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Change of Plans: Mark Garrick’s Knee Turns Him from Syracuse to Portland

When defensive tackle Mark Garrick committed to Syracuse in January, Doug Marrone had visions of a JuCo pipeline immediately helping the defensive line. But at least one of those bodies won’t be a part of the picture, as Garrick has now committed to Portland State.

Garrick lost contact with the Orange staff, and his surgery to repair an ACL tear in his right knee caused him to miss out on February’s LOI Day. When his fax did not come down that day many wondered what had happened. The Fizz broke the story on Signing Day: Garrick suffered a torn ACL in his final game and was waiting on an evaluation before finalizing his plans. The injury was originally thought to be a sprained MCL, but when it was revealed to be much worse everything was put on hold. Garrick told The Fizz he could’ve still signed with the Orange but it was pending approval by the Syracuse University medical staff.

The Sacramento CC All-Conference star had himself a fantastic season last year, with 54 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 10 games. The 6’4’’ 280 lb. DT will join a four-year program at Portland State in the Big Sky Conference.

Marrone’s strategy seemed sound: bring in experience for the defensive line that loses big contributions in Chandler Jones and Mikhail Marinovich. But Garrick will leave behind his partner in crime, West Coast Los Angeles DT Zian Jones, who committed the same day as Garrick last winter.

Despite losing Garrick the Orange still finds itself in good shape. Jones is arguably one of SU;s most important Class of ’12 pick-ups because of his “ruthlessness.” Markus Pierce-Brewster has some thinking he’s the next great Orange pass-rusher. DE Josh Manley is also on board after declining several late offers from powerhouse schools.

The defensive trenches also have a bright future based on what SU has done in this Class of ’13 as well. JuCo transfer Wayne Williams intends to bring all of his NYC swag to the Hill next yearLB Marqez Hodge and DT Isaiah Johnson have also committed and bring versatility to the defense with the ability to play multiple positions. And the big fish could be landed July 20th when Ebenezer Ogundeko chooses between SU, Florida and Notre Dame.

The details regarding Garrick’s de-commit have yet to come out, but it clearly goes back to the original injury. Syracuse may have extended its offer without knowing the full extent of his knee, and the rehabilitation process did not encourage SU. Marrone would’ve liked to keep Garrick as part of his defense, but the Orange have good talent coming in this year, as well as the future.

Posted: Brendan Glasheen

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.

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