Yep, we're in verbal committal season. It's been all "quarterback this" and "Provo that" so far, where are the hard-hitting LBs? Looks like we got one today when the Syracuse Orange picked up a verbal commitment from Miami's Marqez Hodge to play football in 2013.
Doug Marrone does not consider himself a proponent of the recruiting website star system and that's evident with Hodge's recruitment. He has no rating from Scout. Still, that didn't stop him from picking up offers from Minnesota, Marshall and Western Kentucky as well as SU.
The 5-foot-11, 198 pounds LB is going to have to bulk up to stand toe-to-toe with our current LBs and opposing teams, but he's got plenty of time for that. Or he'll be converting to safety down the road. The stats say Hodge didn't play much last year, but the smart money is on him making an impact this season. Perhaps SU was just trying to dig in its heels before everyone else notices him.
Miami Central is something of a recruiting mainstay in South Florida as Hodges lack of attention and/or stats seems to have a lot of people thinking he's some kind of package deal or way in for SU to get to another big recruit. Miami Central is also where current SU players Durell Eskridge and Oliver Vigille attended high school, so it looks like the Orange have made a nice dent there.
There is a mention on cfnews13.com that SU also picked up a commitment from teammate Devonte Duclos, another linebacker. However, that's been refuted by CuseNation's John Garcia Jr., who says Duclos has an offer but has not committed.