Standing Ovation: Shafer’s New Staff Revolutionized Syracuse’s Recruiting Class

New OC George McDonald and Tim Lester have done incredible work already in just two weeks.

Syracuse fans should be rapidly becoming impressed with Scott Shafer’s new collection of coaches. Since SU finished filling most of the vacancies Doug Marrone left behind, this new group has assuaged all fears about the 2013 recruiting class. In the last week, the Orange has landed two WRs, Corey Cooper and Corey Winfield, a QB in Mitch Kimble, monster OL Alexander Hayes, and TE Aaron Batten. What a 180 degree turnaround.

It wasn’t long ago that Marrone’s departure created terrifying uncertainty for SU. Long-committed recruits voiced their concern on Twitter. Zach Allen. supposedly Syracuse’s savior at quarterback, abruptly decommitted on January 12th. Augustus Edwards and Laray Smith turned cold on the program. Orange Nation couldn’t help but feel like the core of the class was on its way to destruction.

Now it feels extremely ironic that Allen left because of the unknown at offensive coordinator. At the time, it looked slow on Shafer’s part to take more than a week to fill the position. But in the end, Shafer’s quest to find the right Offensive Coordinator, no matter how long it took, may prove to be the best decision he’ll make as head coach.

Who would you rather have: Allen or “The Mailman” George McDonald? Easy choice. Allen is one recruit. McDonald has entered a brand new environment and helped the program land a number of quality recruits in just days.

That includes Allen’s replacement, Kimble. The Orange snagged Kimble away from a prior commitment in NIU, and N.C. State. A dual-threat QB with a similar style to Allen, SU’s new quarterback commit was actually given better rating by ESPN than the school’s former commit.

The new staff has been terrific. McDonald convinced Batten to decommit from Kent State (he holds several BCS offers as well) and play at Syracuse. The Orange will have five usable tight ends not including Batten on next season’s roster, yet the last minute sales pitch to tight end still worked. McDonald’s success has been absolutely mind-boggling. The trust and relationships he has built across the country has players who would never consider SU taking long looks at the Orange. Tim Lester was also able to retain QB Austin Wilson.

Shafer’s first six commitments hail from the following locations: St. Louis, Rochester, close to Atlanta, Raliegh, Miami, and Jerseyville, Illinois. In just a few weeks, the new coaching staff has already flipped the theme of the previous regime on its ear. SU’s old staff sifted through the less-talented pool of New York recruits in order to piece together a class. The new one is taking it national.

These coaches all have extensive networks built up in the Midwest and South. They’re going after those regions, which are far more fertile for recruiting than the northeast.

Credit still goes to Marrone and company for grinding hard to get to SU to a position where it’s an easier sell. But Shafer’s new staff, led by Coach McDonald, is sure making it look easier to recruit here than it’s looked in a long time.

Posted: Andrew Kanell

47 Comments on this Post

  1. I’m far more impressed with this new coaching staff has done the last couple of weeks than the old one. Can’t wait for this staff to have a whole season to recruit.

  2. @Andrew Kanell;

    it’s been a long time since we’ve has a coach that told us exactly what was on his mind. In his press conference held on Wednesday he told us that he didn’t recruit softnosed football players,which led the university to relaeas the following statement.

    Syracuse University quickly released a statement Thursday evening:

    “While Syracuse University publicly rejects the comments that were made yesterday, and have addressed the matter with Coach Shafer, we totally get where Coach is coming from. There is no place for discrimination within our school, and we have always supported the softnosed community,

    I think Coach Shafers career at Syracuse University is going to be a short one. And Dr. Gross is already looking to replace him.

  3. Russell MacEachern

    Are we still in it with 3* S Duron Singleton?I hear he’s a viscious hitter!!6’1″ 210 too!!

  4. OrangeCrush27

    @Ron, I’m pretty sure that statement was a joke. I saw that on Nunes Magician.

    I like the staff, but i feel Syracuse cant forget about the Northeast. They still need to recruit NY, NJ, PA and the New England area like they have for years. Getting a great recruiter in McDonald only builds the recruiting grounds for SU.

    I’m really disappointed however at the de-committs, like i have stated in previous posts. I mean lets think for a second, does the coaching shuffle really have that big of an effect on where you want to play your college ball??? Your still going into pretty much the exact same system. The university hasn’t changed, the team is still there, your still playing the same schedule, like i find it a slap in the face that you say this, that and the other thing about changing the perception of ‘Cuse football and renigging. Your still playing football!!! Your not going to a wing T style offense!! We arent changing the from the “Okie” D!! Be a man of your word. I’m sorry but if you think your going to get more playing time at FSU, Miami, TCU and even Rutgers, opposed to ‘Cuse in the next 4 years, then you got another thing coming.

    Obviously you wish them the best of luck in wherever they go. They’re kids. But committing, then de-committing, then to say you wanna play for this school only to commit to committ to the total opposite shows alot about your character.

  5. God Shamgod

    My prediction, we land Singleton, Reggie Spearman, Simeon Thomas, Kendall Moore and Akeem Jones this weekend. We lose Malik Brown to Tennessee. I think Schafer plans on bulking up Akeem Jones and turning him into a LB.

  6. @OrangeCrush27;

    Good post and I hope that your correct about Coach Shafer. My take on him is that he’s a man that doesn’t like to joke too much when it comes to his team and players.

    For the university to release a statement on Thursday shows me that he rattled some people(Cantor/Gross) with his comments.

  7. 4orty4our

    @ Ron…Did you really take that statement by SU seriously? If you took note of the context it was written maybe you would have realized that it was more of a lighthearted and humorous attempt to being PC. You’re reading way too deep into the statement. It’s actually laughable that you suggest Dr. Gross is already looking for a replacement. You are one heckuva conspiracy theorist. I bet your house phone is tapped by the KGB too!

  8. 4orty4our

    @OrangeCrush….I agree with you. I don’t understand how a someone can flip their decision solely based on the coaching staff being replaced/shuffled around. Are these guys comitting to schools/programs or coaching staffs? If these kids are basing their commitments solely by coaching staff, then they will all eventually be disappointed. Coaching staffs rarely stay in tact for more than 3-4 years. If you are comitting to a coaching staff as oppose to a program/school, you might as well expect some sort of coaching change in the 3, 4 or 5 years you are in the program. It’s the nature of the sport. Hopefully the guys we do have coming in are here because, yes they have a god relationship with the staff, but most importantly they are here to represent Syracuse, the University, the city and themselves!

  9. OrangeCrush27

    …And here’s the other side.

    ‘Cuse offers these kids early on. This would tell me, “hey ‘Cuse really wants me to play for them.” I have no offers from FSU, Miami, TCU, Clemson, Rutgers, Tennessee, etc. early on. That shows me how much ‘Cuse is invested in me. I see playing time in my IMMEDIATE future. I get to represent NY like i have told the media for the past year. Go to a Better Academic institution. But now these big programs are offering me a month or less before NSD because those programs aren’t getting their recruiting targets???

    The best part….Miami, FSU, Clemson, THEY’RE STILL SHOPPING FOR HIGHER RATED RECRUITS!! So not only are you not the prized recruit for your class, your going up against better prospects at your position!!! So how’s that going to fit for you. Are you going to these southern schools for the weather? For the women (I don’t blame you there)?? But these schools don’t give you the time of the day early on and now they NEED to fill schollies so now they throw you a bone??? There is no keeping your word. ‘Cuse isn’t changing. Your still going to get bigger, stronger, faster just like you would at any other program. Your still going to get your shot at the NFL.

    Am i missing something? Where’s Ishaq’s father to talk to these NYC kids about loyalty to your commitment if he is such a big mentor??

    Now i’m a homer obviously and i know ‘Cuse just flipped Kimble and Batten from their respected commitments to MAC schools, so my arguement is more out of frustration.

    Recruiting is just an absolute soap opera in alot of aspects and i personally just can’t wait till the day after NSD. Then on to next year’s recruiting class and the process repeats itself.

  10. People you have to take Ron with a grain of salt. Some of his thoughts are kinda Russ Limbaugh like=way out there. How do you discriminate against a soft-nosed community. What is a soft-nosed whatever??? A sneezer/running nose dude?? Hey there’s a t-shirt there some where isn’t there!! LOL!! As for GUS like I said at other sites GOOD BYE-sucker!! Look out for the Williams posse too. Smith might be effected to by Williams. Williams could also effect SUBB to!!

  11. God Shamgod

    LOL at Ron, he thought yersterday’s press release was serious.

  12. Thanks for all of the comments concerning my post. Syracuse is filled with Liberal leaning folks that weld some sort of power. They live in a fantisity word,criticising all who disagree with them. Like for instance the Terry’s of the world. I didn’t watch the press conference,but I do know that when Syracuse University puts out a retraction as to what was said,I know that he rattled a few people up on the hill.(Cantor/Gross)

    I hope that he stays,I think Shafer has put the program to being relevant again.

    That is if Cantor/Gross doesn’t put the team into a league that plays”FLAG FOOTBALL” You guys don’t think by putting out that retraction that it has something to do with what’s happening in the NFL with concussions.

    Terry you should listen to the Rush Limbaugh program you might come away learning something.

    My first post was on what I felt about the retraction. Please tell me somone,when was the last time you see a retraction put into print on something a coach has said in a press conference? I hope Shafer is here a hell of a lot longer than Gross and Cantor.

  13. God Shamgod

    I’m pretty sure that if HCSS ever met Ron in person some blood would be spilled. Then we could all call into the Rush Limbaugh show to talk about it.

  14. If you consider that this group of coaches began behind the eight ball recruiting wise,what they have accomplished is outstanding.Now they will begin work for the 2014 class. Much will depend on how these coaches get the team ready for this coming season.

  15. Ron, none of that post on Nunes Magician is factual. Not even the statements from Coach Shafer. Sean Keeley made up the entire thing. I’m pretty sure Shafer hasn’t held a press conference since the one with the new coordinators and assistants.

  16. Comment regarding the article – I’m pretty sure the deal with Laray doesn’t have much to do with staff changes. He said Cuse is still high on his list and he may still end up here. He’s more concerned about whether he can do both track and football, or if he should do one instead of the other.

    Also, Brisly Estime is visiting this weekend. Imagine him and Laray returning kicks together.

  17. CuseOnly

    @Ron –

    Just so we are all clear here including you Ron. That statement was never released by Syracuse University.

    The statement was written into a fictitious humor peice by Sean Keeley, it was a total spoof on being PC as another poster suggested. The article is poking fun at what the 49ers player said about gays earlier in the week and the subsequesnt retraction afterwards. Link below.

  18. God Shamgod

    Ron just bought a ketchup popsicle while wearing white gloves.

  19. God Shamgod

    Did anyone catch HCSS’s press conference this morning where he announced the new decal on the teams helmets is going to be a dead pigeon?

  20. @God Shamgod; I will make every effort to meet Coach shafer an his staff after the Spring Scrimmage Football Game. Come join me it’s going to be fun.


    Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Now I’m going to be able to sleep at night knowing damn well that we have the right man in position as the head coach of Syracuse University.

    Thank again for clearing that up for me.

  21. McDonald is a badass… he’s predicting a top 25 recruiting class next year with this staff Shafer has pulled together.

  22. OrangeCrush27

    i just want to add one more thing…

    …God Shamgod is the best user name i have ever seen…

  23. recruit, recruit, recruit… make it happen. go orange i felt schaffer deserved the opportunity to be the head coach here and i feel is doing a great job . the staff is impressive as well.

  24. LMBO!!! Couple things for Ron!! I hope HCSS is here alot longer than your buddy dougie was!! And I think Russ is now on the comedy channel right??

    I think the two players that might flip are Brown and Smith(even though he never verbaled). Tenn. is after Brown big time can’t blame him on that one. Smith I feel is another novel. Mr Williams has his fingers in this pie. I don’t trust him. And I don’t envy HCSS and staff dealing with this guy on upcoming players down the road. I like to see a speedy athlete signed for ST and the slot. Haven’t seen that as of yet!!

  25. @Orangecrush…… Bigdip is the supreme moniker! No comp…
    @Ron… its cool, dont let the newbies shake you. Tell Russ he’s still my guy!
    @terri…u turncoat! Fan or foe u choose?
    @shamgod el amin… I heard monikers that start wit Providence players….kinda blows bubbles B! I’m gonna change my name to 1. Eric Murdock 2. Khalid El-Amin 3. @QuincyDouby 4. @FilipeLopez 5. @TheRealMetta 6.Terry DeHere 7. Pitino the Ass… poot!
    @derek…shut up! Because I’m raging….u darn good fan lol!

  26. Despite meaningless fodder…. the current staff is killing it! Edwards is no longer SUs most coveted recruit, Cooper has snatched that distinction nationally… like NATIONALLY! With 5 runningbacks, 2 could be redshirt sophs in Morris & McFarlane… where’s the loss? 2 backs had 2000+ all purpose yards? Why covet a damn rb? I poot wind on a decommit….. we have two 3star backs with 0 career carries. Its not a loss in any way! The cubard runeth over .. pricks!

  27. Ron stop apologizing to these pricks like @cuseonly & @ShamNewbs… u got duped, but your overall theme was on point, “HCSS better perform, because ADDG will replace’em in a heartbeat!” Thats the business of sports…. I’m not invested in HCSS, if he doesn’t perform: beat it! He’ll burn SU fans just like HCDM…An SU guy? So he has to prove himself…. at least to my pocket of SU fans.. who by the way is like having “barbershop talk on a Pirate boat!”

  28. Agree w/ bigdip… I think we’re fine at running back. Just give McDonald a full year to work his magic and bring in someone truly worthy to don the 44. I think he could do it.

  29. ….”Barbershop talk on a Pirate boat!”…. so offending guys that sit behind their computers…computing…means nothing! I took a hiatus….now I’m back, so watch out! Dont offend the wrong SU fans…by the way to ALL NEWBS (ur opinion is one of many)!!!!!!


  30. Derek…u dont do the drama! So u know Not you…but yeah its surprising hows its come together. OCMcD better call plays, like he can sell a upstate ny education?

  31. @bigdip;it’s going to take more than these jokesters say to get me upset.

    God Shamgod’s name is a discredit to the all mighty and should be whipped 300 lashes for using that name.

    I guess anyone can put anything on the computer these days. How would a normal citizen know if it’s true or not?

    Troy Nunes should be held acountable for putting that on their web page.

  32. Russell MacEachern

    I think God Shamgod the hoops guy from Providence is a NYC guy who could be a “Cuse” football fan as Providence dont play the hardnose game but Ron I did’nt think ur early post was serious myself but hey…some of these younger guys dont understand what happens to our motor skills in our golden years and should be more understanding of a fellow fan who contributes so much to the site and team!!Espescially Terry who u can tell something one hour and he’ll forget it the next…whats his excuse?Jack Daniels rye?The bigdipper still keeps me smiling w/his wit and good nature…keep it up dip Im honored to call u friend!!I also agree w/all OrangeC27s comments about turncoats too!!I enjoy Dereks honest and clean posts too…Hey Ron,is Bill O’Reilly on tonight?lol..dont miss it Terry!!

  33. Russell MacEachern

    Hey fellas Im the same guy who thought Norma Stits was a woman lol..sometimes we can’t take ourselves too seriously its just an entertaining (sometimes)fan site for us to exchange thoughts and opinions!”and even make friends”…welcome back neff..

  34. Hey bigboob pass me the ice please!!

  35. CuseOnly

    @Russel – Good to see you back on the site, was wondering where you were.

    @BigDip – How did I get lumped in with Terrie? On top of that, I will express myself as I see fit regardless of what you or anyone else thinks

    Furthermore, I have been on this site and reading it as a fan far longer than you. I will also offend who I please. What, are you going to type in all caps at me?

    Just a question, what is with the “gay” comment you vomit? Are you disparaging gays? What exactly are you saying, are you sexist, racist, what?

    Punks on Blast?!?!?!? LOL, spare me you internet tough guy tool.

  36. @bigdip;
    In my earlier post I made a comment that if Coach Shafer kept on upsetting people with his very strong rhetoric “and to the point” way of expressing himself to where the university had to print a retraction that it would lead to him getting fired.

    It looks like my post brought the low information idiots out of the woodwork. I didn’t think that their comments were to offensive,but I do realise that maybe they should go to a public shower somewhere take a shower and change their clothes. It just might clear their minds a little before they answer another post.

    Look everyone, I want Coach Shafer to be here for 10-15 years or maybe long enough so that he could retire. This team of coaches is one of the best ever assembled at Syracuse,I hope Dr. Gross is smart enough and strong enought to do the right things to retain them well into the future.

  37. @Russell MacEachern;

    I was up half the night too,your 1:42 am post is priceless man. It’s nice to see that you haven’t lost your sense of humor.

    I should have opened up the computer lastnight,we could have had some dialog.

  38. Russell MacEachern

    Yeah Ron,those seem to be my best hours for browsing the WEB instead of watching TV on these cold,offseason midwinter nights Haha!We used to bs late at night on here during the dogdays of the preseason summer!!lol..

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