Adkins on the Orange: Top 5 Quotes from Syracuse’s Recruiting Coordinator

The Fizz caught up with Syracuse football recruiting coordinator Greg Adkins, who opened up about the current state of the Orange. You can check out the full episode on Fizz Radio.

Here are the top five revelations from our conversation:

  • The priority is still the northeast

“What we’ve always said is that our philosophy is gonna be to work inside out. Within 300 miles of Syracuse University, and then wherever else we have to go to meet our needs for that particular recruiting class.”

That might not be earth-shattering, but it does lend insight into the foundation of Syracuse recruiting. SU wants to control its home territory, but is willing to search elsewhere for talent when necessary. One pseudo-revelation – Adkins didn’t specifically mention the state of New York, instead referencing 300 miles as a key distance. Meaning New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania are all fair game.

  • The 2013 recruiting class will be smaller than normal

“The bottom line is we don’t have many seniors on this team. So there isn’t going to be many scholarships for this particular class.”

According to Adkins, the coaches plan on handing out between 12 and 16 scholarships in the upcoming recruiting class (compared to 20+ in each of three prior ones). That’s not a bad thing. It means SU has as deep a roster as it’s had during the Doug Marrone era, with lots of veterans set to return next season. Recruiting classes go in cycles, and next class just happens to come in a year when the Orange doesn’t need as many reinforcements. If anything, it allows the coaches to be more selective about who they offer.

  • SU doesn’t bank on transfers, but pushes hard when given the opportunity

“The two particular kids that are on our team, Funderburke and John Raymon, it was a process with them for a longer period of time then probably the public knows. We got involved with both of those kids fairly early once they decided to leave their universities. And it wasn’t until the very end that things worked out and we got ‘em here.”

It’s generally difficult for staffs to plan for transfers like Raymon. Adkins suggested that the program doesn’t leave open scholarship space specifically for transfers, but will pursue them when it makes sense. Just like he does with high school and JUCO athletes, Marrone identifies suitable transfers early in the process and acts quickly.

  • SU coaches disregard the recruiting services (for the most part)

“We have an evaluation tool that we use here, per position. We’ve set a criteria for that position of what we’re looking for in that particular position. They get a score, and if their score ranks in the recruiting numbers that we’re looking for, then we’ll offer a scholarship whether no one’s offered or 20 people have offered him. It makes no difference whether they’re five-star, two-star, or four-star. We use our own service to evaluate our players.” 

While we’re sure Adkins checks The Fizz every morning for his latest recruiting news, the staff under Marrone has traditionally been quick to shrug off the recruiting services.

Adkins did note that he scans recruiting websites to see what recruits have to say. Although the SU coaches rely on their own evaluation system, they can’t always get the perfect read on where a recruit’s head is at. The recruiting services also have extensive lists of players that Adkins said can come in handy as a preliminary tool.

  • The Orange has consciously shifted its target area because of the move to the ACC

“Certainly with the move to the ACC, we’ve shifted a little bit. Maybe a little less out of the midwest and a little more down the eastern seaboard. We’ve been working that for about a year now. Even though we haven’t reaped the rewards of a kid from a North Carolina or really Virginia, so to speak, or a South Carolina, we’re making our inroads down through there, and maybe it’ll pay off in the near future for us.”

A reminder that Marrone is playing it smart. This philosophy shift makes sense. In the ACC, Syracuse will be playing schools along the east coast. There’s phenomenal talent in the south, and SU is looking to gain access by advertising frequent future road games within shouting distance of the southern players’ hometowns. Adkins said the biggest difference between recruiting ten years ago and the current landscape is that kids are infinitely more willing to go to school far from home. It all adds up to a growing Orange presence in the southeast.

Posted: Andrew Kanell


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  1. Jimmy says:

    Good stuff guys! Anyone know whats going on with Reddish? Is he injured or is there an academic/team issue. He isn’t going to the Minny game with the team!

  2. smitty section 129 says:

    Hes injured. Nothing serious. He is a very good cb. Very rarely do they throw his way.

  3. chris says:

    What everyone is forgetting is that New England used to be a “value territory when it came to recruiting. It is now the SAHARA as in desolate. Let us know when we get lucky up there.

  4. the sackster says:

    i always love to know whats going on in terms of football recruiting. i know su is putting some funds into the facility makeover but when the real upgrades are completed i think you’ll really start to see recruiting pick up.

  5. Russell MacEachern says:

    NEngland is desolation city forrecruits,but NY/NJ thru E.Pennsy and W.Penn and E.Ohio could stock 10 BCS teams and were not getting near our share!! I hope we start next yr or we’llalways finish near last in any conference in recruiting!!BC used to feast on NT/NJ till Shady and HCDM locked NY/NJ down!!Even Temple does fine in Philly/S.Jersey!!

  6. Russell MacEachern says:

    Thats NY/NJ above not NT…

  7. Stringer says:

    I know they said they wanted to do better recruiting in NJ, they being the SU staff, but I am more than happy with getting Fl and GA kids. Mix in the NY kids maybe a couple from OH and PA and they are fine. If they get NJ kids that is good also but not a death sentence if they don’t. Always good to get whoever is best from wherever obviously.

  8. Carlton says:

    Anyone know that mike vick almost came to the `Cuse? It was down to `Cuse and Va-tech and he picked Va-tech b/c he didnt wanna be the next dnabb. Crazy! anyways just was throwing that out b/c Adkins said something about Virginia.

  9. Russell MacEachern says:

    No Stringer,its like saying we can’t compete in the recruiting game w/everyone else,hell the coaches admit they’re working hard to make inroads in NJ!!If our coaches aren’t content why should u be??U don’t think were playing all those “Home” games in NJ to get a few NYC kids most of whom are “supposedly” on lockdown after all the real good ones go anywhere but here!!Face it,NJ is a state were Southern schools come here to find talent and when we were really good we got our share!!Heck,PSU/BC/UConn/MD/Ala/Tenn/UM/MSU and every other major player recruits there including all the Fla schools but we in the middle of their footprint don’t need to?We have nothing to offer those kids?I think SU has as much to offer as any school!!Or maybe we should just pack our bags?

  10. Russell MacEachern says:

    Stringer,if GRob was’nt a death sentence to our football team what is??Before he screwed up our NJ recruiting we were still a major player in the national scene…so yes Stringer it is!!IMHO..I’ll agree with the coaches on this one!!

  11. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Carlton,yes its pretty common knowledge amongst the diehard fans!How is Josue Matias doing?I think Xavier Rhodes should handle his corner and FSU should win easy!! I don’t see Sammy beating him much!!

  12. Russell MacEachern says:

    From FoxSports business journal,”OU to get 7M a yr” for 1 football game a yr and several basketball games plus some olympic sports!!Boy FSU ain’t gonna like hearing that w/3rd tier rights gone in last contract!

  13. Stringer says:

    We are gonna have to agree to disagree on this one Russ. And what I will agree with you on is it would be great to get some good connections going in NJ and persuade some of those kids to come to CUSE. I think it would make sense being that it isn’t far from home for them for sure. I just don’t think that it is a live or die situation if they can’t dominate NJ recruiting. And to blame the screw up that was GRob just on his lack of recruiting NJ is too simplistic, that man screwed up in every aspect of coaching. And I also agree that Virginia is probably a state SU is gonna be trying hard to make connections in too. The move to the ACC puts them and North Carolina in play. All because of distance to games for recruits families. Interesting times ahead I would imagine.

  14. Russell MacEachern says:

    Yeah Stringer but being thr recruits and such a large percentage of alum’s are there it dont make sense being a “blackspot” in our footprint similar to say L.I. or Brooklyn and really it is that simple as Grob as he thought he could get by w/o NJ and here we are!!He said the grass was so green in western state’s and insulted our friends in ny/nj and were still not recovered!!I have a hunch with the latest revelation more trouble is on horizon “tier 3 rights “and FSU??

  15. Russell MacEachern says:

    FSU and MD refused to sign on to the newest 50m buyout!There’s bad blood already on the horizon mark my word’s!!FSU is right about that I think espin gave us a crummy lowball contract!!

  16. Russell MacEachern says:

    BTw,RU and others in the NE have been grabbing Va and NC recruits for 5 years as so many expatriates moved there in the last 15 years!!Another Groob example of no knowledge of N/east happenings!!

  17. Russell MacEachern says:

    Im not sure of FSU politics I’ll haveto ask Carlton down in “Tally” whats up with this latest revelation!!He’s involved w/FSU sports somehow!!

  18. Stringer says:

    I agree that he shunned NJ and NYC area kids but that alone isn’t the reason he sucked. SU was on a slide before GRob got here remember 4-8, 6-6 and 6-6 prior to GRob era. Not national caliber but def better than GRob left it. And FSU and MD can disagree all they want no one wants MD and FSU thinks they are bigger than they are. SU is still way better off in the ACC than the sinking BE.

  19. Malone says:

    @Stringer-I am a NJ homer, so let me start with that, full disclosure. Sorry to be late to the party. Those last Coach P years were in the “old BE” don’t forget that. He was still playing Miami and a rising Va Tech and BC every year. One of those 6-6 years was good enough for a share of the conference title. Va has good talent and P lost Vick, but Vick’s reasoning leads me to believe there wasn’t much chance to begin with and P didn’t have a backup plan. Irony is that Vick followed McNabb in Philly, so…

    GRob chose to focus his recruiting in areas where the competition for talent was greater and the awareness of our program was lesser. He went to Texas and Ohio. I remember reading in local papers that the NJ coaches felt the slight and were going to start funneling recruits to RU if they could. I remeber DeLeone mentioned specifically. That means we missed out on some great potential talent from the area (Cushing, Olsen, Simms, Ryan Grant to name a small handful). Focusing on the South where at least we will be playing in the near future is better than recruiting Cali or Texas hard IMHO, but you have to take care of the talent in your own back yard.

    Did anyone see that the inferior talent in NJ of Bergen Catholicjust beat Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas on the road, or that perennial power and defending National Champ Don Bosco beat Rocco Cassulo’s St. Thomas Aquinas in Fla. Bosco is 10-1 vs out of state competition since 2008, including wins over DeLaSalle of Cali. These kids can play and we should have a better than good shot at them. Even just saying they are important to us will help them to feel wanted, making the effor that much easier.

  20. bigdip says:

    NJ HS football is quality! But NJ as a state or provine isn’t quality..lofl! GRob was slighted by the RAY RICE move! He was one of the BE’s best backs, I would argue that he is the fish that got away, not mike vick. Also, w/o NJ recruiting, a team is hendering themselves! They are national players in bb & fb, we can’t avoid NJ recruits! Does Muschamp turn down Tx recruits? Or Spurrier Ga recruits? Nj is most necessary! But that doesnt make the state prettier! Good grief…will hill from nj won two rings wit UF? NJ is important….how RU is still relevent, proves it

  21. Stringer says:

    Don Bosco and Bergen are quality the rest is average. Florida Georgia and Texas are still ahead of them. As are some other states some years.

  22. Russell MacEachern says:

    Malone and Dip,thanks for the assist I thought I was barking at the Moon LOL..I know Im not crazy?everyone whose anyone recruits NJ!!

  23. Russell MacEachern says:

    Malone I was so frustrated I stayed away from Fizz and football and went to golf!!HaHa,,did’ntwe just go thru this??

  24. Russell MacEachern says:

    St.Joes?Timber Creek?Sayreville?Piscataway?St Peters Prep?Seton HaLL?I can go on and on!!

  25. Russell MacEachern says:

    Montclair HS,WayneHills,Elizabeth and on and on!!

  26. Stringer says:

    Yeah but you are inflating NJ recruiting too much! And more to the point I NEVER said SU shouldn’t recruit NJ!!! I said it isn’t like if they recruit NJ they all of a sudden are a much better team! I know you guys love your jersey boys but the recruiting sites don’t back up your claims of NJ being an elite state overall. They are good hell maybe even very good but saying SU has to recruit them over FL and Ga, just to name a few is kinda silly. And yet once again I will restate I think SU should recruit NJ better and more because they do produce some good/great players and they are pretty local.

  27. Stringer says:

    On and on what Russ? Name as many as you want it doesn’t make them as good or better than Florida or Georgia school. You are just arguing to argue back it up with some facts and then declare your victory. Until then You are getting worked up for nothing but a perceived slight.

  28. Terry says:

    Babble-Babble and so on. Just came back from golfing trip and how did I miss your babble. Ya right!!! But the move to ACC does mean better talent. But I do agree with Adkins start local and work outward. Out of 20-25 kids 10/12 from the NE would be fine. The rest from the East coast!!

  29. Russell MacEachern says:

    Stringer,ask Urban Meyer orBrian Kelly!Or even Mike Quick who understands the local scene,he said every time he runs into recruiters they’re rushing off to Jersey!!What do u really know about NJ?Ron,Malone and I argued w/someone for 2 days about this 5 wks ago!!

  30. Russell MacEachern says:

    Sorry Stringer it looks like we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this but ur alright with me!!I enjoy most of ur posts and whats wrong w/a good debate?

  31. Russell MacEachern says:

    btw I never said better,I said necessary!!Of course were not as deep as Fla or maybe even Ga now cause half of Jersey moved south HaHa..now I missed coaches show lol..

  32. Stringer says:

    I would love to see some evidence supporting your claims Russ but I know that wont happen it will just be, ” ask so and so and Malone and whoever else just talked about this.” You realize that just because you jersey homers say something doesn’t make it true right? I mean what stats do you wanna go by? How many top 100 teams the states have had in the past few or more years? How many FBS scholarship players come out of those states? We can get the stats and post them on here I think. But in the end it won’t matter because you and Malone and whoever else will still believe that NJ football is king and you know what that is fine. I mean what does it matter if we agree or disagree about this one stupid thing. We all seem to Bleed Orange and that is really all that matters to me on here. Sorry if I have offended I think my original point got completely washed away by state pride. And that is cool but it wasn’t my intention to insult or piss anyone off.

  33. Stringer says:

    Ah damn sorry I made ya miss the show. I missed it too I think! Hahaha! And you are right SU should definitely be recruiting better in NJ. I think they have started to try and change that, hopefully at least.

  34. Russell MacEachern says:

    Stringer its on again right now on TWer!!

  35. Stringer says:

    I missed it again I will catch it again at 630, I hope!

  36. Carlton says:

    I had this same convo /w these guys over the summer stringer haha. I think `Cuse needs to do better in the south as well but we gotta protect our backyard 1st. Also more importantly we need to win!! FSU is pretty good this yr stringer and they wont be going away they have had 3 straight recruiting classes ranked in the top 5. I love watching bjoern werner. Dude is a beast! Anyways Russ FSU wants to be in the SEC. Thats just what i feel.

  37. Russell MacEachern says:

    Carlton,I get the feeling FSU wants out of the ACC by the tone of the comments by almost all there follower’s on the bloggin sites?Did u see Trinity HS tonight?

  38. Stringer says:

    I hear ya Carlton and I agree FSU has been killing it in recruiting but it has been forever since they actually truly mattered in the end. Doesn’t mean they suck but it isn’t like many of their fans memories of when they were challenging every year. And the SEC , read Florida, don’t want FSU. FSU can want the SEC all they want they aren’t getting invited, they will be in the ACC whether they like it or not.

  39. Malone says:

    @stringer (and Carlton, I was waiting for you lol) I started by saying I am a homer, and I don’t apologize for it. To be from NJ is to have an inferiority complex. I also mentioned that I like recruiting the south and in the ACC it will be easier because we will actually gain some brand recognition, which as I said is why GRob failed in the Midwest and Texas and HCDM will too if he tries, so don’t focus there or Cali. We have some luck in LA because of past recruiting and alumni. In Ohio and Michigan kids are signing up for Wheatly, not SU, so we need to keep him around. That said, NJ is the little engine that could, and there are diamonds to be found here that Rivals and the like miss because it’s easier to find sure things in Fla, Cali, and Texas. I can’t point to the number of 4 and 5 stars for that very reason. I can name names and I have. SU has made a living on them in the past and so have other majors. Former area coach Pete Carrol (Jets, Pats) built USC with the help of NJ talent like NFL defensive rookie of the year Brian Cushing. Texas went out and got Chris Simms when the could have stayed in state to find a better option? Georgia didn’t want Knowshon Moreno? Ron Dayne didn’t win the Heisman? Victor Cruz stunk last year? Craig Hayward wasnt a beast at Pitt in the late 80′s (5th in Heisman in ’87, imagine him and Don McPherson with Moose Johnston? Scary NY/NJ combo)? I saw Will Hill mentioned, I mentioned Wayne Hills product and all-pro TE Greg Olsen. His little bro will be at Miami next year and just beat out our own QB recruit for the last spot on the Elite11. I mentioned Ryan Grant who was a product of Don Bosco before going to Notre Dame. What about our own guys like Tyree, Kevin Johnson, Darius. Point is, there’s plenty of top notch talent, more than I have time to mention and most of it is undervalued and plays with a chip on its shoulder because of that NJ inferiority complex. It’s in our back yard and we don’t have to educate them on who Syracuse University is, they know it and grew up with it, especially if we keep playing an occasional game at Met Life. It’s too easy not to do it. Oh yeah, and then fill in with the hard fought talent from Fla and Texas and Ga, etc. It worked from ’87-’97 and things have not changed that much since then. Go look at the rosters of those teams if you don’t believe me

  40. Stringer says:

    Malone you are alright in my book. But you kinda proved my point. You named only the superstar big name players and that is absolutely awesome and Cuse would have been better for getting them but that is kinda NJ football recruiting though. There just isn’t the numbers to fill a lot of schools. Like a Florida or Texas or Georgia. And ps I don’t think they should hang their hat on Cali or Texas either. Maybe this year and next try and steal one or two from Texas because of Allen coming in, I say yes. But MAYBE SU gets a player here and there from Cali because it is so far so no need to focus on that state. And I also think you are right with the MetLife angle, have to work that one! So back to my original point, yes they should and hopefully will, recruit NJ better. Not sure that it will put SU over the top like recruiting Florida and Georgia for depth has helped SU in the past few years. Now combine those two aspects and add in VA and NC and maybe that does it. Recruiting has changed so much in the past 10 years and it will continue to change as the conferences change. I think SU has a a good grasp n what they wanna do in recruiting. Florida is huge for them and Georgia is a great opportunity, voted best HS football last year by rivals, add in hopefully a return to NJ and the growing NYC pipeline and that could be a great formula.

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