Plus, recruiting notes on Crossan, Eleweke, Whitehurst and Nasty Joe.
With the arrest and subsequent suspension of backup quarterback Terrel Hunt, it’s worth remembering Doug Marrone will not add a high school quarterback to the ’12 recruiting class which wraps up Wednesday. So what does Syracuse’s future look like under center?
- Follow The Fizz on Twitter for the latest Signing Day news
Ryan Nassib will graduate after this season, and the only QB the Orange really pursued this year was Buffalo native Chad Kelly. But he’s Clemson bound and was never more than a pipe dream for SU. Marrone’s lack of urgency to bring in another young signal-caller must show confidence in someone already on the roster. But who stands the best chance at taking over in ’13?
The extremely talented Ashton Broyld is finally a member of the Orange after a year at Milford Acadamy, but he’s battled maturity issues since high school. John Kinder has yet to prove he can throw the football accurately enough to earn the starting job. Hunt’s arrest for stealing cologne (an appropriate $44 value) from the Carousel Mall obviously brings up some questions about his readiness to lead.
If Hunt ends up missing all of Spring practice, will that put him hopelessly behind in the race to be the next starter? Regardless, the Orange needs to be of wary of how quickly a deep position can turn shallow.
There’s already been a unit that suffered through that transition: linebacker. It all worked out in the end, but a projected core of Marquis Spruill, Brice Hawkes, and Malcolm Cater quickly faded away prior to last season. Both Hawkes and Cater were dismissed from the team, and SU ended up relying on Dyshawn Davis, Cameron Lynch, and Dan Vaughan to fill out its linebacking corps next to Spruill. Davis (a converted WR/DB) and Lynch were both true freshman, and Vaughan was a career special-teamer. Spruill was forced to move from outside to middle linebacker because of the changes. It’s scary to imagine what Syracuse’s defense would have looked like if it didn’t luck into anchoring one its best units with three players who had never played a snap at linebacker in college.
On a personal level, it’s disappointing to hear about Hunt. The Fizz spoke to him on National Signing Day ’11, the day after his father passed away. It was also the one-year anniversary of his mother’s death. Hunt seemed determined to fight through a horrible situation and use the adversity as motivation in the future.
“My whole life (my parents) were pushing me. Now it’s time for me to push myself.”
A source inside the Syracuse locker room told The Fizz Hunt (pictured above embracing Marrone) consistently outworked nearly everyone else on the team this past season. It seemed like he was living up to the expectations he set for himself during our Signing Day conversation.
“Sometimes when (the other quarterbacks are) sleeping I gotta be the one working. I gotta read a lot of defenses, stay in the film room and the weight room a lot.”
Hopefully the dual-threat QB with four remaining years of eligibility receives a chance to redeem himself.
Other recruiting notes:
- Long Island’s Crossan lands at UNH
The Fizz reported SU never offered Sachem High School running back Dalton Crossan. John Garcia Jr. of Scout reports that Crossan will be a Wildcat next fall – he committed to the University of New Hampshire. It’s too bad, because The Fizz has always thought that Crossan would be a nice under-the-radar pickup for the Orange.
- Detroit’s Eleweke to walk-on at SU
Garcia also reports Detroit defensive end Matthew Eleweke will join the Syracuse roster as a preferred walk-on. Eleweke had no listed offers, but received interest in the past from Penn State, Arizona State, Miami, and Michigan State. He’s a DE/LB tweener.
- Whitehurst’s coach says he’s still committed to SU
Syracuse commit Tashon Whitehurst, a Rivals three-star linebacker from Gainesville, recently visited Rutgers and USF. The Fizz caught up with his high school coach James Thomson, who said as far as he knows, Whitehurst is still committed to SU. Expect an additional update on Whitehurst’s status soon.
- Nasty Joe will wait until Wednesday
Georgia offensive lineman Joseph Scelfo, nicknamed “Nasty Joe,” will announce his decision on Signing Day. Syracuse shares a connection with the lineman because his father Chris used to coach with SU Recruiting Coordinator Greg Adkins, but it doesn’t appear likely that Scelfo will choose Orange.
Posted: Andrew Kanell