Syracuse Nabs 1st ACC Win: QB Commit Mitch Kimble Tells Fizz He’s Fired Up

Suddenly, National Signing Day is going to be a lot of fun for Orange Nation.

Jersey County Journal

Talk about a 180. Syracuse has revamped its coaching staff and landed a second top-tier quarterback prospect. Illinois native Mitch Kimble has verbally committed to SU and the worries this National Signing Day would be a disaster are looking mighty silly. Last week we learned Kimble de-committed from Northern Illinois and narrowed his choice down to Syracuse and N.C. State. As it turns out, Kimble wasn’t sold on his visit with the Wolfpack this past weekend and saw himself in an Orange uniform. After several in-home visits and constant communication with SU, Kimble told The Fizz it felt comfortable deciding Syracuse:

“It feels very good. I’m very excited about the opportunity I have at Syracuse. I can’t wait to get started. I’m very excited.”

(Listen to Mitch Kimble’s FizzCast here.) The Scott Shafer-Illinois connection has panned out beautifully for the program. Shafer’s seven seasons at Northern Illinois as defensive coordinator gave Syracuse a connection to Kimble. For SU to lose Zach Allen to TCU, turn over most of the coaching staff, and then beat N.C. State to a quarterback is an amazing reversal of fortunes. National Signing Day is looking very bright for Orange Nation.

Heading to Illinois to pick up a late commit also took place for SU’s new head coach to help land his first verbal in WR Corey Winfield. Kimble had been committed to NIU from August until last week. Now Shafer’s snagged two former Northern commits to head up to Central New York. Kimble told The Fizz he’s pumped to suit up for Shafer:

“I can’t even tell you how excited I was. Just to have this opportunity is unbelievable for me. Catching up with Coach Shafer and really getting to know him. I was very excited. It’s just a great feeling. I can’t wait to play for Coach Shafer.”

Kimble’s senior stint makes his case as a worthy dual-threat quarterback. The 6’4” 195 pounder passed for 1,427 yards and 10 TD passes, to go along with 957 rushing yards and 15 scores on his legs. That’s almost 2,500 total yards and 25 scores:

“Being a quarterback, of course I love to throw the ball. I think I bring that dual-threat and I can do things with my legs whenever I need to. I consider myself a true dual-threat QB.”

Shafer, along with Jerseyville Head Coach Dave Jacobs, sat down with Mitch last week in-house. New SU Quarterbacks Coach Tim Lester was also in attendance, and Kimble said Lester was important in his decision:

“He had a big impact. Just talking with him, I can’t describe the comfort level I have with him. I’m really excited to be able to work with him, day-in and day-out. I can’t tell you how great of an opportunity this is.”

Nice to see a new face like Lester making an immediate impact on the recruiting front, he also helped save Austin Wilson. Kimble told The Fizz he’s excited to work with George McDonald, too:

“I got to know Coach McDonald and I had a great time when I came up to visit. He’s an unbelievable guy, an unbelievable coach. I can’t wait to work with him too.”

McDonald and Lester means a brand new offense for the 2013 season. SU loses its five-year veteran, three-year starter Ryan Nassib. The Fizz broke down the QB depth charts for both N.C. State and Syracuse, and the Wolfpack had the advantage of not having a QB commit for next year. SU has Austin Wilson still on board. But a chance to compete with Wilson was a big factor in Kimble’s decision:

“Oh yeah, I definitely looked at that. Ryan was a great player, great quarterback. I have some shoes to fill. But I think I can come in and compete, and hopefully compete for the starting job. That’s something I would love to do and that would be a great opportunity.”

Kimble wasn’t offended that Syracuse jumped in on his services so close to National Signing Day. He understands the process, and couldn’t resist giving SU a look once the university offered him:

“To be honest, I really didn’t. I was for a while at peace with my decision at Northern (Illinois). When Syracuse came in, it was something I definitely had to look into. I was really excited to get the calls from some of the coaches to know they were interested. It was just very exciting.”

Whether it was the Wolfpack or the Orange, Kimble was ACC bound either way. Getting the chance to play at a stage where the stakes are high intrigued Kimble. He anxious to begin Syracuse’s journey in the ACC:

“That’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life to compete in big-time football like that. To compete in the ACC is big for me. I can’t wait to play for the opportunity.”

So what exactly did it for him? The feeling of playing on the Hill for four seasons has Kimble feeling like Syracuse is his second home:

“The overall family atmosphere the football program provides. Just the coaches are unbelievable, and the players. It’s just something I would love to be a part of.”

Give Darryl Gross props here. Everything seemed to be trending downward for Syracuse in the wake of the Buffalo Bank Robbery, but Gross held the fort, promoted Shafer to head coach, and allowed the staff to add dynamic young pieces. Lester and McDonald have already made their impact felt in just a few weeks on the job.

Kimble just can’t wait to get things going. Some might shrug at his two star rating, but Nassib was also a tw0-star player coming out of high school. Kimble’s up for the challenge and wants to help put Syracuse football back on top:

“I’m just going to compete for that starting job. If I get it, I got to do my job. The quarterback is a big part of it, but’s it not all about me, it’s about the whole team, (and) the coaches. I believe we can really get this program back to where it was.”

Posted: Brendan Glasheen

25 Comments on this Post

  1. Good luck to you and welcome to the Orange Nation Mr.Kimble.

    Go Cuse;

  2. Good Pick-up! Can’t wait to see how Mitch and Austin compete at camp in august with Loeb and Kinder.

    All we need now is a 4-star stud at receiver! I’m looking at you Stacy Coley! Winfield, Funderburke, Coley – triple downfield attack of the future!

  3. Don’t forget Cooper!

  4. OrangeCrush27

    Seems like a good pick up. If we can grab Coley and Simeon along with Gus and Laray i’ll feel alot better about the recruiting class.

    I just wanted to add my piece on Devan Carter. I saw that he flipped to Rutgers today and was a bit disappointed. I wish him the best and i hear that he wanted to truly play RB. But my whole thing with him was that ‘Cuse was your only D1 offer and they offered your early in the recruiting process. ‘Cuse stuck by you when you injured your knee this past fall and this is how you repay us? By de-commiting to play at Rutgers?? I feel this is more disheartening then Allen’s flip, because this was a local kid.

    It frees up a scholly, which could be more valuable to another recruit.

  5. Gus is history(FSU) and no word/interest from Smith. No interest no want!! I totally agree with HCSS. If they don’t want to be here good riddance then!! Coley is a moon shot. Would be nice, but I would like a speedy ST player or athlete(Rouse) for that position. Have not had one around SU for years!! Every time SU had a ST return man of great quality SU won alot!! Why not now too!!

  6. It seems like every day the staff is after new recruits I haven’t heard of before because we weren’t pursuing them. Guess we’re after Reggie Spearman out of IL and John Franklin who is currently committed to FSU. I’m guessing IL connections with some of our staff with the former and McDonald has a relationship with the latter. Should be interesting.

  7. My God… He’s a two(2) star candidate… Yeaaaaa! O BOY…..I’m thrilled….Shafer is a genius ….
    Are you kidding. Their using open scholarships to fill spots.Get over it….

  8. Hats off to the staff…. not so much Gross! We’ve lost Edwards, Carter, & Allen…. but the replacements are Cooper, Kimble, & Scissum – playmaker/qb/defender. Pretty good job, and swapping (2-3stars, & a 2star) is an even trade most days! The way its playing out..Malik Brown can go too, we’ll replace him with a better player….

    * Gross better give OCMcD a contract extension( or more $$$), something he didn’t offer HCDM, kids love the guy! Finally a coaching staff that gets it… tweeting pictures of themselves posing with the ERNIE DAVIS statue, and Heisman trophy…. just cool! The SU brand is huge, tapping its uniqueness (like this/ modern take) more often would be smart!

  9. Terry: Look the reason rouse isnt getting looked at is very simple 2 things the lack of size is one thing and 2 look at the talent that he played against in Section 3 how many of those guys are getting or got offers. And when you get 40+ touches a game you should put up big #’s. Lastly he also has multiple concessions.
    Cuse17 if this kid is so bad y was NC STATE after him do you just believe the star system or do you actually use your eyes.

  10. NCSt…7-6 season..4-4 in their conference . Computer ranked 2012 season number 64!
    Even Cuse was 38.. He’ll..Northern Illinois was 39.
    NC State sucks and has sucked and will suck!
    Just because some nobody wants a kid doesn’t make him a player.
    We are recruiting second rate talent to fill spots because we have settled on being a second rate program with second rate coaching!

  11. Cuse if you dont like what they are doing go rout for another program than. And apperently NC state saw something in him just like the Cuse did but the difference is that NC State also just brought in a highly touted transfer and I cant remember his name. So I guess they expected this kid to compete for the starting Job in 2014. Secondly the ACC is better conference than the Big East im not sure on how well Su would’ve fared in the Acc last yr.

  12. Would love to find another program..unfortunately I’m an active Alum that bleeds Orange and puts my money where my mouth is regularly. I just don’t liike what Nancy/Gross have done to our program. Their afraid of Jimmy so basketball continues to flourish.

  13. I seriously believe the Cuse fans getting excited over these lame investments in our football program only allows them to continue the charade.
    I’m just not excited about being a second/third level program. I know it’s tough to compete with State Schools as a private but Nancy got all the money she wanted for her social programs and buildings. Might be surprised how many deep pockets went to Cuse and are tired of this garbage.

  14. Comment section is turning into over here.

  15. Russell MacEachern

    @hey Bigdipper,great to see you [email protected],I see Terry caused u to jump on CuseDontLuse?He (Terry)twisted Cuses post to suit his needs…SHAME ON U Terry,CDL is only 15 so leave him out of ur rants!!Im glad Ron caught it in time and made amends w/CDL like the gentlemen he is but Terry its time to for u to grow up!!

  16. @Russell MacEachern;

    I’m still feeling a little down for dumping on Cuse don’t luse. I apologized to him over an over after finding out who he is.

  17. Russ is still breathing HUH!! AJ what is meant by “he has multiple concessions”. Rouse is about the same size as Floyd Little/Joe Morris(both of these guys didn’t come from Florida,Texas or California) and they aren’t bad at all. First for some reason he’s good to Gatorade and second he’s from NYS!!

  18. sry concussions

  19. Russell MacEachern

    @OrangeC27,U got the story backwards OC27…I read on that Devin Carter went to RU cause THEY stuck by him all the time while he was injured and we did’nt show or follow up enough and the RU loyalty made the difference to him and his mom and his official to NJ blew him away…I know thats not what we want to hear but thats the scoop!!Sounds like a RR redux but thats what they’re good at!!Relationships!!Thats what I hate about coaching changes…u give kids an excuse!!If the “U” gets their 1st choice (decommit Collins 5*)we might retain AE…otherwise he’s gone to his dream school!!Is he worth taking the chance?Im not sure..I’ll leave it to our coaches!!

  20. Russell MacEachern

    Also HCSS told Devan Carter he’d give him a shot at RB but to no avail a couple of weeks ago!!He seems to be a real character kid who stuck with Brighton HS even when the private/Catholic school’s tried to lure him away from his small public but he stayed loyal to his friends at the risk of not getting much bigtime exposure or notice ergo a “real diamond” in the rough!! I think at 6’3″ 230 w/calfs like cantelopes and 4.6 speed he could play anywhere!IMO our biggest loss!

  21. @Terry;

    Rouse is about the same size as Floyd Little/Joe Morris(both of these guys didn’t come from Florida,Texas or California) and they aren’t bad at all.

    When you make statements like this it just shows the rest of us just how stupid you really are. Close to Floyd Little and Joe Morris. HaHaHaHa.

    And when you make a statement like Russ is still breathing HUH!!,that alone would be enough for me to do a Mexican Hat Dance on your damn face. I MEAN REALLY WHAT THE HELL KIND OF A COMMENT WAS THAT ANYWAYS?

  22. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,Ive learned not to heed too much of Ramblin Terrys rants as Ive come to the conclusion either he’s drunk or has TERRIBLE reading comprehesion skills??One day I correct his mistakes and a couple days later he makes the same DUMB mistake!?!?It is what it is!!He’ll never change so no one should take him seriously Ron lol!!Im OK Ron Im coming back upstate Sunday….I like where our recruiting’s going and looking forward to NLOI day!btw Terry,hows the ol liver holding out??Haha..

  23. @Russell MacEachern;

    It’s nice to see your up and around again Russell. Nice to see your back posting again. I like the direction that this staff is taking Syracuse also. I hope after Wednesdays new conference that Coach Shafer didn’t make more enemies by making the statement that he does,t recruit softnosed football players.

    Send something good to the dipper,he missed you too.

    Be good old friend.

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