The Fizz hoped all of our loyal readers (and listeners) celebrated a very Happy Thanksgiving – and the same to Doug Marrone and the Syracuse football program. It’s been a trying year for The Dougie, but for right now the SU ship is still afloat. And on the recruiting trail, the Orange is still trying to gobble up some more players before next year’s class is complete.
There are only a few precious football scholarships left in the class of 2012, with a surplus of potential candidates. For a program that has had some serious depth issues over the past several years, a scholarship numbers crunch must be a welcome dilemma.
One potential late addition to the class could be defensive lineman Josh Manley (Alpharetta, GA). He would be much more than just gravy on the Syracuse plate of recruits. The Fizz caught up with Manley’s coach at Milton High School, Howie DeCristofaro. According to DeCristofaro, SU has cracked the lineman’s top three. Manley’s list of offers includes Syracuse, Boston College, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Purdue, Louisville, Mississippi State, and Wake Forest. He’s narrowed his choices down to the SU, NC State, and Purdue.
Just based on the schools the Orange is going up against, Manley would be an impressive get. And the good news is, according to DeCristofaro, Syracuse has some help.
“I think family will have a lot to do with (Josh’s decision). He’s got quite a bit of family up there apparently.”
It’s always a huge plus when a recruit has family living near a school. That already may have made the difference for Tashon Whitehurst, a linebacker from Florida who is set to enter the SU football program next season. His father is from Syracuse.
The Orange likes to pinpoint its targets early and pursue them aggressively. This was the case with Manley, as Syracuse initially showed interest back in January. DeCristofaro says his player plans on visiting each of his top three choices before making his final decision. If everything continues to go as planned, Manley will pick a school shortly after the new year.
In addition to family, academics also make Syracuse attractive to Manley. He likes that SU has a quality engineering school. The engineering program has brought in a number of past recruits, most recently offensive lineman Rob Trudo.
What kind of player would the Orange get if it landed Manley?
“Very quick and explosive, has a great first step, good hips, change of direction. And his growth potential is huge, he’s 250 now and he looks skinny.”
Already 250 pounds, he would already be one of Syracuse’s heavier defensive ends. But the DE/DT tweener would still have to put on a considerable amount of weight in order to play tackle in college.
DeCristofaro wouldn’t say if Manley is leaning towards any of his top three schools in particular, but the odds look good for Syracuse. If everything else winds up feeling relatively equal for Manley, the family he has in the CNY region could be the deciding factor.
Something that’s absolutely not a factor is the team’s current three-game losing skid. DeCristofaro insists that Manley couldn’t care less about the Orange’s recent struggles.
Whether Syracuse breaks out of the slump or not, it appears that its 2012 recruiting class will be as full as your stomach after several helpings of turkey. And Manley could be one of the class’s final ingredients.
Posted: Andrew Kanell