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