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Football: Former West Forsyth standout Guthrie signs with Syracuse
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West Forsyth's Ryan Guthrie signed to play for Syracuse by way of Ellsworth Community College in Iowa, where the once-overlooked player became an all-American performer. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

Former West Forsyth standout Ryan Guthrie made a surprise move, taking another step up in what has been a patient and committed college football career.

Guthrie took advantage of the early collegiate signing period, signing with the Syracuse Orange on Wednesday.

“Happy to have signed with Syracuse today,” Guthrie posted on Twitter. “(I’m) thankful for the opportunity and the journey to this point. Ready for the next chapter. #GoOrange.”

Guthrie signed his national letter of intent from Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa, where he has played collegiately for the last two seasons. As a sophomore at the junior college, Guthrie led the ranks of the National Junior College Athletic Association with 107 tackles while adding 25.5 stops for a loss and 7.5 sacks.

The 6-foot-2, 220 pound linebacker will move to the Atlantic Coast Conference and play for head coach Dino Babers after originally telling the FCN that he was committed to play under former Georgia Southern head coach Willie Fritz at Tulane. Guthrie cited the academics of the New Orleans school and familiarity with Fritz as reasons he committed. Syracuse, according to Scout.com, offered Guthrie on Wednesday.

Guthrie received 19 Division I offers before Syracuse came calling—a payoff after choosing to return to Ellsworth after Akron and Eastern Michigan offered him last winter and May. He had no major offers coming out of high school, prompting him to sign with Ellsworth without having visited the campus.

Guthrie will have two years of eligibility at Syracuse, which was the first program from a Power 5 conference (the top tier of Division I) to offer.