Orange Fizz – Free Syracuse Recruiting News

FB Recruiting

Official Fizz 2012 Syracuse Signing Day Thread: Click Here for Coverage

Your home to the best recruiting news and analysis of Syracuse’s Class of ’12.

12:58a – That’s a Wrap. Thanks to all of our amazing readers who helped fuel this recruiting rampage and make it a very Merry Fizz-mas. After 17 hours of live blogging, and a total Team Fizz effort in speaking with almost every commit to SU’s class, it’s time to shut it down for the night. Sift through our entire thread, check out our Twitter timeline, and listen to all of our FizzCasts with each of the recruits. Again, many thanks from all of us at the Fizz. Couldn’t do it without you.

* * *

12:53a – It’s “Light’s Out” for Opposing WRs. The most coveted recruit of the entire SU class didn’t make it official until today, but the Orange is thrilled to have Wayne Morgan the NYC star. The coolest part about his decision was Marrone’s soft sell. The Dougie said SU wasn’t for everyone, and that maybe it wasn’t for him. Of course, that sold Morgan harder than anything. Listen to Fitz’s conversation with the Light’s Out Kid with swagger.

* * *

12:44a – Mr. Do-Everything. He’s part running back, part athlete, all versatility. Devante McFarlane joins the Orange from Long Island and Marrone sounds juiced to have a guy who can do as many things as DMac. He joins a young backfield with George Morris and Prince Tyson-Gulley, as youth ready to make an impact. Listen to Mosk’s chat with the all-everything back.

* * *

12:32a – The Guy To Make Us Giddy. The Fizz placed a spotlight on WR Ben Lewis during the summer. Reading through the quotes of coaches and teammates, we were convinced the wideout would be the type of player to become a fan fave. He’s finally an Orange, but hey – no pressure dude. Will he make us all giddy? We’ll have to see. But listen to Hoff’s chat with him. Ben sounds giddy as well. Good start.

* * *

12:21a – J-Dub is Here to Change the Game. A highly sought-after LB from FL, James Washington wants to turn the Syracuse defense on its ear. And SU fans would love to see that. The Winter Park product wants to hunt the quarterback, and let’s hope he’s able to do that. His confidence in the program is also terrific. Listen to our conversation with Washington and his reasons of choosing SU.

* * *

11:58p – SU’s New Homerun Threat. With the loss of Antwon Bailey, someone needs to step up into the feature back role. Eventually, The Fizz money is on George Morris to be that guy. The Georgia product was reeled in by Wheat the Beast, and wants to be the next great SU back. He’s god the confidence and the talent. Listen to DVM’s conversation with the incoming running back.

* * *

11:42p – The Next Great Pass Rusher? The Carrier Dome turf has helped many a great athlete gain an incredible first step: Dwight Freeney, Marvin Harrison, Marvin Graves. Could JuCo standout Markus Pierce-Brewster be the next to take advantage? He’s a self-described speed rusher, and we discuss his potential to get after the quarterback inside the Dome with MPB himself.

* * *

11:21p – Building the Trenches with a Keystone OL. Jason Emerich chose Syracuse back in June, but he had UConn come after him hard. Emerich stayed loyal to the Orange, and wanted to play inside the atmosphere of the Dome. The trenches are being built up brick by brick, and 275-lb. Emerich will hopefully be an important part of it. Listen to Plavin touch base with JE about his decision.

* * *

10:03p – Watch the Throne, Whigham’s Coming. Hard not to love FL defensive back Julian Whigham. He ignored a visit to Miami when the Hurricanes jumped in late. He spent time with his mom on the Hill when he took his visit, and did good ol’ mama’s boy stuff. And he wants to write for Rolling Stone one day. Throw on the ear buds and listen to Hoff discuss football and hip hop with Whigham.

* * *

8:21p – Two Orange Stuntin’. For the hip-impaired, when the kids pose for those wacky Facebook pics or their Twitter Instagrams, it’s called “stuntin’.” (I actually could be VERY wrong about this, but as a 32-year-old white guy, I’m excused). “Light’s Out” Wayne Morgan and James Washington both flashed the “S” at Signing Day today. They look slick. They look tough. They got swag. Welcome aboard, boys.

* * *

8:01p – Marrone’s Integrity Stands Above. Michigan offensive lineman Kyle Knapp had other offers. He was looking at Cincinnati and FIU. But there was a trust he had in Doug Marrone, especially watching guys like Todd Graham and Crazy Eyes Schiano leave their teams at the altar. “He seems like a guy of integrity and a guy who’s not gonna steer you wrong. He’s gonna tell you how it is even if it’s something you don’t want to hear and I like that. I don’t want somebody who is gonna be lying to me.” Listen to Plavin’s interview with Knapp on his respect for Marrone.

* * *

7:02p – Fast, Nasty, Ruthless. These are the words JuCo commit Zian Jones used to describe his game. The Orange knew it had to upgrade its depleted defense, and specifically front 7, immediately. Jones comes in as an experienced DT from West LA CC. You want big? How does 6’5″, 325 lbs. sound? If Garrick does not end up at SU (below), it’ll be up to Zian and MPB to fill the needs right away. If he’s fast, nasty and ruthless that shouldn’t be a problem. Listen to Fitz’s conversation with Jones, and his excitement in coming to the Hill and helping SU win bowl game(s). Yup, plural.

* * *

5:46p – The Mystery of Mark Garrick Clarifies. Two weeks ago it looked like a lock Mark Garrick was Syracuse-bound as one of the three pieces of the California JuCo Defensive End monster. Along with Zian Jones and Markus Pierce-Brewster, Garrick was planned to be part of the replacement for Chan Jones and Mikhail Marinovich who have left SU. Suddenly today, the class was deemed complete and Garrick was no where to be found. Doug Marrone said at his press conference he couldn’t comment per NCAA rules but The Fizz caught up with Garrick and got the scoop.

Garrick suffered a knee injury in the last game of the season. It was originally thought to be a sprained MCL, but when he underwent an MRI, doctors discovered there was damage to his ACL. Doctors told Garrick it would be a six month recovery from surgery, but SU’s medical team thinks its going to be closer to 8. Garrick (at the university’s request) has sent his medical paperwork to Syracuse but hasn’t heard back from the school.

“They’re trying to see if I can play this year. I’ll play either this year or next year they can sign me in the Spring.”

Garrick insists he will still find his way to SU this spring or summer as his rehab plays out. He says the scholarship is still on hold and he fully intends to wear Orange next season. As a JuCo player, he only has two years of eligibility remaining so time lost to injury is crucial. With the extra scholarships available thanks to Leroy Owens and Tashon Whitehurst, the Orange can afford to leave a spot open for Garrick. Looks like SU recruiting class may not be complete just yet. (Reporting by Kevin Fitzgerald/ Craig Hoffman)

 * * *

4:01p – NYC’s Three Amigos Complete. Last year, we nicknamed Michael Carter-Williams, Rakeem Christmas and Trevor Cooney the Three Amigos. The trio all became friends through recruitment and the AAU circuit, and wanted to feed off one another once they got to the Hill. Alvin Cornelius helps make up the same type of unit for football. As a top-rated WR in NYC’s PSAL, he matched up against Brandon Reddish – who of course, helped bring Wayne Morgan to SU. Check out DVM’s conversation with Cornelius, who brings more Big Apple swag north.

* * *

3:27p – Marrone Plants Footprint in ACC Country. Listening to The Dougie’s press conference concerning his new class, it’s clear the move to the ACC has the coaching staff excited. “We have a good foundation in Georgia. We’ve been down there. It opens up the area. Now we have more to sell.” Pretty amazing when you consider the Peach State owned the second-most SU commits this year (3), tied with Pennsylvania, and behind only New York (7). So many of the athletes The Fizz spoke to raved about the opportunity to play in the ACC, and southern players beamed about road trips home. One of the biggest recruits of the class, George Morris, hails from Georgia. The ACC footprint is already showing results, and it’s one of the biggest reasons to feel great about this class.

* * *

2:45p – Pieces of Young Secondary Coming Together. While Wayne Morgan is stealing the headlines at DB, don’t sleep on Dontez Ford. The Western PA product committed to SU over the summer and built a powerful relationship with Dan Conley. He’s listed as a safety, and a combination of “Light’s Out” and Dontez could give the Orange some much needed playmakers in a secondary losing Philip Thomas. Check out DVM’s conversation with Ford about his decision to come to the Hill.

* * *

1:35p – Kickoff Specialist Lands on the Hill. National Signing Day is usually about the headline makers: pass rushers, quarterbacks, wide receivers. But special teams can win or lose you games (see the win over Toledo), and Syracuse now has a weapon on kickoffs. Ryan Norton from Long Island comes north to inherit the kicking duties, but might have a spot as a kickoff specialist as a true freshman. Listen to Kanell talk with Norton about his greatest weapon.

* * *

1:05p – Growing Up Orange on Long Island. Omari Palmer was one of SU’s earliest commitments in March. Why did he choose Syracuse so quickly? Probably had something to do with his childhood. The offensive lineman grew up an Orange fan in Middle Island, NY and described himself as giddy when SU coaches visited him at his HS. These are the types of stories Doug Marrone is hoping to hear more of as he closes ranks within the state and build the program back. Listen to DVM chat with Omari about his emotions toward SU and how wrestling has helped him on the gridiron.

* * *

12:29p Gnonk Chooses Carolina Blue. The name Junior Gnonkonde just sounds like an intimidating pass rusher. So, when the 6’ 2’’ 225-pound defensive end out of Lanier HS in Georgia, was considering Syracuse, it looked like the Orange could add another log to an already raging front 7 bon fire. But The Gnonk signed his LOI with UNC today. This week The Fizz spoke to his coach, Brent Miller, who said SU was on the outside looking in. However, had Gnonk waited to sign, it could’ve really helped the Orange continue to push. He had given his verbal to Georgia Tech, but his grades were too low for the Jackets.

“He was committed to Georgia Tech for 10 months so he didn’t get to have a chance to look at different schools. He may just wait it out till the end of the year and take his time visit schools then make a decision.”

It’s the raw athleticism that intrigues everyone scouting the African native.

“He didn’t play football until his freshman year so he might not have all the techniques polished yet. People have told me he has NFL type of athleticism though, and with work can explode.”

His grades would not have kept him out of SU, says Miller.

“He is a smart kid and has the scores to get into good schools like Syracuse… Wake Forest and Carolina. So we don’t know why his scores aren’t high enough for Georgia Tech.”

Miller said the ACT scores are the problem. Junior had trouble on the test because English is not his first language. Miller seems frustrated Tech had his transcript and test scores since he has been committed, but didn’t inform Junior until recently he wouldn’t be admitted. See ya in the ACC, Gnonk. SU is sitting pretty with its defensive pickups even without him.

* * *

12:06p – Manley Says No to Late Mizzou Push. There were some nervous members of the Orange staff when DL Josh Manley said he would take late visits to Missouri and Louisville. SU ended up losing a commit, Harold Brantley, to the Tigers just before NSD. But Manley changed his mind, and wanted to reward Marrone’s staff for its consistent interest from the beginning. Listen to Kanell’s conversation with Manley, another Georgia product and addition to a newly restocked front 7.

* * *

11:40a – Barnwell Needs Lift From Tough Crowd. Terrific interview with Pancho Barnwell’s assistant coach Sean Banks. The Rochester DE is likely not eligible for SU right away. He’ll probably begin at Milford, like Broyld and Davis and many other Orange players. Banks insists its just a tough situation for Barnwell back home in the ROC, and he needs some space to get things in order.

* * *

11:03a – JuCo becomes SUCo. The Orange did damage on the junior college front, adding Marcus Pierce-Brewster, Mark Garick, and Zian Jones. The Fizz recently dissected why this route is a valuable one for SU. The defense is severely depleted by the suspension of Philip Thomas, the NFL draft departure of Chandler Jones, and the graduation of Mikhail Marinovich and Torrey Ball. Two-year players can step in and contribute immediately with experience under their belts.

The most encouraging dynamic is MPB, Garick and Jones were all highly coveted JuCo players. MPB was an All-American last season. The Orange should also get contributions from Ashton Broyld and Myles Davis. Both played at Syracuse pipeline school Milford Academy. Broyld spent time there last year, Davis injured his ACL two years ago on the playing fields of Milford and spent last season rehabbing it.

It also appears Rochester’s Poncho Barnwell will be dealing with academic issues as he attempted to matriculate into SU. One of his coaches tells The Fizz, “He’s got some bad people here keeping him down. Once he gets out things will be better.” The early guess is he attends Milford for a year to get his grades up.

* * *

10:57a – Q&A on Signing Day. For interactive coverage of Syracuse’s National Signing Day keep streaming our Twitter feed (@orangefizz). Senior staffer Craig Hoffman is responding to your questions, retweeting pertinent information, and I’ll be updating my content there for this Fizzalicious NSD thread. As the commits make their way through their day of classes, we’ll be interviewing them and uploading the podcasts for you, then tweeting out the links and posting them here. Stay tuned. Merry Fizz-mas has only just begun.

* * *

10:14a – Syracuse Delivering TE’s to ACC. The biggest name on SU’s commit list is arguably Sugar Bear Thompson. The 4-star tight end from Michigan comes east with plenty of impact potential. But his under-the-radar counterpart also deserves some attention. Three-star TE Josh Parris of Stone Mountain, GA had interest from future ACC counterparts Boston College, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Georgia has been a fertile recruiting ground for SU since it announced the decision to move conferences.

In fact, it was a misunderstanding that brought Parris to SU. He had committed to USF to play tight end, but the Bulls told him he would have to play fullback. Parris had blocked primarily for his run-based HS team. The Orange offered a chance to play TE, and he jumped at it. Sugar Bear might be the pass catcher, and Parris might be more of a blocker, but a powerful TE duo like this one should give opponents pause for years to come.

* * *

9:53a – Hilliard Hops Off Pitt. Ohio defensive monster Myles Hilliard has officially signed his Letter of Intent (LOI) and the victory for Marrone cannot be overstated. Hilliard had committed to Pitt back in June, but the instability after Todd Graham left for Arizona State left him shaken. The steady nature of the SU program excited him.

He told The Fizz, “It really did effect the situation a lot. It morphed it. When Graham quit, the staff went with him, and I had no idea who my coach was. I didn’t know anything, and it wasn’t a great situation for myself.”

He also had offers reportedly from West Virginia, Minnesota and Cincinnati. All had seem lost for SU, but credit the coaching staff for a late push to nab a beast (6’6″, 240 lbs.) from a past, present and future ACC rival. Many thought the Orange was never a true player for Myles, but guess who was recruiting Hilliard all the way back in Spring 2010? Yep, Tyrone “Wheat the Beast” Wheatley. His decision-making timeline was murky during the summer, but SU gets the last laugh.

* * *

8:54a – JPO Staying in the NJ. Syracuse thought it could poach a player or two from Rutgers in the aftermath of Crazy Eyes Schiano bolting for the cash. Three-star DE/DT Julian Pinnix-Odrick was one of SU’s targets. But the ninth best prospect in New Jersey decided last night to remain committed to the Knights. Disappointing end for Marrone, especially after Montclair head coach John Fiore told The Fizz yesterday SU was pushing all the right buttons.

“Syracuse is in the front of the horserace, that’s for sure.”

That horserace which Schiano personally fired the starting gun included Michigan State as well. The 6’6” 260 pounder visited the Hill this past weekend and according to Fiore had a wonderful time.

“He had a phenomenal time, and Syracuse did a great job. He and his dad were glowing and raving about the SU visit. I would say this trip trumped the Rutgers visit. Julian feels real comfortable with Coach Marrone, and he likes and respects the Syracuse coaching staff.”

Unfortunately, it was not enough to ultimately sway JPO. He’ll play for new HC Kyle Flood at RU. Syracuse will have to watch Pinnix-Odrick put on the Scarlet Red hat later today.

* * *

8:36a – Light’s Out for UConn. The New York Post is reporting Wayne Morgan will choose the Orange today. The NYC prep star is scheduled to make the official announcement later this afternoon. What a gigantic win for Doug Marrone. He has made winning his Big Apple stomping grounds a priority, and reels in the city’s best player, plus an important piece of rebuilding the secondary.

In the end it was between just SU and UConn, but Penn State made a late push. Credit “Light’s Out” (Morgan’s chosen nickname) for remaining steady throughout the process. Even when the Nittany Lions and Wisconson recently leaned on him, he decided he would honor the schools who had been looking at him from the beginning.

His HS coach at Erasmus Hall gave Morgan a list of questions to ask himself about Syracuse and UConn: graduation rates, depth charts, networking connections in New York City for after college, proximity and the relationship with the position coach. “Syracuse came up aces in almost every question on the list.”

* * *

National Signing Day is finally here, and the future of the Syracuse football program takes another step forward. Doug Marrone’s fourth recruiting class was filled with both highs and lows, although it looks like today is shaping up to have a handful of late SU victories.

While the biggest of the fish in-state went elsewhere (Rochester’s Jarron Jones to Notre Dame, Buffalo’s Chad Kelly chose Clemson), the star of the NYC prep fields appears to be selecting SU (Erasmus Hall’s Wayne Morgan). There have been late wins and losses this week, but a very positive glow is beginning to surround the Orange’s class of ’12. As we do every year, The Fizz will be live blogging around the clock today. The entire Team Fizz will be speaking with all the commits, bringing you the audio, and telling the stories of these student athletes. Like you, we’re rabid SU football fans watching Doug Marrone rebuild a once proud program. Here’s to setting another two dozen bricks and follow The Fizz on Twitter for the latest up-to-the-second news today.

What you need to know on NSD:

Posted: D.A.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

Archives

Facebook

Copyright © 2017 Orange Fizz

To Top