Next Deep Threat? Winfield Tells The Fizz “I Loved Everything About Syracuse”

The St. Louis standout took a visit to the Hill this past weekend and made the decision.

A coaching change can certainly derail a recruiting class, but it doesn’t always have to. There’s an advantage of a brand new coaching staff because it allows a program to reach out to some fresh faces.

Once the reality set in that he wouldn’t be able to retain the entirety of Doug Marrone’s class, Scott Shafer immediately went to work to find replacements. And if other schools are plotting last-minute raids of SU’s pantry, then hey, why not take some hard-nosed dives into other school’s kitchens?

And that’s exactly what the Syracuse head coach did to land his first verbal commit – St. Louis, Missouri wide receiver Corey Winfield. The Fizz caught up with the playmaker to discuss his commitment.

Just a handful of days ago, Winfield was apparently bound for Northern Illinois, a MAC school that’s coming off an Orange Bowl appearance. But one day, as he sat in class, he received a surprise call from his coach at Riverview Gardens High School, Kenric Walker.

“He said Syracuse called about me, and I was like… hmmm.” 

Winfield had zero contact with Orange coaches prior to that phone call. The NIU commit with offers from Purdue, Ball State, and Miami (OH) wasn’t on SU’s radar before the coaching change. But Shafer identified the wide receiver as a prospect worth pursuing.

Watching the tape, the 6-2, 185-pounder looks like a potential deep threat in the making. Most standout receivers in high school have the speed to create tons of separation from defensive backs. Winfield has that with a listed 40-yard dash time of 4.47. But what he shows on tape that many other players don’t is the ability to attack the football in jump ball situations in the red zone. The Rivals 3-star, Scout 2-star recruit possesses a 40-inch vertical leap. In his highlights he doesn’t only make the easy catches; he has has a knack for getting up and taking the football away from defenders.

Winfield also mentioned that he made the effort to expand his skills this season by catching more bubble screens and getting accustomed to the short passing game. After speaking with the coaching staff over the phone, Winfield was easily sold on taking a campus visit.

“When a school like that asks you to come take a visit, you can’t pass that up, you have to let them at least show you what they have.”

And Winfield enjoyed the view.

“I loved everything about Syracuse.”

On the three-day long visit this past weekend, with current Orange wideout Jarrod West as his host player, Winfield spoke with Shafer, receivers coach Rob Moore, and new offensive coordinator George McDonald. He was particularly impressed with his future position coach.

“He played 12 years in the NFL, he’s a 2-time Pro Bowler. Who wouldn’t want to be coached by Coach Moore?”

SU offered Winfield on the final day of his visit. His uncle took him out to CNY, and Winfield just wanted Shafer to speak with his parents in person to seal it. Shafer happily obliged by flying out to St. Louis, and Winfield committed on Tuesday. For Winfield, it seemed like a no-brainer to switch his commitment from Northern Illinois.

“Syracuse is better academically and athletically.”

Missouri is a solid football state, Shafer has recruited the area when he was at NIU, and just a couple hours down to road from Winfield is Columbia, where the Orange staged a comeback victory over the Mizzou to become bowl eligible. Winfield said he saw that game and was impressed.

Now he’s helping the Orange stage a comeback of its own on the recruiting trail.

Posted: Andrew Kanell

13 Comments on this Post

  1. Love it! This kid is just the beginning. I knew that the Mizzou win would garner some Midwest attention. And now its paying off! Keep getting em Coach Shafer!

  2. I will say one this about Coach Shafer,”he’s got balls” and isn’t afraid to go after someone. Bold move going after a recruit that already committed to another university,”VERY BOLD MOVE”,and I love the direction that he’s willing to take the team.

    Good job Coach,go get em and give them hell.

  3. Shaf has got em alright. This man along with Mc Donald are going to tear up the recruiting trails for the remainder of 2013 and into 2014. Marrone seemed soft on his approach

  4. Smitty Section 129

    Love the move. Looks like recruiting is heading the right direction very fast. Cant wait for signing day and then Penn State at the Meadowlands where SU dominates and starts of 1-0.

  5. Hey guys;if you all want to read a good story go to the web site and read the following. Article gives you more of an insight into what Coach Shafer is all about. Good reading.

    Scott Shafer’s coaching staff: From Western Michigan to Syracuse

  6. I like this player!! Speed and height too!!

  7. Film shows a very good leaper. When the ball came his way, he got well over the head of those in front of him or trying to break up the pass, but he won out. Looks like a nice WR addition.

  8. Russell MacEachern

    Wow,about time we started winning head to head recruiting battles with midwest powers!!Maybe B1G in our future? Why not us instead of BC? Upstate market along w/NYC share would lock up NE for the B1G!!Renewed rivalries w/PSU,RU and MD!!The extra $$$ would’nt hurt either!!

  9. Russell MacEachern

    Gotta admire O’Korns loyalty and integrity with sticking w/UH commitment.

  10. @Russell MacEachern; isn’t it nice to see in this day and age a young person with values.
    His parents must have done something right along the way and should be very proud of their son.

  11. Russell MacEachern

    Absolutely Ron,I like the more aggressive approach were taking in recruiting!

  12. So do I Russell,so do I. I think that we’re going to be pleasantly surprised in a couple of more weeks when all of these recruits start signing their LOI. But with a year under their belts,people should watch out for Syracuse recruiting because these coaches will go into areas that we didn’t think were possible,and be successful.

    Nice talking to you again Russell. Enjoy the games today.

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