Closing Time: The 3 Late Targets That Could Make Syracuse’s Class Great

Can The Mailman McDonald deliver kick returner Estime on his final official this weekend?

The outlook for Syracuse’s Class of ’13 has evolved from encouraging (December) to devastating (January) to exhilarating (February). George McDonald’s immediate impact has been hard to quantify. He’s taken a dire situation and gathered together a group of players who never had SU on their radars, and are now committed to the Orange. Staten Island running back Gus Edwards will now choose between Miami and Florida State, and it certainly seemed like the departure of Doug Marrone created a major disturbance with his commitment. But one has to wonder if Gus would’ve jumped at a pair of Sunshine State offers anyway had the last regime stayed. Hard to say no to 80 degrees and girls in tank tops.

The Mailman continues to do work before National Signing Day, and its easy to see why athletes flock to him. McDonald’s Twitter feed blares optimism.

“Landed in Syracuse and was welcomed home to some AWESOME SNOW! Can’t wait to make snow angels an go sledding #PositiveOutlook 

Great week spent with great coaches around the country headed back to Syracuse to put the final touches on 2013 class #FinishStronger

not about the stars but with 365 days and the staff that CoachShafer has put together top 25 class in2014 #Recruiting365:24-7″

Here’s the top 3 late targets that would turn Syracuse’s good class into a great one, considering the carnage of losing half the coaching staff with less than a month to go.

1) Florida WR Stacy Coley (Northeast HS)

The Fizz took a look at one of the top undecided players in the country earlier this week. Coley has offers from major college programs, but was deciding whether to take one final official visit to either Syracuse or Louisville. SU has a nice class, but rarely is the Orange ever in a derby for a talent like Coley.

One reason, and one reason only, is the 4-star wideout adding SU into a mix with Florida State, Oregon, Georgia and Clemson: McDonald. Reports surfaced Thursday that Coley would choose the Seminoles this week. But if SU somehow got a commitment from the wideout, you could forget about Ebenezer Ogundeko and other big New York fish the Orange lost out on. This would be the difference maker in a program SU had been searching years for. The odds are slim, but credit McDonald for even putting SU on his radar.

2) Florida DB Brisly Estime (Atlantic HS) 

The Brizz has had a convoluted recruiting process. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound corner/return specialist is a Palm Beach Post All-Area player of the year. He had originally been committed to Purdue, but backed off. He then gave his verbal to Iowa State, but the Cyclones revoked his scholarship offer after he visited Western Michigan (ISU did not want him to do that). He planned to visit Arkansas (McDonald’s brief home) and Tennessee has shown recent interest.

He’s visiting the Hill this weekend, and The Mailman’s relationship single handedly got him on campus. His coach compared him to Devin Hester, which explains the widespread interest in him. Adding a playmaker like Estime to the Carrier Dome turf would be an enormous late add.

3) Brooklyn RB Laray Smith (Xaverian HS)

Once Gus left, Laray became the priority to keep locked in. The Orange has incredible running back depth over the next few seasons, but it would be terrific to bring in at least one to this class as well. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound track star is smaller than Gus, but he’s more of a big-play threat. He’s ranked as the 2nd best running back in the state, and now has added Indiana and UConn into the mix. He’s visiting the Hoosiers this weekend, but with the budding excitement over the new faces in this recruiting class it makes most sense for Laray to join the Orange. He has the option of playing in the B1G, but Syracuse heads into the ACC with so many of his New York City boys.

Honorable Mention: Miami DB Simeon Thomas, Chicago LB Reggie Spearman, West Palm DE Malik Brown. All three of these players are outstanding gets in their own right. They are all interested in Syracuse late in the game, while Thomas and Spearman are on campus this weekend. Brown is still committed to SU, but is taking other visits before NSD. Thomas is a special athlete and has offers from some of the nation’s powers, although is deciding between SU, Hawaii and Clemson.

The SU recruiting class is much stronger than most could’ve ever imagined once Marrone left. But landing some of the aforementioned players would take ’13 to the next level.

Posted: D.A.

36 Comments on this Post

  1. Estime hasnt even been offered by the cuse. They’re more important needs than the guys you’ve mentioned. 2 recruits from Illinois are on campus this weekend and that’s it. I expect that we land both of them and there’s a few surprise that im not going to mention

  2. Ajs wrong

    AJ ur info is false

  3. not according to what ive heard estime doesnt have an offer from the cuse point #1. Point 2 so he’s on campus but no offer something is wrong with this kid NC State and Someone else pulled there offer’s off the table this week.

  4. I think Duron Singleton is a huge late target. He’s the #1 JUCO Safety out there and he’s down to Syracuse and Missouri after not visiting Wisconsin this week. Really hard hitter, reminds me of Shamarko

  5. Also, Estime is on campus this weekend. I’m sure we’ll offer him while hes here

  6. personnally i’d like a rb in this class. i wonder though can estime play rb?? nothing against any of the kids visiting or anything but i feel rb would be nice but will put my faith in the coaching staff.

  7. @thesackster;

    It’s been reported the PTG will set out spring practice due to an upper body injury.

    I believe this opens the door for George Morris III and if it does will give him a good chance to share duties with Jerome Smith in the backfield come opening day.

    If you haven’t seen this kid run the ball yet,let me tell you your going to enjoy the show. He’s the real deal big,strong and fast.

  8. 4orty4our

    @ AJ….Point #1: One of the reasons why schools retract scholarships that they’ve already offered is due to numbers. There are many times when a school gets the commitment that they’re been waiting for, or receive an unexpected high profile commitment. THe scholly gets pulled because they already have that position filled or a better talent has come along.

    Point #2: Laughable that you said “you think there are few surpises we could land, but you won’t mention them.” Cool. Thanks for the info?

    Point/Question #3: Where do you get your information?

  9. CuseOnly


    I can’t wait to see Morris and McFarlane run the ball. I hope Ashton stays at RB as well, I saw him in the spring game last year and he is a special athlete.

    I also hope we pick up another RB in this class as RB’s have a tendency to get banged up. We could red-shirt the new guy just like these last 2. A year of S&C always makes a difference.

  10. Cuse Don't Luse

    Rb is fine think of it like this we have Smith and PTG as seniors then broyld was a freshman this year and Morris is basically part of this years recruiting class i dont think we need a Rb and i actually dont mind losing Edwards or Carter though they are from NY i feel like this staff finds replacements with ease and if we can have a winning year next year then no doubt in my mind next years class will have that big fish

  11. Edwards would have been a nice get in terms of recruiting – going head-to-head with FSU and the U and coming away with him would have been great. We don’t miss him for a second on the field. Out depth in the backfield right now is terrific. We also don’t NEED a rb in this class – that is the one position a young guy can come in and make a difference, so we just double up next year. I think if we land Laray Smith (and not Estime), McDonald might think about putting all that speed in the slot and throwing him the ball. AJ – many times teams will bring a kid to campus without an offer, but give him a scholly on the visit – that’s what happened with Batten last weekend. And the “2 Illinois kids and that’s it” on campus this weekend? They would be huge gets for us. They both have offers from half the Big Ten. Moore has an offer from Oklahoma, and from everything I’m reading, Hawkeye nation will be devastated if Spearman doesn’t end up in Iowa City even though be is a soft commit to Illinois. It’s clear that this staff is doing a great job on the recruiting trail, and I’m excited what the product on the field will look like if McDonald can stay a few years and bring in some more talent. Marrone never had a year better than 8-5, even this year when he had 4 (ok, 3 1/2) recruiting classes of his players to work with. He never once landed the big fish from NYC (or even Buffalo or Rochester) and his best results were mostly just Ok. I think even if Shafer is a step back from Marrone in terms of coaching and preparing for the games, we’ll take some more steps forward as a program if we can keep bringing in more talented guys.

  12. LilJoe47

    Losing Edwards might be a blessing in disguise. Syracuse needs to continue bringing in “character guys”. Seems like a pretty big red flag after he was suspended for the HS playoffs this year following a bullying incident that resulted in a suicide death of a 15 year old girl…. Red Flag, Red Flag…

  13. Is it weird that I’m almost looking forward to 2014 recruiting more than NSD this year? …I think this staff with a full year is going to absolutely kill it on the recruiting trail, esp if they coach as well as they recruit and we have a strong first season in the ACC.

  14. Estime is the major get here!! We have no Special Team scare guy back there for returns in YEARS!! He could change that. Smith(without Williams help) should help to. With his speed!!

  15. The Estime issue is officially settled! Check it out…

  16. 4orty4our

    @ Derek….Nice!

  17. Dr. Bill

    It is so different with this new staff….big time players coming to the Cuse and wanting to be a part….I think with a year of planning and work, as a Cuse fan, are you not optimistic…and or excited about what recruiting could like like for next year?

  18. Didnt you guy tweet Stacy was off the board?

  19. Dr. bill

    there is Fast…….and then there is Florida Fast. This new recruit, Bristly Estime……can fly……and he is doing it against fast kids…in Florida……Way to go Cuse……got to love this staff…and Mcdonald…..

  20. @Dr. bill;

    To all the nay-sayers that were telling us just yesterday that he wouldn’t commit and Syracuse was waisting their time,I guess we should listen to your logic more closely.

    Three days and counting to NSD, If all of the recruits sign and send in their LOI, this good be one of the best ever classes in the history of the program. THE CLASS OF 2013 ONE OF THE BEST EVER.

    @Dr. Bill and Derek,if this new staff could bring in these new players within a month on the recruiting trails,I agree that 2014 should be something to behold.


  21. I guess this new staff found a way to appease the fans that really didn’t like all of the JUCO players coming to Syracuse and should spend more time recruiting big time recruits out of high school. This staff has accomplished more in one month than what the previous staff accomplished in 4 years.

    My question is,if these players were there for the taking why didn’t Marrone and his staff go after them? I just don’t get it!!

    Anyway welcome to the Orangenation Brisly Estime. If your as good as advertised the people will make you feel like your walking on water.

  22. I guess this new staff also killed the complaint that people like Terry has used used for years. “Syracuse doesn’t recruit against the big schools”. Take a look at the schools that Syracuse has been in battles with to get these players and it looks like we’re on the winning side for many of them.

    I’m excited because we won’t have to read garbage like that anymore. We haven’t started the 2013 season yet and I’m already looking forward to 2014. I guess i’m jumping the gun here a little,bujt I don’t care.

  23. @Terry;

    I suggest you watch the tape on this kid. Tyler Rouse is about the same size as Brisly Estime. After your done watching you will automatically understand why no one has offered a scholarship to Rouse yet.

    Oops there goes another one of your foolish arguments getting flushed down the toilet. It looks like Sunday is going to be a real great day for Ron.

  24. CuseOnly


    Love the Terrie comment, lol!

    I just saw a 247Sports tweet that Spearman committed on his final visit.

    Chris Nee [email protected]

    Estime, Spearman, etc. Prospects on final official committing on visit. I expect trend to continue with Lane (#WVU) & Bullock (#ODU).
    Retweeted by Brisly ESTIME

    Trying to find out if he was on campus and committed to SU. If so, we flipped him from Big10 Illinois.

    This coaching staff is amazing! Love these guys!!

  25. Ron Ron Ron!!! I like Estime,but still wonder about all the lost and dropped schollies from other schools. My interest mainly in Rouse is why no interest at all from others?? It could be a issue this fall concerning Estime!! Why he was dropped from other schools!! And RON this class right now is rated mid 70’s for recruiting. That’s not a “best ever class”!! Your insulting past SUFB programs!! Ron your knowledge has always been limited and trying to convince you of that is still quite a challenge!! So eat some fish(brain food). Wait you’ll need a boat full!!

  26. Smitty Section 129

    The CUSE is back with winning the recruiting battles against big time schools. Watch out ACC here we come and coming stocked. If we can get a QB to step up the pieces are in place. I cant wait for the Penn State game. SU fans we need to represent as you know Penn State will and this is a game we can and will win. Section 129 crew will be there.

  27. CuseOnly

    Damn, the Spearman that committed on his visit was a RB committing to FIU. Not the Spearman on his visit to SU.

    @Terry – You should research why he lost and dropped scholarships and not assume anything as we all know how that goes, don’t we. Timeline below for you.

    1-Commits to Purdue early on in the process.
    2-Decides he wants to take a few other looks at other schools.
    3-Takes a visit to IOWA and likes it better than Purdue.
    4-De-commits from Purdue and commits to Iowa.
    5- Iowa’s coaching staff has a policy that if you take other visits after committing, then they pull your scholarship.
    6-He takes a visit to FIU (I think, not sure the school), they pull the scholarship.
    7-He takes his visit to SU and commits based on the new coaching staff and relationships with them.

    Has absolutely NOTHING to to with academics or character. It has to do with a young man exploring his options for his future.

    You shouldn’t read into thing without the facts.

    Was that clear enough?

  28. CuseOnly

    8-OH, he was also offered by NC State but had that offer pulled because they got a commitment from someone they apparently deemed a higher priority.

  29. @Terry;

    I know that your one of the people who totally believes in the star rating system. I don’t. What do I care about or as to where they rank our Syracuse Team. They do what we do,set at our computers and write bullshit about someone or something that none of them know anything about.

    I have faith in what’s on the field and is about to play the game that I love watching. This team was already loaded with undergraduates,with the addition of what Coach Shafer and staff has put toghether to join them makes the class of 2013 one of the best in Syracuse History.

  30. @Smitty Section 129;

    Circle August 28th on you calendar. Syracuse vs. Penn State at MetLife Stadium.

    Upstate area should be well represented at the game. Look fans it’s a beautiful stadium and Smitty is right in saying the stadium will be packed. So get your tickets early.

  31. Hey guys your thoughts on what to wear to the Clemson Game? It can’t be orange because their team colors are orange too.

    Should we have maybe a white out day or something along those lines?

  32. Russell MacEachern

    @CuseOnly,I was down for a couple weeks in late Dec-early Jan,..thanks for asking!!

  33. Russell MacEachern

    How big is Estime?I saw him listed at 5’9″ 165LBs?Not that it matters cause burners are seldom big!!

  34. Estime is what SUSTs need great get! Still a player that changes his mind a good # of times is worrisome. But I have been asking for a ST player for a while. We got one now!! Cuseonly do your research there too!!

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