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Building a Veteran Defense: JuCo LB Luke Arciniega Commits to Syracuse

The Syracuse defense is picking up veteran talent, and the Class of ’13 is starting to take shape 6 weeks before National Signing Day. The Orange grab a verbal commitment from another JuCo player on D, this time 2-star linebacker Luke Arciniega. The 6’4″, 245 lb. ‘backer comes from Sierra Community College in California.

He follows two other defensive JuCo commits for SU. Last week safety Darius Kelly helps out the thinning depth in the secondary. And before that DE Trevon Trejo chose Syracuse over Michigan State. Arciniega can be destructive on the blitz, with speed to get to the pocket and explosion when he hits the ball carrier. He also has good instincts for the football, and solid lateral quickness.

Doug Marrone also added a fourth JuCo player, when offensive lineman John Miller gave his verbal pledge. Arciniega is the 13th member of SU’s ’13 class and the sixth JuCo prospect to choose the Hill. Why is Marrone loading up heavy on these types of players? The guess here is the move to the ACC. 

Starting in September, the Orange will face much more explosive offenses than the Big East. To line up and beat bigger, stronger, faster talents from Florida, Georgia and other southern recruiting beds, Syracuse feels its needs veteran players that are physically more developed than those straight out of high school. SU now adds a player at every layer of the defense in the last two weeks: defensive line, linebacker, defensive back.

The official visits over two weekends in December are also paying huge dividends. SU brought up to campus one of the largest collections of football talent ever assembled over an 8-day period. Arciniega said that visit felt like home and was a huge part of the decision. He also visited Memphis, and had interest from Miami (FL) and BYU.

The face of the Class of ’13 is really starting to take shape for SU.

Posted: D.A.

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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