With just hours remaining until National Signing Day, Syracuse has to be satisfied with keeping an old commit and adding a new one. Long Island running back Devante McFarlane says he’s not swaying, and JUCO All-American Markus Pierce-Brewster of San Francisco City College gave his verbal to SU this afternoon.
Pierce-Brewster is an enormous late addition for the Orange. His athleticism for a pass rusher is outstanding since he was former wide receiver and defensive back in high school. He’s a 6-foot-3, 231-pound speedster coming off the edge. He projects to a defensive end or linebacker for the Orange. Doug Marrone is stocking up on pieces to a depleted front 7, as MPB led CCSF to a 12-0 record and a national championship last fall. He also ran track and still holds the Sweetwater High School mark in the 400 meters at 48.0 seconds.
The week didn’t start off auspiciously for the Orange. A pair of DEs turned down SU in the past 48 hours, between Harold “Hershey Hulk” Brantley’s last-minute flip and Junior Gnonkonde’s decision to play for UNC.
On the offensive side, D-Mac is only one of two running backs in the class, behind the higher-ranked George Morris. The duo will be asked to help fill the shoes of Antwon Bailey. McFarlane says some of the late changes in heart does not change his faith in SU.
“No, it doesn’t change my perspective at all. Guys will de-commit. The coaches are still great, and they went to a bowl game two years ago. I feel like we could definitely make a bowl game again. I absolutely still plan to come and play football there.”
Asked about joining the Orange after last season’s debacle, he seemed confident in his ability to learn the ropes and play a role in getting the offense back on it’s feet.
“My biggest asset as an athlete is my ability to bounce back, physically and mentally. I can be put in tough situations and bounce back from them.”
McFarlane will need to apply that ability immediately to contribute his freshman season. His mental toughness will go a long way toward deciding how much of a role he plays throughout his collegiate career. D-Mac isn’t highly rated as a recruit, but Marrone is hoping he pays off as a “UTR” or “Under The Radar” talent. SU is always looking for hard-working recruits who don’t catch headlines on the way in, but pay off in spades through development within a system. Hopefully, that system begins to generate interest from the highly-touted recruits as well.
Syracuse has to be excited, waking up with a blend of steady commits and the addition of some terrific 11th hour talent.
Posted: Jake Moskowitz