Lakeith Walls Crosses Syracuse Off, Is the Orange in a Numbers Crunch?

There’s a growing trend that doesn’t look good for SU just two months before Signing Day.

As recently as last week, 3-star RB Lakeith Walls had Syracuse as one of his top 5 schools, and was looking forward to making his visit to campus next month. Now, that’s all changed. Orange alum and reporter John Garcia Jr. tells The Fizz after Walls talked with Tyrone Wheatley last week to tell him SU was out of the mix, the senior said it just wasn’t meant to be.

“[Wheatley] pretty much informed [Walls] that it was becoming close to capacity as far as scholarships. He was being recruited by Syracuse as a running back, other schools are looking at him as a linebacker. So as a running back, they determined that it probably wasn’t a good idea to recruit him any further. Either that, or he got rubbed the wrong way from the conversation, and he ended up saying they weren’t on his radar anymore.”

Garcia said that there were “no hard feelings” between Walls and Wheatley, but the 6’3” 200 lb. Walls was adamant it wasn’t going to work out. It’s hard to believe Wheatley may have blundered, considering his recent recruiting tear, but the whole situation is fishy. Walls’ head coach, Phillip Gary, from James Ford Rhodes High School in Ohio said Syracuse “would have been a good fit” for Lakeith.

But a crunch on scholarships has already forced SU to pull out of the Tyrone Neal race, a LB who likely would have chosen Orange over Nebraska and West Virginia. Did Syracuse shoot itself on another talented player? Walls’ comment about SU’s cluttered ’12 class is a red flag. Although the LB position has been filled up for next year, there’s only one other running back locked up. Something happened last week, and Garcia said the situation is a bit of a mystery.

“There really hasn’t been a lot of buzz for Syracuse football recruiting over the last 48 hours or so. So either there’s some under the radar commitments that we haven’t dug up yet, or there’s a conflict between the running back situation and the recruiting process.”

This all happened a day before Walls made his official visit to Louisville this weekend,  that same Cardinals team that kick-started Syracuse’s crash a few weeks ago. To pour more salt in the wound, Walls wasn’t blown away by UofL. According to Garcia, Walls was enthusiastic about his visit, but Coach Gary said it didn’t go over so well.

“The visit was okay.  He definitely wasn’t as excited as I thought he would be.”

It was a three-horse race between Louisville, NC State and Cincinnati for Walls before the visit, and Gary now thinks Walls will most likely sign with the Wolfpack by the end of the week.

But the question remains for Syracuse: what happened? Walls’ timing and reasoning doesn’t seem to fit the puzzle. There had been consideration of him playing LB at the next level, but his heart is set on RB. Did SU tell him he wouldn’t have the chance to play either on the Hill? Is Doug Marrone adamant on honoring previous offers and earlier commits, even if they’re to less talented players? Did the relationship between Walls and Wheatley disintegrate? Whatever it was, this could be a disconcerting trend for Syracuse fans with two months to go before National Signing Day.

Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald

9 Comments on this Post

  1. It does sound just a little bit fishy, seems like a decent prospect. Could Boom seriously be looking at Syracuse over superpowers LSU and Oregon?

  2. To echo Tom, I hope it’s because Boom Perkins is serious about ‘cuse. If Perkins picks ‘cuse, then there’s going to be some serious competition at the running back position. Even with is talent, I’m sure Walls is thinking that he may get squeezed out for playing time behind Perkins, Ameen-Moore and Tyson-Gulley.

    I’m wondering though, can you pull an offer from an earlier commit? I’m sure it’s frowned upon and probably does some damage to your reputation for future recruiting, but we stocked up on 2 star recruits early and now there’s three and four star recruits that we have to waive goodbye to. Kind of sucks.

  3. Or could this be a HCDM blunder??? You mentioned other UTR talent that you might have missed. Again DA you just let it go!!! We don’t need any more of them(UTR). Yes its early but we are packed full of UTR’s already. HCDM just can’t keep this up. His history shows that his UTR types don’t beat lesser to better teams than us. Yet he keeps this style up. And the media and you DA(even though I’m starting to hear some moans from you) just will not loudly question this UTR crap. Other programs get a few 4/5 star kids. Why can’t we?? I feel that’s not HCDM style. He’s a control freak from day one(letting players go, not all were bad kids). If this keeps up and this incoming class, so far, is no gem then we’ll be back to nearly the GROB era. Lack of talent and inept coaching=below .500 record. Sound familiar. ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

  4. This is all part of the rebuildin process, calm down! We shouldn’t expect to contend with LSU’s at this point of our rebuilding. Also, A class with alot of 3 stars is better on paper, but a bunch of 2 star players will probably end of being just as good as the 3 star class. We can’t keep coming back 2 the fact that we dropped offers to 2 3 star caliber players. This is the right move. We need to contend for Perkins and contend for players that make sense for our program. Neal looks great for a recruiting class, and beating out Nebraska and wvu would be a big win on paper, however Myles Davis, James Washington, Darius parson, and Leroy Owens are having better years statistically, so although bringing talent in is good, using our scholarships to bring in the best well-rounded team is probably the best thing we can do at this point. After nassib and loeb/kinder who will be are next qb? This year mikahl miranovich graduates, next year Torrey ball, Brandon sharpe, and Chandler jones leave among others who will fill their shoes? Adam Harris and tombe jose are both upper classmen what about them? My point is we don’t need anymore linebackers similar to Oliver Vigille’s. In paper, he’s rated a top 80 olb(ESPN) in reality he’s currently redshifted and behind (among others) dyshawn Davis and Cameron lynch on the depth chart, so although he’s a 3 star, he may never play and if he does, probably never start. Instead of him, we could have reache out to a center that was a 2 star and had a decent player who as a senior maybe junior earned a starting role. My point is you have to step away from the toilet and stop pissing on HCDM because as far as I’m concerned, he’s taken the program where it needs to be in order to compete with the ACC in 2-3 years. Go Cuse!

  5. Terry is not a rational human being.

    Keep in mind there are 1.5 million high school football players. How many scouts do these ridiculous PAY SITES have to scout them all ???

    How many can they actually rate ? Maybe 1000 ??

    There will always be players overlooked and not to mention, what credentials do they have to rate anybody ??

    Did they play in the NFL and know talent ? I don’t think so, did any of them even play in college ? Did any coach ? I would bet that 90% of their “scouts” that rate these players have done none of the 3.

    Cincinnati didn’t have a 4 star recruit until they joined the Big East, but they won 2 BE championships with 2 and 3 star talent.

    Get over it Terry, I bet you never did play or coach football either so you have no perspective to judge anything that HCDM has done or will do.

  6. By the way, Walls signed with NC State yesterday. Louisville gave him the axe when they found out he lost 7 lbs during his visit last weekend. Will most likely see good playing time next year at State. Decision might have been out of frustration, as he was very high on Louisville. We’ll see if he sticks.

  7. I don’t believe that we should be critizing Syracuse because of the recruits committing early. Did anyone stop to think that some of these players comnmitted early because they actually thought about getting a degree from a good university.
    Will David Perkins commit to Syracuse? I don’t know,but if he does then all of the talk about Lakeith Walls goes away. I know that the players are looking for the right place to play football and sometimes it takes alot of time for them to make their decision. But dragging their feet and waiting for the last minute to make it sometimes have consequences. Being told that there is no room this year on the roster is one of them.
    Everyone should remember that Coach GRob had a lot of difficulty in getting anyone to come to Syracuse to play. We now have a coaching staff that is filling the spots early. I don’t think that there should be anyone out there complaining that we lost a recruit that couldn’t make his mind up.
    The seniors on this years team is the last of GRob’s recruits. The 2012 team will be all of Coach Marrone’s players. He’s got the program going in the right direction and is already looking forward to the class of 2013.

    I hope he keeps up the hard work and keeps on bringing in good players.

    GO CUSE;

  8. Great post from Connor and MikeB.

    Terry you must get up every day mad at the world and especially mad at youself and wonder how in the hell am I going to make it through the day.
    Putting you thoughts here for everyone to read is really getting old. I’m sure that the rest of us have gotten your point. You don’t like Syracuse Football and you sure as hell don’t like Coach Marrone and his staff.
    So please give us all a nice Christmas present by just going away. Go bother the Big 10 conference. They have alot of problems that needs to be addressed and I’m sure would love to have you write them.

    But anyway Terry, just go away.

    GO CUSE!

  9. I second that motion Terry (AKA Expresscuse1)wherever you go you irritate people with your anti HCDM diatribe!

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