't like what he saw or the temperatures he endured.

As Nolan mentions, two other verbals are also still up in the air. Linebacker Tashon Whitehurst is apparently deciding between SU, South Florida and Rutgers while Josh Manley reduced his commitment to soft verbal and visited Missouri last week.