Cabinda chooses to go to Syracuse

Cabinda chooses to go to Syracuse

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Cabinda chooses to go to Syracuse

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Jason Cabinda of Hunterdon Central High School has made a verbal non-binding commitment to play football at Syracuse University.

Despite being one of the premier running backs in the area last fall, Cabinda will play linebacker for the Orange, whom he chose over Boston College, UConn, Temple and Maryland.

Cabinda was sold on joining Syracuse and first-year coach Scott Schafer following a visit to the campus on the weekend of June 21.

Cabinda, who stands 6-foot-1 and plays a lot stronger than his frame indicates, was third in the Courier News region last fall as a junior with 1,486 yards on 222 carries with 22 touchdowns. He added 15 pass catches for 229 yards and another score.

Hunterdon Central coach Matt Perotti said last fall he believed Cabinda was one of the best juniors in the state and the numbers backed it up. He was the go-to man as the Red Devils dug out of a 0-3 start to qualify for the NJISAA Central Group IV playoffs and win a first round game.

He rushed for 196 yards and five scores at Westfield in a 49-14 romp and scored four touchdowns in a 27-7 win over Phillipsburg, but entered his candidacy for Performance of the Year in a setting that had to be considered as one of the favorites for Game of the Year in 2012.

After blowing a 21-point first quarter lead by surrendering 28 unanswered points, Hunterdon Central calmed the waters by turning to Cabinda, who rushed 39 times for 282 yards and three touchdowns and sparked a 42-35 victory over a previously undefeated Ridge team in a game that will not soon be forgotten.

A Courier News All-Area First Team selection last season, Cabinda played both ways and registered five sacks in addition to his primary ball carrying duties.

As a sophomore, Cabinda showed promise as the perfect complementary back to a north-to-south runner in Brandon Brocklehurst. In spot duties, Cabinda picked up 675 yards and scored seven touchdowns.

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