CBA’s Zazzara Says Playing Both Football & Lax at Syracuse Would Be Dream

The dual-threat QB was wildly productive using his legs last season.

Christian Brothers Academy’s rising junior J.R. Zazzara has committed to Syracuse lacrosse entering his senior year, but CBA’s starting quarterback is also thinking about playing football on the Hill as well. As a CNY kid, he’s excited about suiting up for SU lax, but he’s trying to close the doors to his opportunities on the gridiron. Boston College has shown considerable interest in him as well for football.

Zazzara, 6’3” 185 pounds, has shown his ability to throw the ball, and pick up first downs with his legs. His junior year statistics are impressive, showcasing his ability to throw the ball downfield and putting CBA on the scoreboard.

Zazzara missed the first three games of his junior season with mono, but still managed to put up over 1,500 yards in the air and 15 touchdowns. But his rushing numbers really jump off the page: 996 yards including 12 scores. Zazzara says he sees himself as a dual-threat.

“I don’t really consider myself a scrambling quarterback. I like to think of myself as using my athletic/running ability as another factor to get away from pressure.”

He had multiple games with 200-plus passing yard and 100-plus rushing yards. Syracuse has wideout weapons now, but it’s been hunting continuously in the Class of 2014 for receiving talent. Those targets may need to get used to a quarterback who keeps plays alive on the run.

There is no guarantee Zazzara ends up playing football at SU, but his family is no stranger to football. JR’s older brother, Grazi, played at Ithaca for a season at safety, before transferring to Syracuse and walking on. Meantime SU has some future prospects under center already, with A.J. Long committed for next year, and junior Terrel Hunt with two more seasons, among others.

“Every day after school he used to take me out to the backyard and throw around with me. He had me running plays. I think he was the biggest influence on me by far.” 

Right now, Zazzara could be calling the Dome his home turf for two sports. He considers that “a dream come true.” He’s played in the Loud House five times already between lax and football.

“Where I live, our sectional football championship is played in the Dome. Me living in Syracuse, just being able to put on an Orange uniform whether it’s football or lacrosse or even both, just being able to be there in orange and blue would be just a dream come true.”

Posted: Austin Pollack

50 Comments on this Post

  1. Terry

    Please one Paulus is enough!!

  2. @Terry;

    I know your comparing the two coming from CBA and playing two different sports. You also have to remember Terry this kids last name isn’t Paulis,it’s Zazzara.

    Two different people with two different outlooks on life and what they want to accomplish.

    By the way,weren’t you one the people complaining that Syracuse doesn’t/hasn’t gone after the good local NYS/local kids to play? Please remember that he’s committed to play for Syracuse and if he gets a chance to play both sports that he isn’t going to be the first player ever to accomplish that goal here at Syracuse.

    Overall Terry,I say lets give the kid a chance before we start complaining about another kid coming out of CBA.

    Thank you J.R. Zazzara for committing to Syracuse Lacrosse and I hope you get a chance to fullfill your dream here.

  3. chris

    Hey kid ,pick a sport an d excel. Pick two and fall short in both.Sportsare demanding for preperation for Div1 competition. Being greedy and wanting oth will lead you to failure in both You aren’t Jim Brown.

  4. Not sure if you saw Syracuse get their asses handed to them in the faceoff X against Duke on Monday, but Duke’s faceoff kid plays both lax and football at Duke. An athlete is an athlete – if he can make a difference in both sports, he should by all means pursue both. Football and lacrosse complement each other well.

    How about the girl playing four at Oregon?

  5. @Mike

    I think that some people have their heads buried in the sand and is giving them trouble thinking straight.

    I agree if the kid can play both then why not let him play both sports. It seems that he hasn’t had a problem playing both in high school.

    I wish him luck in pursuing his dream.

  6. Malone

    While I agree that I would rather see a guy focus on one sport and his education, this is in no way unprecidented and many have been successful at two sports. Jim Brown is a great example yes, but so are Charlie Ward, Willie Gault, Bo Jackson, Hershel Walker, and Jim Thorpe to name a few. Heck in recent SU history, other than Donovan McNabb is Charlie Lockwood, and Melvin Tuten. I know Lawrence Moten considered playing football.

  7. Let a kid be happy. I hope you enjoy being negative and being bitter about student athletes. Be happy that there is a kid that actually likes syracuse unlike the usual teen who wants to get the hell out of here after high school. I wish you the best of luck JR Zazzara

  8. Pollack


    After speaking to JR, I can tell I really think this is a school he wants to go to. I think he could be one of the next big names in the 315.

    Have a nice weekend,

  9. Russell MacEachern

    Damn its hot!!

  10. Terry

    He’s not close to Div 1 talent and neither was Paulus! Enough of this CBA loyalty!!

    Ron; SU needs quality talent. Just because there’s plenty of CBA alums/fans out there does not mean this kid can play and you know that. The QB’s coming in are not proven at all but they are far better than J.R Zazzara!! He is great at LAX OK but not at College Football. We need talent in that spot he thinks he wants and someone who can actually play Div 1 QB!!

  11. @Terry;

    To be honest Terry this is the first time that I’ve heard the kids name. I’m not about to throw this kis under the bus because of you thinking he doesn’t have talent. Have you seen this kid play at all?

    All last season we heard your complaints and withstood your ranting about Syracuse not going after talent within the state or the City of Syracuse. Well Terry,it looks to me like Syracuse got a quality player to play lacrosse here. What’s wrong with that? If he gets a chance to play football after he gets here,well what’s wrong with that?

    I don’t think any of us that contributes to posting on this website has to right to judge a person just because he wants to play two sports that he loves to play.

    Think about it Terry,the kid is 6’3″ and goes 185 lbs and is gpoing to be a senior this fall. Isn’t that the size of the QB’s that we’ve already recruited?

    You’ve been around long enough and I know that you’ve heard “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover”. Well stop being so judgemental and lets give this kid a chance. He just might surprise the hell out of all of us.

  12. bgogo

    He hasn’t even played his senior season yet. And at 6’3, 185, he’s still years away from growing into his body. Here’s a kid with SU blood, loves the school, and is clearly an athlete. I still remember when “fans” complained that a scholarship was being wasted on MacPherson just because of his school ties. Now he’s the leader of the OL. Comparing this kid to Paulus is one of the dumbest arguments I’ve ever heard in my life. They are two different people. BTW, who’s to say he doesn’t grow into a linebacker or safety? I’m happy Zazzara is coming here, and wish him the best.

  13. CuseOnly

    Terry must be the next Phil Steele or just FloridaaSteve.

  14. Terry

    You all need counselling!! This kid is super at LAX and a decent athelete, but not quality college QB. 6’3″ what or so what. Nunes was smaller than that and he’s probably better. That’s what I’m getting at. We got players like Nunes because you feel same about Zarrara. I’m not wiling to please local fans for one of their averge FB player coming to SU. LAX yes. Ron your trying to make a glue horse into Man-of-War it ain’t going to work. And also RON I preached SU needs more “talented” NYS kids. I did not say I just want NYS kids. This kid is aveage at best in talent at college FB. Sorry CBA fans!!

  15. @Terry;

    My point Terry is,how can you say anything bad about a kid you know nothing about? Your assumption(he’s average)is based solely on the information given to us by the Fizz.

    I’m saying this kid could be “ANOTHER RECORD BREAKER” by the time he graduates.

    Is Syracuse going to have to recruit a player made of steel,faster that a speeding locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single jump with a big “S” on his chest,before you give them credit for doing a good job landing a top recruit from within NYS?

    The kid is telling us he dreams of playing both sports for Syracuse University,not that it will happen,but dreams of playing them.

    The other point you make about the other QB’s coming to Syracuse,they’re all unproven commodities. Well Terry aren’t all of the players(no matter what they’re rated as)unproven commodities? Noone knows what any of these players are going to do until they come to practice and take the field in a game.

    So Terry,like I said earlier,I’m not about to throw this kid under the bus based on how a person feels about him/her on this website. LET’S GIVE THE KID A CHANCE TO FULFILL HIS DREAM.

  16. @Terry;

    I know that I’m going to catch hell from everyone by making this next statement but here goes;

    Terry,whenever I’ve made my feelings known about a subject on this website in previous posts and it goes against the grain. Others who post here have always let me know that I stand alone in the minority. I usually change my point of view and go with the majority. I’m not saying that their alway right or I’m always wrong,it’s just I don’t care to argue the point any futher. I let the natural order of things prove the outcome oneway or the other.

  17. Russell MacEachern

    @Terry,Ron,I don’t see the problem?The kids already coming on a Lax scholly so whats wrong with him giving it a shot if were not wasting a scholly?This is a win win situation!!

  18. @Russell MacEachern;

    Thanks Russell for being the referee in this discussion. I for one agree with the call that you’ve made here.

    Thanks again.

  19. Pollack

    He still has his senior year. His junior year stats were pretty impressive, I’d say, especially running with the ball. He also missed three games his junior season. This is just a name you might start hearing about. How good will he be if he ends up playing football? Who knows…but his future looks bright.

  20. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,no problemo,glad to be of assistance!!Damn,its still hot but I’m surprised your not at the farmers stand on the 1st of the month gathering in the fruits of your labor?

  21. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,remember the bigdippers statement that I directed traffic on the site?He’s an excellent diagnoser of personality’s!!Ha ha

  22. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,I hear from a friend of mine on Mich pay board that TP, RUs former AD is going to run the B1Gs NYC office and east coast TV on BTN!?!Him and Delany got friendly in the past 5 or so years it seems!This may have been in the works b4 the troubles at RU central!!

  23. Terry

    GEZZZZZZZ!!! The main reason SU is at a losing record for a decade is because of the lack-luster fan base. 1/3 filled dome tells ya that. This kid has no real history other than in upstate NY. You really think he’s better than the QB’s coming in for 2013 or the QB coming in 2014. NOT EVEN CLOSE. PR shows that plainly!! We need talent at other postions not at QB!! Your heart strings are playing here. SU needs top talent. He’s athelic alright(LAX Schollie) but that does not make him a DIV 1 QB. I’ve been to hundreds of NY and PA HSFB games and see players that are AWESOME. But 95% of them don’t even get a call from a DIV 1 school. And I just don’t understand it!! And I know you have to and you shake your head saying why didn’t he get recognition. Zarrara is a decent HSFB QB. If he was the next coming of Eli Manning, offer him. Hell I haven’t heard a word about him he’s even as good as YA Title(sic)!! Let him play SULAX. Ok let him have his shot at QB if need be!! But there’s some poor talented player out there that should be at SU next year. He’s just not found yet. Stop the favortism and leave the door wide open for some player not on schollie get a chance. There might be one of interest for 2013!!

  24. @Russell MacEachern;

    I just finished planting the garden Russell,give me three maybe four weeks and I just might have the stand open. My brother-in-law and I just put in the second crop of corn last weekend bringing the total to 65 rows of butter&sugar and silver queen corn.

    Did your area get any of those severe storms on Wednesday? We had a storm that blew over a tree and killed an 80 year old man istantly in his front yard planting flowers. Spent about 4 hours clearing trees that blew down over the road that I live on so traffic was moving again. Local police dept. thanked us for clearing the roads. Lots of trees were downed,quite a bit of minor damage to houses in the area. other than that Russell everything seems to be going ok.

  25. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,yeah I should have realized its not harvest time yet!!Yea,we had a tornado ,3 inches of rain in 1 hr and trees blew down and electric went out in 8g homes but other than that it was peachy lol!Ron,looks like Terry’shitting the Jack Daniels again?Don’t he realize there’s nothing to argue?

  26. Russell,I really wasn’t arguing with him. I just wish he wouldn’t throw these kids under the bus like they were nothing. It’s not my style to do something of that nature.

    Last year his arguement was all about Tyler Rouse and why we didn’t offer him a scholarship. Then the argument switched to Naeseen Howard and he threw him under the bus. If you think back Russell,Terries main complaint over the last 3-4 years has been Syracuse wasn’t getting any of the top talent within the state to play here.

    I’m happy that J.R. Zazzara committed to Syracuse for Lacrosse. Syracuse doesn’t have it so easy anymore recruiting players within the state. It seems like more and more Div 1 schools are flocking to NY and taking quite a few of the real good players from them.

    But you know as well as I do Russell,Terry will calm down and everything will get back to normal soon.

  27. Russell MacEachern

    Sure Terry’s a true blue Cusamaniac but sometimes he ends up arguing with himself?That’s what I like about the Fizz board…we have all kinds of interesting people here!All in all most are good all american football fans and many like Malone,Dip,Carlton,yourself Id enjoy socializing with!Even Terry and the missus!CDL included!

  28. Terry

    I give!! Its just homer(Ron and Russ) old fart conversation. HCSS is thankfully changing some things, but some fans just fall into that same old crap that got SU where it is today no change!!

    Russ I’m into Coconut Rum now!!

    Ron Rouse is talented-you think, compared to your CBA QB!!

    I never said Zarrara couldn’t try. I just say why?? His dream should be LAX totally. Like Chris said about Zarrara “you aren’t no Jim Brown” but the old farts still want that magic story line. I wonder if he’s hard-nosed enough!! Go get’em HCSS and Coach Mcd. Thank you for your freshness in developing this SU program!

    Ron, Russ and others I’m done on your CBA QB. Its on the building the SU program. Take care and drink plenty of water or JD’s or Coconut Rum. Arrr Mate!!

  29. See Russell, Terry even has a sense of humor. Damn he called both of us “Old Farts”.

    I agree Terry lets talk some football. Nice to see you sober again.

  30. I looked at the recruits that Syracuse has offers out too and boy was I surprised.

    Coach Shafer has offered scholarships to 28 4* players,of which 16 of them are on the ESPN 150 list. Impressive!!!!!!

    I don’t know what the results are going to be,but the list does indicate that Syracuse has upped it’s intensity in the recruiting game. It would be awesome if Shafer could get 10-20% of the players off of that list.

  31. Russell MacEachern

    @Terry,don’t give up..don’t EVER give up,we like you just the way you are!HMMmmm I heard that line somewhere before?Terry we need everyone’s viewpoint for this board to function as it should!btw What happened to Derek?He was a good,loyal poster?Pleasant agreeable face too (Avatar?)..pps Terry,that coconut Rum sound’s good in this heat!!!How old are you?The only people I know who describe wife as missus are 55+?

  32. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,any fruit tree’s at your place?Cherry’s?Peaches?These storms will help the abundance of crops soon!!

  33. Russell MacEachern

    Id like in this heat to take a trip to “Margaritaville” with Jimmy Buffet!

  34. Russell as far as you and I are concerned,Terry’s still a kid. But,I’m going to have to cut him some slack though,he did tell us that he has grandchildren that loves the game of lacrosse and takes them golfing every weekend.

    I agree Russell,no-one should ever change their minds and should always stand their ground for what they believe in.

  35. Russell,no I don’t. Do you think peaches would grow in the upstate area?

    It has been raining already this morning and yes we do need the rain and yes it will most definately help the crops.

  36. Terry

    I’m 63!! Coconut Rum and Cranberry juice. Great summer drink!! Also it makes a poor played golf round feel better!!

  37. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,I have Peach tree’s in the yard and Cherry tree’s planted by a Guyanese guy who own’s several property’s in the area and he pick’s them every year in his “Basket o Plenty” to the detriment of his renter’s!So the answer is YES NY is a fertile [email protected],I quit drinking year’s ago but I admit that drink of yours has my mouth watering!!I just may try it!!

  38. Russell MacEachern

    62 in November!!

  39. @Russell MacEachern;

    So Russell your a “SCORPIO” too!!!!! Your just full of surprises aren’t you?

    This is what our horoscope told us on Sunday.

    You are likely to have a sharp eye for spotting the mistakes of others. Unfortunately,if your comments are critical instead of constructive,they’ll arouse resentment.

    We arouse resentment,can you imagine that happening Russell?

  40. Russell MacEachern

    Close but NO CIGAR…Sagittarius!!Sometimes often it fall right on Thanksgiving!!

  41. Russell MacEachern

    It seems we find ways arouse agitation anyhow!

  42. chris

    I think Terry Hunt will be the surprise player of the year in Div1 football.Who is expecting more than pedestrian numbers from him at this point? He will have some new kids to throw to as well as their added speed which will help.All he needs to do is break a few long runs escaping from pressure to force the defense to come in a bit in which case the medium pass game opens up along with the deep deep throw on occasion.

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