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Asiantii Woulard De-Commits From USF: Should Syracuse Pursue the QB?

ESPN.com

To nobody’s surprise, USF Head Coach Skip Holtz was fired following a 3-9 season that was capped off by an embarrassing blowout loss to Pittsburgh.

In response to the firing, Bulls commit and former Syracuse target Asiantii Woulard announced he was decommitting from the program.

Since The Fizz last covered Woulard, the quarterback’s stock has shot up. He’s now considered the top dual-threat QB in the nation by ESPN. His offer list isn’t as impressive as you’d imagine for a recruit of his caliber, so expect the vultures to come swooping in now that his recruitment has opened back up.

Currently, his listed offers include USF, North Carolina State, Boston College, UConn, Cincinnati, Duke, FIU, Indiana, Temple, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Ole Miss, Syracuse, and UCF. Woulard visited N.C. State on November 9th, but it remains to be seen if he’ll still have interest in the Wolfpack after Tom O’Brien’s firing.

Both of Woulard’s top two choices have let their coaches go. So where does he go from here? If it’s not South Florida or N.C. State, it’s a complete mystery who Woulard will now have interest in.

So you’ve probably been thinking, will Syracuse go after him? That’s a good question, and it’s a question that raises an interesting philosophical debate.

Some key factors in play here:

  1. Syracuse already has nine verbal commits in a class that recruiting coordinator Greg Adkins told The Fizz will be small – probably no more than 13 or 14 student athletes.
  2. Two of SU’s nine verbals are quarterbacks (Zach Allen and Austin Wilson). Terrel Hunt and John Kinder are signal callers that both have multiple years of eligibility left.
  3. Allen’s stock has continually risen since he committed to the Orange. Despite that, he has shown tremendous loyalty to Syracuse, making it abundantly clear that he will maintain his commitment to the SU.

Should Syracuse return the favor to Allen by ending any further recruitment of QBs in his class? It’s tempting to say yes, but The Fizz’s answer is no.

Having spoken with Allen, I can’t recall a covering a recruit during my time with Orange Fizz who was more impressive to talk to. Based on his enthusiasm for the program, and his efforts to already become a leader by rallying his fellow recruits, he seems like the guy to lead SU football to the next level. He also relishes the competition to prove his spot on the team, and has dove headfirst into his relationship with Wilson. You’d imagine Allen would also understand bringing in another talented signal caller makes everyone better, and he’d jump at the chance to prove himself with even more competition around him.

Syracuse also can’t make the mistake of assuming Allen will be the next Andrew Luck. He might be, and Doug Marrone can sure hope so, but recruits (especially QBs) are unpredictable by nature. Just a few years ago, three-star quarterback Jonny Miller entered the program with buzz surrounding him. He then injured his right shoulder and never regained his throwing form, and was subsequently arrested on suspicion of robbing and punching a man back in Colorado. Miller is no longer with the team.

The point is, there’s no reason to make any assumptions about a player’s career before he goes out and actually proves himself. Allen already has to compete with Wilson and the other QBs for a starting job. That’s the nature of the position – there’s only room for one person to play regularly.

Right now, Syracuse isn’t in a position to turn down someone with Woulard’s talent. Let’s put Allen aside, and forget about SU’s scholarship crunch as well. If a four-star recruit comes knocking, answer the door.

If Woulard has interest in Syracuse, then the Orange should pursue him.

Posted: Andrew Kanell

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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