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Floored Fizz Five: The Biggest Syracuse Recruiting Questions After the Mass Exodus

What happens now that Tyrone Wheatley (pictured), Greg Adkins and Donnie Henderson are gone?

This week has felt like an eternity for Orange Nation, and more importantly it’s also felt that way for Syracuse’s recruits. In just eight days, Doug Marrone and Nate Hackett bolted to the NFL, Scott Shafer was named SU’s new head man, Zach Allen flipped to TCU, and now Tyrone Wheatley, Donnie Henderson and Greg Adkins left as well. Brutal week for SU.

It has certainly rattled the 2013 class. Currently Syracuse has only 14 commits, and is in serious jeopardy of losing more. Here’s the Top Five Most Notable Recruiting Storylines to keep an eye on just three weeks before National Signing Day.

  • SU Offers 3-star QB John O’Korn, Is It Too Little Too Late?

The Florida native is ranked the 31st best pro-style QB in the nation. It will be interesting to see if anything manifests. O’Korn chatted with The Fizz and he was waiting to see who SU hires for its new OC. He committed to Houston in June and has since received offers from Wisconsin and Louisville. There is a Bob Casullo connection – his son Rocco is the Aquinas HC. O’Korn is very excited about his latest offer, and the possibility of becoming Zach Allen’s replacement. Scott Shafer said it best: you never know until those Letter of Intent papers are faxed in on NSD.

  • What does losing Tyrone Wheatley, Donnie Henderson and Greg Adkins mean?

These are potentially monumental loses. SU loses three of the most valuable members of its recruiting team, not to mention the loss of Hackett earlier. Now with Wheatley gone, the chances of landing RB’s Laray Smith and Augustus Edwards are damaged. In Adkins, the Orange loses the southern connection, SU has added George McDonald as its OC, a guy with recruiting ties in Florida, and Tim Lester as the QBs Coach from Western Michigan. Let’s see if they’re able to save this recruiting class.

  • What Other Recruits Are Wavering?

Allen became the first casualty of the 2013 class. It’s ironic considering the lengths he went to sell Syracuse to other recruits and future teammates. He was engulfed in Orange Nation, but not anymore. Three-star RB Augustus Edwards is the most notable player on the fence after downgrading his commitment to a soft verbal this past week. He told The Fizz the coaching changes have him thrown for a loop.

“This whole thing has me confused. I don’t know where I stand at the moment and I don’t want to say anything I will take back at a later time.”

He and Rochester LB Devan Carter – who also changed his commitment to a soft verbal – will be visiting the Rutgers campus the weekend of January 25th. Austin Wilson told us he had been catching up with some of the recruits this past week, and there is uncertainty brewing. The good thing for SU is that six of its 14 commits have already signed their LOI’s in the early signing period. Besides Edwards and Carter, Wilson and Laray Smith are the two to keep an eye on before we flip the calendar to February. Smith admitted recently that he, too, has a lot to think over before he makes his decision. West Virginia recently offered the speedy tailback.

  • Who are the New Names With Just Three Weeks Left

With the threat of other commits bailing, who are other possible targets are left that could be added to the class? Three-star WR Darius Phillips is a Michigan native that SU offered within the last month. Syracuse does not have a wideout in this class, and there are the losses of Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales to think about. (Jarrod West, Christopher Clark and Adrian Fleming will leave after the 2013 season.) Another name to watch is two-star OT Alex Hayes. The 6’4”, 275 lb senior has SU high on his list along with Wake Forest and Georgia State.

  • Who Else Will Fill Out The 2013 Class?

SU will pick a few more commitments before NSD. The Orange is targeting a trio of guards to make up for Justin Pugh’s departure from the O-Line. Jaylen Hunter and Dionte Savage are both JuCo’s and played together on Arizona Western College’s line this season. Hunter is visiting the Hill this upcoming weekend, and has SU, USF and Marshall in his final three. Syracuse also has a good chance at reeling in 2-star guard and Cleveland native Jaylen Funches. He has a half dozen offers from schools around the Midwest, but SU remains his only BCS scholarship. And finally, Laray Smith could become the final piece to the Orange’s 2013 class. It was almost a sure thing that the fastest kid in NYC would commit to SU during the Semper-Fidelis Bowl. Now that the coaching staff is being pieced back together, let’s see if Syracuse can reel in a few more recruits for the class of 2013.

Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald

31 Comments on this Post

  1. I look forward to the day when Syracuse does not need to look for diamonds in the rough recruits(**). Let’s hope for a string of 9+ win seasons and an ACC resurgence.

  2. If they don’t want to be here like Coach Shafer says then don’t come. That’s not critical its stopping a problem that might happen down the road. Wheatley is the major loss here. Turned average backs to game players. Even I busted on PTG and was wrong. That was because of Wheatley, not dougie!!

  3. @Terrie;

    The latest news is that Chip Kelly,one of the most successful college coaches,will join the Doug Marrone fraternity in the NFL. Just broke that he will leave Oregon to coach the Eagles. How do you all of you think the Oregon Fan’s feel. They probably are sounding just like you Terrie,foolish and ignorant.

    Lets all take a look at “how many assistant coaches he takes with him to Philly”. Your going to be surprised to find that he probably will take the whole damn staff.

  4. @Terrie;

    Chip Kelly was just saying last week,the place for him was with in the college ranks and wouldn’t be leaving Oregon.

    I guess the multi million dollar agreement per year changed his mind. I know Terrie it happens to the best of them. I also know that your not considered on of the best Terrie,but if the shoe was on the other foot, I’m guessing if a multi-million contract was offered to you you’d take it in a heart beat. SO I’M GOING TO ASK AGAIN, WHO’S THE HYPOCRITICAL ASSHOLE HERE? I know it isn’t Doug Marrone or Chip Kelly.

  5. Gez!! More Babel here from Ronette!! Kelly and dougie are like roses and dung!!! Kelly has a super winning history year in and out!! Chip also plays in a tougher league too!! Your man dougie is a roller coaster!! Win one year suck the next!! History shows that right!! dougie was nearly one game(Toledo) from a below .500 record!! Kelly was not near that. Hell most of his wins were double digit. Not dougie’s. PLUS Kelly’s name was mentioned yearly. dougie was never mentioned until recent months. The Oregon fans had that feeling of the mighty Chipper leaving-no doubt. But Chip did the job of winning big and also his name was mentioned many times over the years. So Ronette please research you thought before you put your foot in your mouth again. Its getting habit forming. There might be counseling for that you know! LOL!!

  6. It’s just amazing your different views on any given subject fool. My point was that both of them are in the NFL now making all of that stupid green stuff call dollars.

    Lets see who does a better job with their new teams Kelly or Marrone.

    If anyone needs counseling it’s you not I. Your the one who suffers from having duel personalities fool.

  7. LOL!!

  8. Supposedly Wheatley is more then happy to leave, word is he hated the culture here

  9. Smitty Section 129

    Good news Please, just once. No serioulsy I’m as upset as anyone but what I’m hearing the most is that MARRONE was upset with facilites and lack of fan support. If we want to have a top notch program we need to fill the DOME. I’ve had season tickets for years but how does the #9 team Louisvile come into the Dome and we ony put 40,000 people in the stands. And we won. Somehow and I have no clue because the school even offered free tixs this year to kids for some games, we need to get people in those seats. There are enough people in this area who love SU football but how do we get them to games is the million dollar question. Fill the dome and recruits will come and coaches will stay. Simple

  10. Russell MacEachern

    What an excuse Chris Ha Ha,I dont think he’ll find Buffalo a heck of a lot different?Its not like he’s going to N.Orleans or San Francisco!!Most midwestern and northeastern college towns are fairly vanilla but Buffalo might be the least desired destination in the league!Personally I think Buffalo gets a bad rap as Ive seen worse!

  11. You think you guys got bad news…check out Notre Dame and Manti Teo lying about his gf’s death.

  12. Lennay Kekua leukemia no one sees that similarity haha and anyway yeah I think it’s a bullshit answer but that’s what I got from my source haha

  13. Cuse Don't Luse

    I always think it is sketchy when someone says “source”

  14. Russell MacEachern

    Ha Ha Thanks Mademan,if anyone ask’s I’ll tell them I heard it first from u!!You can always be counted on when somethings happening to inform us…btw whats happening with the Delaware HC job?

  15. Russell MacEachern

    Yea CDL.I want to hear “sourses”!!

  16. Russell MacEachern

    pardon my spelling..

  17. Russell MacEachern

    Anselmo too?C’mon is he using him to recruit fans in G-man land?Thats going to far!!

  18. The man is gone and Shafer is his replacement for better or worse. Marrone rebuilt the SU FB system and then shot it in the head, taking assistant coaches with him and, as such, killing the contacts these folks had made. And what, if anything, has out zuit suit bald headed AD been doing? ZIP is the answer and a most unimpressive action happens with him again. Surely the Board at SU sees all of this low level performance. Once the quite queen retires Gross should also leave and let us get a real 1st rate AD.

  19. @Russ – Anselmo hurts and it worries me a lot. He was the major pipeline to the NYC and LI recruiting. Who do we have with NY ties? The only one I can think of is Moore, and I have not heard much about his recruiting. I am more concerned about the WMU Syracuse campus than ever. Laray and Edwards just got tougher. I hear Laray has WVU on the table now. It feels like once again Rutgers will get better by subtraction, our subtraction. Their run game is terrible for the talent they supposedly have. If it wasn’t for Ray Rice, I don’t know why any RB would consider them, and yet, they do, our RB recruits no less. Now they will have no “local” competition for top notch area recruits other than PSU if you can call them local to NYC.
    As for Wheatly and the culture issue, that makes me mad and to me reminds me what he was really like. The guy did great work at Michigan, but never amounted to much in the pros. He was no Joe Morris with the Giants (Syracuse culture) and he must have had a hell of a time with the Raiders and Al Davis (Syracuse culture). Last I checked, some of the greatest RBs of all time went to SU. And if it is the city he didn’t like, I am glad Mike Hart took his numbers to the wood shed at Michigan (Syracuse culture). On that subject, he is the RB coach at Eastern Michigan, maybe that’s still west enough to bring him back to Syracuse as a new RB coach. Just a thought. That might bring the NY back to NY’s College Team.

  20. Cuse Don't Luse

    just talked to my dad he is friends with Tim Green and he said that Marrone is a douche my dad said tim’s son (troy) was down to central florida and syracuse and choose central florida accepting it as a lesser program to get away from Marrone. My dad also said marrone’s last 2 years here gave an unpleasant vibe to those around him as he looked like the knucklehead he was when he played here some things just dont change

  21. CuseOnly

    All due respect CDL – Tim Green is the biggest douche ever.

    I went to the same high school that he did, albeit 8 years after he graduated.

    In HS he ratted out half the entire football team resulting in their suspensions, a few games for some and the season for others. For what? The boys had a few beers at a party. Keep in mind this was when the drinking age was 18. As far as I am concerned he can’t be trusted by anybody.

    Who is the coach for UCF? George O’Leary. Who was Tim’s coach in High School that he ratted out his fellow teammates to ?? George O’Leary.

    Who cheated and recruited players when he was the head coach at Skaneatles HS? Yep, Tim Green. Put HS players up in their own apartments, big screen TV’s, X-Box, etc. to get them to transfer to Skaneatles HS.

    This is all documented.

    I can imagine how many others along the way that screwed over to get where he is. Tim Green only cares about Tim Green.

    Tim Green has no right to call anyone anything. Moral of the story is consider the source and make sure that whoever that is can be trusted. Tim Green can’t be.

  22. BronxBound

    WSaltine has it right.

    This is all on the AD, he has to go, BOARD OF TRUSTEES please replace him the day after Nancy goes with someone who puts SU first and embraces the history/culture with his heart and sole and not just by redecorating the dome.

    it took Marrone 4 seasons to win more than 1 BE game, and as soon as he did, he’s gone.

    Marrone totally disliked Gross and his ego, Gross should have been fired to entice Marrone to stay and finish the rebuilding job, where were the TRUSTEES and the hiring committee to anticipate this and do he right thing??

    FL and LSU have top ADs, and they have managed to keep their football programs on top despite coaching changes, GROSS has NOT done the same, get rid of hm asap, please.

  23. Bronxbound
    You are right on target… Nancy..writing her name sickens me…has done damage to SU that will take years to correct. Gross is just one of the mistakes. Check the rating of the B school and Law School when she got here and when she is leaving. Gross was brought in to build womens sports like he did at USC. He brought in his USC buddy for football and we haven’t recovered. DM was an eastern football experiment and Shafer is a joke!
    They will both be gone soon but their stench will be with us for a long time. SU football won’t recover from this for many,many,many years!

  24. Kevin Fitzgerald

    Cuse17:
    Stop being vague…want is the “this” you refer to?? Recover from what? Marrone and his staff going to Buffalo? How do you not consider the last four years a tremendous recovery in and of itself.

    So we should not give any of that credit to Gross/Marrone, coaching staff over the last few years according to you and Bronxbound’s responses. Then how did they win these last four years, I’m guessing you would say a talented core of players…

    This SU team in 2013 will win at the same level as they did over the last few years. You clearly do not understand college athletics if you are blaming Gross and Marrone for not “restoring the football program”. They did! I do not understand what you and Bronxbound are bitter over.

    You’ll have t explain it further to me.

  25. Russell MacEachern

    CuseDontLuse,only familiar with w/Tim Greene the player but just observing Marrone on TV and in a distance its obvious he has no “people skills” and “appears” very cold and to make people uncomfortable!I didnt feel comfortable with him on the sidelines but who am I?Just my observances as a fan!O’Leary appears cut from the same “cool” mold but has better delegating skill’s(I think) and recruiting base to assist in recruiting!!Why are u guys just opening up now?Recruits obviously noticed and so did I but everyone seemed not to notice,I was even concerned about Dougies mental health!!

  26. Russell MacEachern

    N.D. got lucky or vetted O’Leary well cause I think he would have set the Irish back 5 years!JMO..

  27. Russell MacEachern

    Malone,did u see RUs OL haul last year?2nd only to Stanfords I think and they run a pro-set so there attractive to RBs but agreed RR got them started!!Im worried w/B1G money coming soon they’ll have $$$ to start hiring top notch coaches(assts)!!

  28. Russell MacEachern

    They stole the top 2OTs in Pennsy and NJs top2 OL and the #2g/c in Md!!J.J.Denman was committed to Wisky and PSU and RU flipped them even after losing Shady!!

  29. Russell MacEachern

    @Malone,Juwan Jamison terrible?Im a SU fan too but I’ll only agree they’ve underachieved at RB considering their recruiting the last 5/6 yrs!

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