Syracuse’s most impressive offseason leader, quarterback Zach Allen, has changed his verbal commitment to TCU. The Texan originally commit to the Orange back in May, and had remained one of SU’s most vocal supporters since then. But his interest waned in the days following Doug Marrone’s departure, and now he’s the recruit officially de-commit because of the coaching change. He announced the news on Twitter Saturday.
“I committed to TCU. I had been loyal the whole time and have done everything I could for Cuse. They changed the deal with coaches leaving.”
The question now focuses on whether other dominoes fall. LB Devan Carter and RB Augustus Edwards both downgraded their commitments to soft verbals this past week after Nate Hackett also bolted to Buffalo. One of the main reasons Allen committed to the Orange was because of the offense. The system was very familiar to what he had run at Temple HS. According to John Garcia Jr. from Scout.com, Hackett’s departure was essentially the last straw for Allen. SU took too long to hire its new offensive coordinator and with just weeks to go before National Signing Day Allen couldn’t afford to wait any longer.
Because Allen was an early enrollee, he had to make quick decisions. The Fizz talked with him Wednesday and said he was still committed to SU, and had his plane ticket ready to visit campus Saturday. Garcia believes Allen was under the impression Syracuse had nailed down its OC search to just two candidates. But SU has yet to hire anyone and Scott Shafer said he’s taking his time deciding.
Allen received an offer from the Horned Frogs within the last few weeks, and on Friday visited the campus. He was sold after that Syracuse was no longer the place for him. For him it became a timing problem. Allen felt he couldn’t afford to wait on SU in its OC search, and now Syracuse loses out on a QB that was viewed at the program’s next great signal caller. For those hoping Allen can be swayed back, Shafer stressed he would focus on the current staff (and the hiring of his new coordinators), the current players, and the recruits. Will Shafer try to win back Allen, or focus his energy keeping the rest of the class intact?
The Fizz spoke with Austin Wilson, who now becomes the lone QB in SU’s Class of 2013. He confirmed to The Fizz the coaching situation was the main reason why Allen flipped. Wilson could also be facing the same conundrum that Zach faced. Wilson tells The Fizz he’s still committed to the Orange, but has a lot to go over before NSD on February 5th. He said there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding some of the other 2013 commits. Augustus Edwards was frustrated when he heard the news about Allen. He echoed that to The Fizz, the whole process has him confused. He will be visiting Rutgers the weekend of January 25th, and will fly to Miami and Florida State over the next month. Not filling the OC role hurts in the race for Edwards and Allen, but there is still time to salvage most of the class.
The departure of Allen means this is Charley Loeb’s team in 2013. The thought of Wilson and Allen competing to back up the fifth year senior up was reassuring. Now the options dwindle to Terrell Hunt, John Kinder and Wilson if he remains. Would they ever trust Ashton Broyld to run the offense? Either way it’s an unknown under center, but Orange fans may get excited about Loeb. The Fizz talked with Hackett after the Pinstripe Bowl and he wasn’t shy to speak about Loeb’s progression.
“[The offense] won’t skip a beat. I think Charley’s done a great job preparing himself, he’s gotten a lot of reps. Because of the up-tempo style, we get more reps in practice, so Charley’s gotten a ton of reps, more than he’s ever had.”
We’ll see how much changes now with Hackett gone. The loss of Allen doesn’t just hurt on the field, but now is a huge piece of instability with the recruiting class. There are many commitments that still are strong despite the Marrone departure, but Allen was looked at as the “leader” of the crew. He kept in touch with almost all the recruits, and was one of the most positive commits. His departures now leaves other commits second-guessing. The biggest example left is Edwards.
SU needs to find a new offensive coordinator, and fast. Or else the dominoes may continue to fall on the Hill.
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald