Gone Catfishin’: QB Akeem Jones Not Coming to Syracuse, No SU Offer

The South Florida signal caller had the offer revoked when Kimble and Wilson committed.

Miami Herald

(Update: 3:33p) Well, scratch that whole “Akeem Jones to Syracuse” thing. For those that might not be aware of my new life, I host the overnight show for CBS Sports Radio Network now (which, shameless plug, can be heard on The Score 1260 2a-6a in Syracuse). So, I usually crash after the show and wake up around this time… and what do I find out when I turn my phone on? Oh yeah, you know that Jones character I waxed poetic about last night? Yeah, well he’s “weaved what now appears be an elaborate series of mistruths in an interview with The Post-Standard” according to Michael Cohen of the PS. Oh, well that’s just grrrrreat.

Here’s what his head coach Harold Barnwell at Carol City told The Fizz on NSD, “Marshall is out of the picture. It will come down to Syracuse and Louisiana Lafayette.” So in the wake of the Mantei T’eo nonsense, everything bears questioning. Did he ever even have a scholarship offer from SU? According to CuseNation.com he was told he had an offer if either Austin Wilson or Mitch Kimble did not accept. This makes complete sense, since Jones wasn’t even ranked by all the major recruiting services. SU also has a glut of players at the QB position (as noted in my previous post about Akeem), and three signal callers in the same class seems much. Jones also insisted SU recruited him as a QB-only, which seems dubious now considering he also split time at wide receiver last year.

Was his coach aware of this dynamic when he made his comments to us? You would think so. It’s hard to imagine George McDonald, who does so much work and built so many relationships in Florida, not being up front to the head coach of an important program like Carol City.

It was also reported that Jones took a visit to Syracuse last weekend, and Barnwell told us, “He loved it. The coaches were great, he loved everything about it. Coach McDonald and the coaches enjoyed having him. They like that he is a good kid and presents himself well.” Are we sure he actually took a visit? Do we have to double check with Roniah Tuiasasopo on that one?

The quote I singled in on from Jones’ conversation with the P-S (who actually sent Cohen down to his high school on NSD) was this: “Once I get out (of Florida), I ain’t coming back. I might come visit every now and then, but that’s it.” Seems like a young man who has been through an extraordinary amount (although some of that may now fairly be questioned), desperately looking for a lifeline out of his roughneck neighborhood. He hoped it was through Syracuse. It’s not. And he couldn’t bear to admit it. Jones did tell CuseNation.com that he had not been in contact with the SU coaches since January 30.

There is one quote that I cited in my post last night about Jones that now really stands out. It’s from SouthFloridaHighSchoolSports.com“The 6-foot-3 athlete almost lost his life in February of 2008 during a robbery.” There were no other details than that, which struck me as a little odd when I read it. Did he suffer life-threatening injuries? Was there a police shoot out? What exactly transpired? Makes you wonder how much of his entire story is a fabrication.

I feel bad for Cohen and the P-S. I mean, the guy was actually in their cafeteria watching this charade go down and being lied to. All I did was write a stupid post from my laptop in New York. Guess you never know what you’re going to find when you wake up. -D.A.

* * *

Add a third quarterback to the Class of ’13 mix for Syracuse, as Akeem Jones signs his letter of intent to play for the Orange. SU already had Mitch Kimble and Austin Wilson as part of the 20-player class, but add the athletic Jones into the Orange stew and let’s see what we get.

He was deciding between SU and Louisiana-Lafayette, which ironically pulled in one-time Syracuse target LB Simeon Thomas. But the farther away from his home of South Florida the better for Jones. He has far more perspective than many students his age. He suffered life-threatening injuries during a robbery attempt in ’08, and his mother removed him from a neighborhood of drugs, violence, and crime by sending him to spend time in Georgia.

But the distance and difference in atmosphere is part of what drew Akeem to SU.

“Syracuse really blew my mind. I had never seen snow. It was my first time ever seeing snow, it’s New York, it’s a different environment. It’s not this. This is what I’m used to.”

If you’ve ever been to Carol City, Florida you know how rough that environment was for Akeem. How’s this for level-headed?

“Once I get out, I ain’t coming back. I might come visit every now and then, but that’s it.”

That’s a unique viewpoint for an 18-year old, most of whom have an undying loyalty to the people and places they grew up around. How often do we see young, hardened athletes “represent” where they’re from, no matter how raw the life is? It’s difficult to detach from your roots, especially for college students who have only known one way of life.

But Jones is jazzed for a fresh start, and Orange Nation is excited about another quarterback possibility. The loss of Ryan Nassib is obviously huge, and a first-year coordinator in George McDonald only assures some growing pains. So who takes over the reigns?

There’s Charlie Loeb, John Kinder and Terrel Hunt as veterans ready to compete for it. You have to figure Ashton Broyld will continue to be used as a Wildcat option or jack-of-all trades, but not the starting QB. But now you add Kimble, Wilson and Jones – and with possible redshirts for any of those guys, SU has given itself a lot of options over the next 5 years.

The 6’2″ 220 lb. Jones says he was recruited as a quarterback, not just an athlete. But unlike Wilson or Kimble he has experience playing other places. He split time under center and at wideout this season. So maybe there’s a way to contribute immediately without having to be the every down quarterback. And there’s always players that never predict a position switch until they get on campus. Has anyone seen Max Beaulieu’s tight end gloves?

No matter what, this is a good final signing for SU. The class was relatively small and if you have the extra scholarship available, why not use it on a player with a good head, and natural athletic gifts? Who knows, the last piece of the ’13 class may one day end up to be the most important.

Posted: D.A.

28 Comments on this Post

  1. A kid going through all that and coming out with a plan a direction is special on many fronts. I liker him and his chances at Syracuse. Welcome Akeem and enjoy your life here . Make us and yourself happy to be here.

  2. Dr. bill

    Got to root for this kid….football is great…but I hope he gets his degree because education will not only change his life….but the lives of his children and their children. Growing up tough like he did and playing in South florida should motivate him in a way that keeps him humble..but hungry! Go Cuse…. I love what this staff has done so far and the players that they got to commit to the Cuse in such a short time!! ACC….here we come…..

  3. orangeinva

    Cuse’s version of RG III..with a much different background/upbringing.

  4. Sounds like a good kid! RGIII…please!
    Time to move on.. The class of 13 is depressing.
    Shafer=5 win season!

  5. Has anyone seen my bottle? I’m getting cranky.

  6. I pick on others because I’m ashamed of my own short comings.

  7. Have your fun…Shafer was a bad choice..we’ll be luck to have 5 wins next year! Holes everywhere and a bad recruiting class. Not the kids fault. Wish them well..enjoy Cuse and get a good education. Your football experience isn’t going to be much to remember.
    Did you know a study was done and people who post under the name of others generally had an IQ of less than 94.

  8. Did you guys know a baby manatee eats up to 1,200 lbs of sea grass in 1 day! If Shafer was smart, he’s start recruiting manatee’s to play on the offensive line and maybe DT.

  9. Very clever!

  10. Jones is not coming to SU per Scout..com and Troy Nunes.

  11. Dr. Bill

    Just read the report on Scout that Jones is not coming after all. WHAT is this? Did the kid have an offer or not? What does scout mean that there was a lack of “a commitable offer on the table” does that mean the Cuse offered, but not to play QB..or no commitment at QB and a chance to play another position. Something is Strange here!!!!!!! Not necessarily bad..just strange…Go cuse!!!!

  12. I guess from what Nunesmagician.com says, his offer was contingent on 1 of the 2 QB’s not committing. Now that both did, the schollie was rescinded. Looks like Akeem should’ve checked in with the staff before all this. Feel bad for all parties, hope L-L still wants him. I’d say bring him on board as an athlete, but i’m not on the coaching staff.

  13. Sounds like that kid from syracuse several years ago, told everyone that he was committed to play cb i think, said he was signing his LOI but he never had one. it had been pulled months ago.Went on to play Lacrosse for us.Depending on what story you read, he knew he didnt have one but was hoping he would.Its a shame b/c i was hoping he would come here to compete at QB.

  14. It is a snafoo. He never got an offer and, thus, will NOT be coming to Syracuse U

  15. Russell MacEachern

    According to news reports he never had a commitable offer?What happened here?Dont reporters check these reports?

  16. FizzFam.. how goes all? As far as Jones, NSD had come and gone… he never faxed in paperwork, so it was a farce! He made up this faux commitment to rev up interest! Why commit after NSD to school with 2 Qbs & then say, “they recruited me to play qb…” Its pretty sad and a desperate move by a lesser recruit, who got left in the cold.

    @cuse17 “manatees!” Lol….Disagree about HCSS, 7-5 ’13-’14
    @kieth that was Jovan Miller? Beast….that situation worked out.
    @UncRuss I think they listened to the recruit & not the SU AD.
    …..who diserves my time…. @orangeinva… kimble is RG3ish, was more than happy with him replacing ZA. I think 1800 & 500 sr. yr.

  17. Per Scout.com, Jones had a visit on 01/25/2013 at ‘Cuse.

  18. Hey if SU said no to Rouse why the offer Jones too!!

  19. Blindside

    The truth is it is a very common practice for these lazy coaches in public schools to not do any advocating for their players who are so loyal to these coaches. This kid was perhaps allowed to be pretentious for the media so the coach would look like he is getting kids in colleges, at least the ones who have the talent. But the truth is very few black coaches in Florida who are blessed with all the talent has the administrative skills and recruiting savvy to negotiate and advocate for the kids and very few have the relationship with college coaches who would trust their judgement as to how great or good a kid is in terms of talent, because the reality is private school coaches like St Thomas, Gulliver Prep, American Heritage, have great relationships with college coaches because their “golfing buddies” wink wink. So the scam the hungry media having kids signing fake LOI with no scholarship offers just walk on intents. I heard to Some FAU commits supposedly sign LOI but according to the paper they are just walk ons . Their e is no confusion, the coaches use these kids to influence future players to commit and trust them and so to cover up to the media what a lousy job they are doing at getting these talented kids in college. Shame on the high school coaches. In fact most of the kids that are getting the offers and interest are the ones media buzzed by recruit agencies and media who all in my observation are only interested in covering kids who are already in the loop since optimist so the reality in at least 60 percent of these kids are already being looked at before these coaches ever coached them in high school, but sadly not all these kids are true 5 & 4 star recruits at from these prep and private schools but they have 4 & 5 star coaches who have the connections to colleges and the NFL because of their Alumni but these high school prep and private schools are often not playing the studs that kids like Akeem Jones is playing against, I am not saying that QB is the right position for him at the next level because QB is the one of the position that requires a kid to have an IQ of an AP/Honors student and considering his background and school that is highly unlikely …take Jacory Harris past UM QB maybe that was the bottom line for him I know ,
    His high school that has low school grades for the past decade Of FFFFFFFFF in one of the poverty stricken drug infested communities usually don’t produce the IQ a QB needs at the next level. Akeem Jones life is not over but you might want to consider receiver or safety at the next level. and don’t trust this corrupt recruiting process that does more dream killing then a gangster. God Speed

  20. Blindside

    In other words there is a lot of fronting by these athletes on signing day that is induced by their lazy, lousy a** coaches who just don’t care about the kid past the end of their high school winnings or they are overwhelmed by the number of talent they are responsible for maybe they need a training on how to effectively advocate for their players when they are not being recruited way before NSD. because the prep school and private schools have list of kids they present to the college coaches way before signing day how about sophomore or junior year.mI hope that this kid recover from this embarrassment.

  21. @Blindside; I couldn’t agree with you more,good article. The only thing that I disagree with you on is that it isn’t only the black coaches that do it. It’s all high school coaches period. Has anyone ever heard of or seen a coach that knows a kid to be in trouble academically put in extra time to help that student with his/her grades so that they can enter college? Has anyone seen it happen?

  22. I was the only boy on my field hockey team in high school. I was recruited by Boston College and Providence but when they found out I was a guy, they pulled back on their interest. Similar situation here…

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