Encouraging news out of the University School in Fort Lauderdale, a place SU has been before with mixed results.
So we meet again University School. This week The Fizz reached out to former Syracuse running backs coach Roger Harriot, who quickly resigned after just a few months at SU due to family reasons. Harriot, however, left on good terms and returned to his head coaching job at University. There’s been a bizarre relationship between the Florida high school and Syracuse. Combine Harriot’s departure, with knucklehead Brice Hawkes’ antics, and the twists and turns of Max Beaulieu.
But this time we may have better news out of the U-School, with 2013 Fort Lauderdale WR Dionte Taylor (DJ). Taylor is very high on Syracuse, but hasn’t heard from the Orange since it offered him in the spring:
“I was kind of surprised because when they came they offered me in the spring, but I had never spoken to them before. I already knew somebody graduated from here [Beaulieu] and is on the team and who was on the team before [Hawkes] so I had a connection”
The Fizz asked Coach Harriot about Taylor’s Syracuse offer. In classic University School/Syracuse fashion, something was lost in translation.
“I wasn’t aware that they had offered him. I don’t know how much interaction they’ve had with each other. The consistent teams that have showed DJ the potential right now have been Boston College, UCF (Central Florida), and Illinois.”
Even though Harriot never got the 411, he was thrilled to hear Dionte got an offer from SU. Taylor, even though the Orange has not really been in contact, is keeping his options open.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself right to make a decision. I don’t think I am ready right now. I’m still evaluating my choices.”
Taylor was aware of his head coach’s brief stint as a Syracuse coach:
“Our coach went up there for a couple of months and came back and told me good things about the program, so it was a school I was definitely interested in as soon as they offered me.”
University is undefeated at 7-0 so far this season, with Taylor providing that huge receiving threat. The Fizz asked Taylor about his game and what he does best on the gridiron:
“I’m very versatile. I can play in the slot, which I do at my school. I can play outside as I did last year. They [coaches] like my control and tempo. I have pretty sharp hands and pretty good awareness of the game.”
Sounds like a great fit for the no-huddle Syracuse offense. With seniors Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales departing, doors are opening for new receivers to join the Orange. Taylor has been posting some huge numbers for his senior stint. The 6’0’’ foot 167 lb. speedster has caught 25 passes on the season, for over 360 yards and 6 TDs.
Taylor says the interest level has dwindled from the Orange since this past spring. He plans to try and take an official visit to campus, and says everything could change if Syracuse gets back in touch:
“I will, but the coaches haven’t contacted me at all since the spring. I don’t know what their interest level is, but it’s a school I would be interested in and going up to see. I know it’s a program that I could see myself excelling in. I like how they get the ball around. They could do some big things in the near future.”
Although the history between this Florida high school and Syracuse University hasn’t been the smoothest relationship, there’s reasons to believe it could improve if Taylor comes up north.
Posted: Brendan Glasheen