When speedy corner Gareef Glashen committed to Syracuse before signing day 2010, a lot of people saw it as a win for SU and a comeback for the “Orange Empire.” Not Greg Schiano.
“Gareef didn’t have an offer from us.”
And so with the Glashen commit for Doug Marrone, the Scarlet Knights staff picked it up, and found a checkmate when they finally offered and got a commitment from the Florida burner.
That Sunshine State battle was one territory that Schiano holds court in every single season.
“We recruit what we call the State of Rutgers. It’s about a three-and-a-half to four hour circle around our campus and then the state of Florida. We go into those schools every year, we have relationships with the coaches.”
Somewhere in the 2000′s, Schiano took over the New York Metropolitan/New Jersey area, and, with the help of a billboard, Florida too.
Some will say it was the rise of Schiano himself. Others will point to the instability of Syracuse during the Coach P era and the Groobers Error on the Hill.
But what specifically does Schiano do on the trail that makes him effective? At Big East Media day last week in Newport, I had the chance to ask him about it. Schiano doesn’t appear to be the snaky guy that ‘Cuse fans would love to use as an outlet for anger and frustration. He battles hard, and doesn’t listen to recruiting websites at all. His “State of Rutgers” is built completely on relationships, and as unfortunate as it is, he’s a very good conversationalist.
So he gets into the trenches, he looks under every rock, and just about every other cliche possible. And at the end of the day, he wins and loses like any other coach in college football. So if a Rutgers recruit verbals somewhere else, where does that leave him?
“We’ll always have one more call to the young man to say congratulations, if things change, give us a holler. And we’ll always ask, do you want us to keep recruiting you?”
According to Schiano, the answer to that question decides the future of the relationship.
Of course, with the “inflation” of recruits by media and various services, can an athlete use his commitment as leverage for another school?
“Well I think the recruits are a very very sharp group now.” But once again, Schiano’s not playing that game. He’s got his web and right now, it’s bigger than Marrone’s wolfpack.
Posted: Ted Conroy