L.A. Confidential: Juco Trio from SoCal Visiting Syracuse This Weekend

Greg Adkins is at again. Just when you thought his recruiting talent had limits, he breaks new ground.

“You guys got a great staff out there. A great university and Coach Adkins. He has a ton of respect from us. He’s a classy recruiter. Honest and straight forward. It’s pleasure working with people like Coach Adkins.”

These are the words of Los Angeles Harbor Head Coach Brett Peabody. Adkins has recently been in touch with the Southern California junior college. The Orange recruiting coordinator managed to schedule three LA Harbor players to visit Syracuse this weekend, John Miller, Joe Walker, and Cleshawn Page (pictured). Peabody goes way back with Adkins, and tells The Fizz he’s impressed with his style:

“Personally, I’ve known Coach Adkins since he was back at Tennessee. And those guys there at Tennessee, they went through remarkable runs, national titles, those sorts of things. He’s a phenomenal recruiter. He knows where players are. He knows where to identify them. I think he’s built some great connections with the Southern California area.”

SU already has the New York City pipeline (ask Juco Wayne Williams), and the Peach State and Sunshine State connections, but now Adkins is creating cross-country relations. There are already seven current Orange who are from the state of California. Adkins is looking to build on that with the LA Harbor trifecta. Peabody gave the coach’s breakdown to The Fizz of his trio:

“We participated in our fourth consecutive bowl game this year. All three of those guys were obviously integral parts of that success. John participated in back-to-back bowl games for us, as well as Cleshawn. This is Joe’s first year with us as a qualifier. All of those guys were all-conference guys and are major impact players.”

Here’s LA Harbor’s SU recruits.

  • John Miller      6’4” 322 lbs.   Offensive Line

Miller is the most recently offered Seahawk. Adkins must see something for his unit in this lineman. Miller has just two offers (SU and Memphis), but has interest from Oregon and Washington State.
Peabody says:

“Syracuse is really excited about him. Coach Adkins really likes his versatility, the fact he can play both center and guard. John’s also one of the bigger centers out there and one of the most physical ones.”

Peabody feels Miller will be gaining more recognition over time.

“Nevada has been recruiting him and Memphis offered him today. The more people find out he’s a mid-year transfer, the more his interest really starts to skyrocket. He’s very excited about Syracuse. The opportunity it provides. He’s been impressed with Coach Adkins. The education, the conference there. Syracuse is a pretty special place.”

  • Joe Walker      6’3” 230 lbs.   Linebacker

Walker is the most highly sought of the three. He fields three offers from Syracuse, Duke, and Texas A&M. After his Syracuse visit this week, he’ll take a trip up to Oregon as well. He made his way out east to see the Blue Devils at the beginning of November. Last week, he visited the Aggies, Despite the heavy-traffic from top programs in Eugene and College Station, Peabody still thinks Syracuse has a shot at Walker:

“I think Walker might be the toughest one, but you never know. I mean the kid’s from a community where education has great value put on it. I know his family is very excited about the increasing interest from Syracuse.”

The soft-spoken Walker gave The Fizz a breakdown of his past season and his understanding of the Orange:

“It’s a little stressful, but it’s exciting. I feel like I had a good season. I made over a 100 tackles. I think I am a smart player and make plays. Coach Adkins has been recruiting me the most. I’ve heard about their history and former players like Jim Brown.”


Walker recorded over 100 tackles while recovering a fumble and nabbing one interception this season.

  • Cleshawn Page      5’10” 190 lbs.   Cornerback

Peabody says Page is “one of the premier corners in the country.” The mid-year transfer’s offer sheet includes Syracuse, Louisiana Tech, Hawaii, and USF. The interest extends to at least half of the Sun Belt conference, as well as Utah State and South Alabama. After his SU visit Page has a scheduled visit for next weekend with Hawaii. The defensive back recorded 44 tackles on the year and forced a fumble.

Syracuse bringing in three interested students from the same community college in SoCal shows how the program is making great strides. Peabody gave a huge thumbs up to the Juco success at Syracuse. He brought up the name of a former LA Harbor Seahawk who’s doing big things.

“It really is the best. The Juco kids have had really good success at Syracuse. Deon Goggins was in our program for awhile before he went down Cerritos. These kids are graduating from Syracuse. They’re doing good things and taking care of the players out there. We’re impressed.”

When The Fizz mentioned Goggins to Walker, he said, “Oh yeah, Coach Adkins was telling me about the California guys.” Goggins had 15 tackles, three sacks, and one forced a fumble back in 2008 with the Seahawks. The LA connection continues.

The Fizz asked Peabody how crucial this year’s SU finish was for prospective recruits. With rumors of reorganizing the coaching staff and a 2-4 start, the 7-5 finish and bowl eligibility completely changed this year’s landscape. Peabody was aware of Marrone’s resiliency:

“I know this. We really enjoy watching their offense, I know that much. Syracuse plays a fun brand of football and obviously what he’s done there means he is obviously committed and the turnaround has been very impressive.”

But looking to the future, what’s the likelihood Syracuse lands at least one of LA Harbor’s stars? Peabody praised how SU separates itself from other programs:

“I think you have a really good chance at all three, I really do. The fact of the matter is they’re building to play in the ACC and that education. There’s not much out there that’s better than that. As a kid, I don’t know how much more you could ask for. So hopefully you see a few there.”

Even with the Orange waiting for its bowl game, it’s still going to be a jam-packed next couple of weeks for Syracuse football. The three LA athletes are to arrive in Syracuse late Thursday night and attend the team’s practice over the weekend. And even better, next week SU welcomes a handful of 2013 commits in Zach Allen, Augustus Edwards, Isaiah Johnson, and potential additions to the group in Laray Smith and Ebenezer Ogundeko. Buckle up Orange Nation. Winter’s approaching, but we have ourselves a hectic recruiting heat wave on its way.

Posted: Brendan Glasheen


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  1. Russell MacEachern says:

    Glash,no offense but 3 JUCO’s in year 4 of the Dougie?Why are we still beating the bushes for recruits at this point?Even WITH the ACC card after such a good year?The Dougie will never be a good recruiter I see that now!

  2. ak47 says:

    All programs nab JUCO players. This season wasn’t that great and they’re still a ton of question marks around the future success of the program.

  3. Russell MacEachern says:

    Not really like we’ve been,maybe in the 1st or 2nd year OK?But we only have 15/16 schollies to give and 3 in one swoop?What are we Kansas?Only bottomfeeders resort to so many,…we should have them lined up to come to Cuse by now!Check all the good teams or even UConn or RU….do u see any JUCOs?Its the mark of desperation!!UNLV,Nevada,Tulsa,N.Mexico and Sunbelts use that to try to keep up with the “bigboys” but how many ACC schools hit that circuit?

  4. True Orange says:

    Russell, you are obviously clueless.

  5. SteveSteel says:

    Russell, apparently you have only been follow SU football for 10 years because any REAL SU fan knows that throughout their history they have only brought in 2 & 3 star recruits with the occasional 4 star. McNabb 3 star, Konrad 3 Star, Harrison 2 Star. To expect any coach at SU to consistently bring in high quality recruits is dreaming. Just try being supportive of SU or start following Alabama so you don’t feel so let down by DM.

  6. Dr. bill says:

    Russell, good talent can be found anywhere ..even at the Jucco level. Coach Atkins is a “Pro” at recruiting and California produces a ton of D1 players every year…maybe more that any other state. Many of these kids, really good HS players, don’t have the grade to qualify out of HS and go the Jucco route. I love Jucco players to plug in some holes in recruiting. These kids are ready to play. Su’s recruiting has improved under HCDM….look at our gets..and who we had to beat out o get them…..We are no longer competing against the MAC for players…….and as our product on the field improves…and it is, so will our recruiting. Congrats to the Cuse on a hard fought courageous season…….Go Cuse!!

  7. jimmy hoffa says:

    I guess kansas state does to know what they are doing becausefor years they basically only recruited jucos.
    Niether does Alabama Lsu Georgia Miss St. Florida Ole Miss Tennessee Texas Auburn Texas A&Mor South Carolina because they all have at least one juco commit this year.

  8. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Dr Bill,I agree their some good ones out there and useful to fill holes but I thought we had some big fish like EO and A Officer,Laray Smith and that 3* caliber on the line?How many JUCOs is Dougie looking at?@Steve,STFU,Im here every day,..where are you?Ur not worthy of an explanation!!@True Orange=true stupid,neither are u worthy,I dont like ur attitude loser!

  9. Russell MacEachern says:

    @DrBill,obviously I respect ur post but to those others,@jim hoffa, what an impressive list of “academic institutions”SEC stupid!Im aware of the rare $$ gems (Cam Newton)!If you cant behave like gentlemen,stay away..we dont need rudeness here!”Go Cuse”

  10. OrangeCrush27 says:

    I dont think Dougie is gettng the recruits he wants this year. Especially on the O-Line…Curtis is going to Iowa St. and Officer is looking at L’ville and Pitt. Absolutely no issue with going the JUCO route. Your getting seasoned players that can come right in and play (i,e; Goggins, Diabete, Brewster, Jones).

  11. Dr Bill says:

    Every School misses on some kids they want. Doug seems to shoot straight from the hip with these kids ..and no BS! Look at the success of our O line this year without 4-5 star kids. HCDM and Adkins seem to be able to get kids that they can coacjh up to be productive. I just have to trust their “eyes” there. Kid’s are crazy..who knows what a 17-18 year old wants. Iowa State?..over Cuse? are you kidding me……But whatever attracted the Curtis kid to select iowa State should be no black mark on SU and Marrone. Kids are looking out for what they feel is the best situation for them Let’s be honest, even though we love the Cuse as CUSE fans, Cuse is not the best school for every kid. For example, both my wife and I went to the CUSE…..great choice for us…..but it was not the best school for either of my kids…We wanted them to go…but they did not feel it was right for them!!!

  12. Terry says:

    I do believe in the recruiting services out there. After all they are “professionals” right?? But Atkins has been around awhile and knows the ropes(I hope). But to build SU around JUCO talent year in and out really is not always productive. Remember they are JUCOs for a reason!! I’d rather see it built up by HS talent. But not always does that work. I feel and might be wrong, but the staff might be freaking out because of the talent graduating in 2012. Nassib, Shark Pugh and Lemon to name the major ones. The coaches better do their home work on these guys attitudes. But I think they do that pretty good so far!! A few sprinkled in the class every year should not hurt. But more than a sprinkle means your always replacing JUCOs yearly. Most major winning programs don’t relay greatly on JUCOs, because they want sustained programs and I want that for SU to!!

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  14. chris says:

    I favor bringing in top JUCO players They are
    Physically more mature and their talent more advanced in many cases. They quickly fills need and depth. In these three players the abilities are way above average. Big win for the Orangemen if they can be lured to the eastern part of the country

  15. Carlton says:

    @True Orange, So why is Russ clueless? Really you come off as a dumb schmuck when you don’t offer any reasoning at all besides you disagree /w him. Bravo bud.

    @Jimmy Hoffa@ KSU been awful the last few yrs. Bill Snyder as a coach had more to do /w their success then juco’s. I love how you named Bama, LSU an Auburn. So they get 1 JUCO great does he even see the field? Come on man those guys bring in 4 an 5stars studs. Hell they “grey” shirt kids they rarely take JUCO’s.

    Newton shouldn’t even count. He was a backup at UF to tebow before he stole some comps.

  16. Brendan Glasheen says:

    Guys,

    I think this trio is highly soughted. It’s only natural that these JuCo guys get little recognition out of the gate. I think we have to trust Adkins that these guys are coming to visit this weekend and they’re very talented. Texas A&M is going after one of them, and I believe Miller and Walker are getting attention from Oregon. These guys are no joke.

  17. Mike says:

    ESPN is reporting Ebenezer Ogundeko is down to Florida and CLEMSON. Where the F did Clemson come from!? That would be a real kick in the nuts – don’t land him to Syracuse, and then have him sign with our soon to be divisional rival.

    Apparently he is still taking his official visit to Cuse on Dec 7 tho….

  18. Brendan Glasheen says:

    @Mike Ogundeko and Laray Smith will be in Cuse next weekend, along with commits Zach Allen, Augustus Edwards, and Isaish Johnson

  19. Mike says:

    @Brendan – that’s what I hear. Any chance the others in the class can convince him to come join them or do you think the ship has sailed?

    It’s funny to me to say you’ve committed to a school or have narrowed the list to two and then still take an official vist to another. It’s like verbally accepting a job, but then going on another interview. Are you doing this ‘just to see what else is out there’? or are you still open in your recruitment/hiring?

    I understand you get five official visits, so you may as well use them all – I’m sure they’re very fun experiences. But maybe wait to narrow your list (even if you’ve done it in your head already) until after the final one. I feel like that’s almost common courtesy.

  20. Mike says:

    Also – one thing Syracuse unfortunately just won’t ever be on par with a Clemson, Florida, etc is the gameday atmosphere/crowd. If anyone watched the South Carolina vs Clemson game (the one EO attended last week) you’ll know what I mean. We are limited in that capacity.

  21. Brendan Glasheen says:

    Mike, I know the gang is thrilled to come up together. Perhaps Zach Allen, who in my opinion has come to be the recruiting expert for the 2013 class, can really convince him. Augustus Edwards is in Staten Island, right down the road from E.O. who’s in Brooklyn. At least EO is making his way to campus, so I wouldnt rule Syracuse out just yet. This kid is very fragile. Once committed to UConn, was going to announce his decision over the summer but bailed out. Like this dude’s mind is jumping constantly. Stay steady and patient.

  22. Frank says:

    First of all, Kansas State hits the JUCO ranks hard every year. Worked out well for them this year.

    Secondly, this information has been known. It’s not really an exclusive. I’ve seen Scout and Rivals both report it, and have had interviews with the players themselves. Not sure why you guys are acting like it is.

  23. Ron says:

    @True Orange;Russell, you are obviously clueless.

    Really,is that the best you can do? Russell has forgotten more about Syracuse Football probably more than you’ll ever know. I know the only thing he’s clueless about is your real name. Russell along with Carlton are the professor’s here,have your pen and paper ready to take lessons bud, you might learn something. from the both of them.

    Your just another Johnny come lately that doesn’t have much to offer.

    @SteveSteel;Just try being supportive of SU or start following Alabama.

    How original!!!!!!

    Russell has been on this web site probably longer than you’ve been alive giving nothing but support for Syracuse University. So you might want to rethink your position as to who should leave Syracuse and go support Alabama. You too ought take some notes,you might learn a fact or two about what’s being said here.
    When your leaving for Alabama(it would be great)if you stopped by and picked up True Orange and take him with you.

  24. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Carlton and Ron,thanks guys these newcomers come in once or twice a year and think they can bully us off our own board?No way Jose,I like everyone to be allowed to express themselves freely here!

  25. Ron says:

    @Russell MacEachern;

    What are friends for Russell,if anything giving support to each other when they are getting attacked by a bunch of idiots.

    Like Cuse03,on another thread making the statement for you to get a job. Fresh out of college a person who thinks he knows it all and really knows nothing and hasn’t finished growing up yet. KIDS!!

  26. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,the arrogance of someone to tell someone who could be 12 or 112 to get a job?I missed that one but u know hes an idiot right off the top!!I was working 40 years before he was born!!

  27. bigdip says:

    Ahem!!!!!! @FizzFam…lets opinionize w/o spilling blood today, or Orange juice…lol…I had to, sorry!

    R&R…are u giving the newbs hell, again! “Good grief guys, its almost Christmas”, says Charley Brown. I would out an idiot or two, but i dont really have the time to right now! RUSS IS ROYALTY…BE RESPECTFUL NEWBIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    * Fizz Post: talent can come from anywhere, we all agree! But as SU fans, we’re worried about the state of affairs of all things ‘Cuse….like 1. Why does a bowl team in a current power conference(2012 last season) have to replenish their team with juco talent? Thats a legit
    question and concern. I would take EO, L.Smith, and Officer b4 these guys….Juco kids can’t be plan B? Of course they have talent, yes,,theyre less smart, but as a plan C, recruiting jucos have our current numbers kinda wacky….thanx for the update fizz!

    * Neb..KSU…Cincy..Aub…Baylor…SFU…Have all taken in #s of jucos, I agree with bringing in the BEST talent available Juco or not, but SU should be getting quality HS talent. Not fill-ins quite yet…these jucos couldve hit their “ceiling”. versus a 17 yr old with talent/potential…
    What were their juco rankings? Did anyone look? Or just assume they were the “3 wise men”…sheesh! NEWB IDIOTS MAKIN US LOOK GREEN, NOT ORANGE!

  28. bigdip says:

    Ask @Cuse03 how much those student loans are? Dont be mad at @Russ for loving his OPINION & his ORANGE!!!!! Get a 2nd job so u can take ya chick on a date @Cuse03….

  29. Ron says:

    @bigdip;

    I wasn’t giving anyone hell yet!!! But as you know I’m going to stick up for any member of the family and while giving my response about some idiotic remarks made by some new members,I THOUGHT I WAS VERY RESPECTFUL.

    Both of our responses are on an equal basis bigdip. I’m not going to apologize for mine.

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