FizzCast: Syracuse JuCo Commit Darius Kelly Chooses Marrone’s Soft Sell

JuCo safety Darius Kelly has committed to Syracuse, and The Fizz broke news to his head coach.

“Your comment was the first I heard of Darius’ commitment to Syracuse.”

Nugent told The Fizz he immediately sent a text message to congratulate his standout at Pima Community College (AZ), the newest addition to SU’s 2013 commitment class. The 5’11” 190 lb. Kelly originally committed to Marshall this past Monday. He then took his official visit to Syracuse this past weekend during what may have been the most impressive collection of prep football talent ever on the Hill.

Once the Orange got back in touch with him this week, he decided SU was the better fit. Kelly says it was Donnie Henderson who reached out to him.

“Coach Donnie Henderson, he came out two weeks ago. It was a great visit. I like everything about Syracuse: the city, the town, the school, the academics, and the football program. I just fell in love with it. Coach Marrone came down yesterday. [He] sat down and [I] talked to him, and decided to commit.”

Both Greg Adkins and John Anselmo have received plenty of praise for this class, but this time it was defensive backs coach Henderson who helped SU land the 2-star Kelly. The All-Arizona CC Athletic Conference first teamer got a special in-home visit from Marrone. Henderson’s and Marrone’s approach in recruiting really enticed Kelly.

“Coach Marrone says, ‘It’s a window of opportunity.’ He knows where I’ve been. He is willing to take it. Coach Henderson and those guys, they didn’t pressure me to make any decisions. They said, ‘This is where I’ve been. This is where we are going. Either you can hop on, or not.’ It just stuck with me, like there was no pressure. ‘I can get you to the next level. There’s no pressure.’ It just stuck with me.”

Marrone’s recruiting approach continues to work. Instead of the hard sell, he’s all-business and understatement. “If you like it, welcome aboard, but if not, that’s okay. On to the next one.” Kelly’s sudden de-commitment from Marshall may also speak to the Orange’s dwindling secondary. With Shamarko Thomas finishing his senior season, Kelly saw an opportunity for immediate playing time.

“Definitely, definitely. Coaches let me know that we need some playmakers to come in. I believe that’s who I am. That helped me make my decision a little more.”

This is the first ’13 commit for the SU secondary, a position that needs help. In ’11, the safety had 3 interceptions (2 were returned for scores). He also had 3 forced fumbles in 9 games. This season he led the team with 55 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, three recoveries, and one pick.

“This past year my team really didn’t win a lot of games, but it’s not always about that. I still always lead my team. At that level it’s about opportunity. That’s one of the things I want to put on a team. I still had a pretty good season. Worked hard every game, and I feel like I had a pretty good season.”

SU’s shift to the ACC next season was another positive in choosing Syracuse. Kelly had his eyes on playing in the conference well before his commitment.

“Definitely. That’s one of the conferences I looked really forward to playing in actually before the season. I wanted to get an ACC offer and play at that type of level. This opportunity came around and I really couldn’t turn it down.”

The Orange is heading to its new digs with a thrilling, still-in-progress, end to the season.

“I just want to come in and help building it back up. Get Syracuse back to where it was back in the day, where it was a winning team, a national championship team. I want to be a part of that, that history of Syracuse.”

Kelly intends to study sports medicine and can’t wait to get up to Central New York to get started on the field and in the classroom:

“I’m looking forward to getting into the system. Looking forward to getting back into the school system, getting that Syracuse education. I learned about that, that’s huge up there. The academics at Syracuse are huge. That’s a top notch education school and the football of course, getting to learn the system.”

Darius becomes the third Orange commitment in just this one week, with defensive end Trevon Trejo and offensive lineman John Miller also deciding. We continue to wait on big names like Ebenezer Ogundeko and Laray Smith. But Marrone is taking advantage of his team’s time off awaiting the Pinstripe Bowl. SU continues to add pieces. The fruits of the ’12 season continue to be picked.

Posted: Brendan Glasheen


Filed Under: FB RecruitingFeatured

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  1. Ron says:

    Darius Kelly committing to Syracuse makes it 3 of the 13 recruits that visited the campus last weekend. I would also like to see Cleshawn page and Joe Walker add their names to the list.

    If EO doesn’t hurry make his mind up soon,there might not be any room for him at Syracuse University.

  2. the sackster says:

    welcome aboard, see you in the spring.

  3. CuseOnly says:

    @Ron – Joe Walker committed to Oregon already. We did get Kirkland who committed yesterday.

    I would love to get Laray, Ogundeko, Savage, Kondolo and Cleshawn Page.

    That along wit those that have already committed, would be an awesome class.

  4. Ron says:

    @CuseOnly;good morning. Where are you finding this information? Savage and Kondolo are two names that I haven’t heard before. Where do I get information on those two from?

  5. Ron says:

    @CuseOnly;

    Never mind I found the information and I agree they both would be great additions to the team.

    Let’s hope that they decide on Syracuse for a brief stop before going to the NFL.

  6. CuseOnly says:

    @Ron – Google “Syracuse Football recruiting”.

    Click on the first Scout link that you see and the first Rivals link you see. The front pages have a bit of info about commits and articles without paying a dime :)

    Then you can Google the players names and look for articles from their local papers and YouTube or Hudl clips for free as well.

  7. Ron says:

    @CuseOnly;

    I’ll give it a try,thanks.

  8. Ron says:

    @CuseOnly;

    I followed you directions and went looking,the information I found was interesting.

    What about this 6’4″ 245 lb MLB Luke Arciniega? Boy if he came here what an incredible addition that would be.

    I can’t believe the kids that Coach Marrone and staff are after. You have to give this staff a 5* rating for their efforts.

    Go Cuse.

  9. CuseOnly says:

    @Ron – There are a ton of under the radar guys in JUCO. Link below will give you list of kids that were offered and had interest from SU.

    http://syracuse.scout.com/a.z?s=185&p=9&c=4&yr=2013

    Syracusefan.com is also a good site and gives some insider info from some folks that are close to the program.

  10. Ron says:

    @CuseOnly;

    I appreciate all of the information that you’ve given me this morning and will be using it quite frequently. I did notice that there are 2 other players that Syracuse is interested in at Milford Academy. I find that very interesting because of the previous thread that was posted yesterday.

    For the people who come on here and make the statement that Coach Marrone doesn’t know how to recruit,they need to go to that web site and see who it is that there competing against for these players.

    I just finished reading an article about the competition for next year on the team for the RB position. I really don’t see our offensive output falling at all. I think it’s going to be better,to tell you the truth.

    CuseOnly,thanks again for the help.

  11. OrangeCrush27 says:

    The one thing i like about this DM and co. recruting tactic is not so much who they’re getting, but where they’re getting these recrutis from.

    Take the newiest recruit Kirkland for example. Comes from a JUCO powerhouse, national runner-up this year. That helps pave the way for future recruits and bonds that program to ours for many years to come.

    Trying to build a fence around NYS for recruits by taking a 2 star recruit with potential to eventually grab that 4-5 star player down the road. (i,e; getting Cornelius to later grab Gus Edwards, which could get EBO)

    ‘Cuse recruiting is starting to rise for the better in all sports ut seems, just takes time

  12. Ron says:

    Getting kids from the Midwest and Western States was at one time unheard of. Now Syracuse is getting kids from California and Kansas to come play for us. They’ve made in roads into Florida and Georgia along with maintaining their Northeastern connections.

    Looks to me like Syracuse is opening doors that haven’t been opened before with some outstanding results.

    Watch out ACC,here comes the Cuse.

  13. Ron says:

    @Russell MacEachern;

    Open this and read,it was posted on Syr.com today about the battle in the spring for the RB position.

    http://www.syracuse.com/orangefootball/index.ssf/2012/12/syracuse_football_teams_loaded.html#incart_river

  14. Derek says:

    What’s new with Officer? …O-line needs some love.

  15. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,I followed the link to the PS rb story and I agree were stocked at RB but is OL Alex Officer visiting soon?Whats our newest recruiting rankings with all these new kids?We were ranked 56th in Oct,we should have broken into the top 40 somethings by now?How many schollies left?I think were giving 16 or so?

  16. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,Ive been following the demise of the BE story and UConns potential demise!!!What a shame,u should go over into UConns message board the Boneyard its like a funeral there!Its pretty depressing!Sad story at Xmas time!!

  17. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Ron,I just went to rivals recruiting site and we are ranked in the 80s?Whats going on with that?We were in the mid 50s for months!!Maybe cause the # of schollies we have to offer recruits is only 15 or 16 ??They only have RU and Pitt in the top 50…RU is 29th and highest rated BE school and they just got a big 4* verbal from Skai Moore

  18. Russell MacEachern says:

    LBer from University school in Ft Lauderdale 6’3″212 lb OLBer and Pitt is in the 40s the rest of the BE is in the mid50s on up!….Probably due to uncertainty in realignment!…terrible real news out of Connecticut huh?just young children mostly!!

  19. CuseOnly says:

    @Russ – I read on another fan site that Officer’s scholarship got pulled by SU. My guess is that he was taking too long and has always been a Pitt lean anyhow.

    Also, Marrone does not recruit the star system like other coaches. He has his own rankings and criteria. That is why I don’t really look at the rankings on the sites. I look at the height weight and athleticism I see in their clips and am very satisfied with what Marrone is doing.

    There are almost 1.5 million high school football players in the US. The pay sites can’t rate them all.

    Jay Bromley comes to mind, nobody even gave him a sniff except Marrone. I bet he gets drafted in the 2nd, possibly 1st round after next year. Wasn’t even ranked.

    Rambling, sorry.

  20. CuseOnly says:

    @Russ – we are so low as the JUCO’s don’t really get rated, it’s like figuring a zero into an average for each one.

  21. Terry says:

    Damn since the new format at syracuse.com that sucks so I have listen to all this babble from Ronette,Russ, cuseonly and etc. Oh well, I’ll survive I think. I still think HCDM/dougie is going after too many JUCO’s. I prefer the long gain success instead of dougie’s new approach of going after JUCO’s for quick success. I feel that there’s a reason for dougie’s reason for this method. We’ll never find that out. That will be harder than finding out about a high or lower body injury on a certain player from dougie. There’s something out there in the wind against either SU or HCDM and getting top HS talent here. It needs to be cleared up!!

  22. Ron says:

    Terrie your reading way too much fiction. WAY TO MUCH.

    I see that you’ve added CuseOnly to the list of people that you dislike. Now that you have a new target to complain about,Russell and I won’t feel so lonely anymore.

    Hell man,last week you were complaining that Coach Marrone doesn’t know how to recruit. Now that he’s bring in some giant rocks(studs)your telling us now that he’s bringing in to many JUCO players.

    The “Penguin” and the “Joker”,from the Batman series” must be your super(villain) heros.

    Once I started asking CuseOnly where to find the information that he was sharing with us,I knew that you’d be coming out of the closet to complain. You really need to get a grip on live man. You really do.

  23. Ron says:

    @CuseOnly;

    Your absolutely correct about Jayson Bromley.
    Coach Marrone offered him a scholarship after the all star game that he played 3 years ago.

    Jayson wasn’t ranked ,no stars after his name,nothing. However,I do know that Jayson will go pro after graduation,he’s that good of a player.

  24. Ron says:

    @CuseOnly;

    I want to ask how you feel now that you’ve made Terries most favorable person’s list?

  25. Ak47 says:

    Can the fizz look into dontez ford leaving syracuse. He had potential from what I read.

  26. Ak47 says:

    Kid seems supremely pu*sy whipped.

  27. CuseOnly says:

    @Ron – Terrie is a Tool as I have stated before.

    I am pretty sure that he is Florida Steve from Syracuse.com who is a coach Marrone basher.

    He is not very bright, never acknowledges when someone calls him out as FlaSteve and doesn’t deny it. Just like all of his “pen names” on Syracuse.com.

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