Is George McDonald Trying to Hit a Florida-to-Syracuse Recruiting Geyser?

George McDonald is looking to mine the fertile grounds of Florida, and with his connections within the Sunshine State, he could be on the verge of hitting a geyser. Reportedly the Syracuse offensive coordinator offered two scholarships to players at Blanche Ely High (Pompano Beach), and giving a long look at a third.

Looks like SU has offered LB Terry McCray (’14) and wideout Therrell Gosier (’15). McCray is listed as a three-star OLB and has scholarships from Minnesota, Miami, Florida Atlantic and Tulane. He says the Hurricanes are at the top of his list, but he plans on visiting the Orange and Gophers before making a decision. Gosier is a huge target, listed at 6’6″, 200 lbs., and has an offer from USF.

Another tall WR, Kenneth Rawls (6’3″, 179 lbs.) was also a subject of GMcD’s scouting. He has offers from Minnesota, Bowling Green and Florida Atlantic, but says SU would become the front-runner if the Orange offered. While Rawls has plenty of nice things to say about SU, he’s still unrated according to Rivals. Gosier, on the other hand, has a made a name for himself in two other sports. He came off the bench for Ely’s hoops team which won the state in April, and broke Cardinal Gibbons’ (his previous school) 34-year-old freshman record for the 300-meter hurdles last spring.

McDonald has plenty of recruiting ties in the state of Florida, and how interesting would it be if he’s able to scoop up a player in McCray away from The U. McDonald was the Wide Receivers Coach for the Canes in ’11 and ’12. It’s also intriguing whenever GMcD goes after wideouts since he’s worked closely with them in the past. So both Rawls and Gosier should be on Orange Nation’s radar.

McDonald’s arrival on the Hill is perfect timing. While SU has always had a foot in Florida, and Doug Marrone tried to build a better pipeline down there, it’s nearly impossible to compete in the ACC without having athletes from the Sunshine State. Obviously FSU and Miami will always own the region in conference, but all schools grab players from the endless Florida supply. Clemson (Sammy Watkins – Ft. Myers), VaTech, (Luther Maddy – Delray Beach) and N.C. State (Jarvis Byrd – Pahokee) have all culled major talent from there.

There’s always talent in Florida, but potentially offering three teammates is still fairly unique unless it’s a factory like Booker T. Washington or St. Thomas Aquinas. But McDonald could be betting on encouraging all three player to come up to the Hill together, a chance to bring friends together so far away from home. It’s time to stretch even deeper for athletes in Florida, and McDonald is the best guy to do that. Looks like he’s making his footprint at Blanche Ely right now.

Posted: D.A. 


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  1. Terry says:

    Go get’em coach!! But the NYC/LI talent area and lack of SU verbals is a blister on the SU program. Holley just jumped to a 5 star today!! Yes NYC/LI still is not the diamond mine of other great HSFB state schools but SU has always gotten the best from that area and us SU fans know who they are!! Why in the last 4/5 years no top talent from NYC/LI. There’s a story there that is screaming to be read. Come on find out why no SU verbals???????????? Its not all the better school jive either. Something smells here!!

  2. LouR says:

    Ishaq Williams Dad should keep his nose out the business of recruiting..

    His son is at ND and EBO is at Clemson so go away man!!!

  3. Ron says:

    Coach Mcdonald is also after two players from one of the power house football programs “Miami Northwestern” in Florida.

    6’2″ 180 lb DB & KR Ryan Mayes
    4* ESPN 150 list 6’0″ 178 lb RB & WR JoJo Robinson.

    Sure would be great if he could get all 5 players to come to Syracuse to play football.

  4. Malone says:

    @Terry Agree with you big time on the NY/NJ talent argument, and the lak of verbals scares me too. SU never recruited NYC well. SU focused on the “suburbs” like LI and NJ (and CT). Those did us well, but we have not been focusing on them until late. Robinson forgot them totally, and Marrone was NYC fixated. Coach P owned NJ, LI and CT. The emergence of Rutgers made for stiff recruiting competition, and they are seen as the regional choice. Local kids know Syracuse is 4 hours away while RU is 1 or less. UConn is probably closer. We need to try harder in these areas, and not worry about NYC as much. There are 5 guys out of NYC each year vs. 30 or so from the burbs surrounding it. We have work to do with our image nationally before these over-inflated NYC guys are truely going to take notice.
    Glad to see GMcD hitting Fla hard and creative. Hope it bears some juicy fruit soon.

  5. Malone says:

    Still think we could get in better at St.Thomas Aquinas with Rocco Casullo there and all. Now that Marrone’s gone especially.

  6. Ron says:

    @Terry;

    I think the responsibility for the decline started when Nancy Cantor was hired as Chancellor of the school. She started a search that led to Dr Gross being hired as our AD. It only took a month before he fired our head coach and wasn’t thinking about the ramifications of his actions. He then hired the great communicator GROB and what a disaster that turned out to be. I don’t care what people say,we needed an AD that came from East of the Mississippi River not from California.

    Nancy Cantor damn near destroyed the University of Illinois athletic program and she’s damn near doing the same to Syracuse University.

    If I were Dr. Gross I would start worring about my future as AD at Syracuse University. With Nancy retiring in 2014 and when Dr. Gross isn’t protected anymore,I’d be wondering if I were him, wondering if was going to be the next person that got the ax.

    Terry it’s after she’s gone is when your going to see a change in Syracuase University.

    I’m only stating my opinion here folks,it’s nothing more and I’m not trying to start any rumors. But nancy and company has to go.

  7. Russell MacEachern says:

    You guys know my feeling on this topic…NJ/LI has always been our bread and butter when we where at our best!!I always say how can you recruit 1000 miles away Fla/Ga if you cant even recruit ur footprint?Don’t think the perception aint rubbing off on the local kids!!But lets give HCSS a little time as I see a MARKED improvement in our targets!!Its not his fault we hired GRob!

  8. 4orty4our says:

    @ Ron. I’m going to have to disagree with your comment regariding Chancellor Cantor running our Athletics into the groud as she did at University of Illinois. Here are some facts:

    Our basketball program is the strongest it has ever been. We have are a perennial Top 20 program with recruiting classes in the Top 15 in the country every year. We just went to the Final Four and our team will be just as strong next year as it was this past year.

    Our lax program has not skipped a beat. We had a couple of ‘down’ years in regards to our expectations, however it reamins one of the Top 5 programs in the country year in year out.

    Our facilities have improved under Cantor and Gross. We now have a state of the art basketball facility and are soon breaking groud on a new football practice facility.

    Our women’s basketball team is the best it’s ever been.

    Our women’s lax program is the best it’s ever been. A national championship appearance last season.

    Our softball team is pretty darn good. Top 25 last year.

    Our olympic sports have been doing very well. Rowing, track and field etc.

    We are going to a conference which will provide long term stability and a huge increase in television revenue.

    We have one of the healthiest Athletic Dept balance sheets in country when talking about private institutions.

    My point is this: Our Athletic Dept is in the best position it has ever been in. That is a fact. Dr. Gross, I will admit does not have the personality of a rust belt city guy, but you can’t deny the facts, and the facts are that this athletic program as a whole is in better shape now than it was when he took over.

    It’s too easy to say Cantor and Gross ruined our athletic program. I respectfully challenge you to refute what I jsut said with hard facts. I respect your opinion, however I do not buy it when there is no substance offered. You may dislike Cantor and Gross for their view on politics and policies in general, but if your distaste for the two is merited on that, then you fail to see the big picture.

  9. Russell MacEachern says:

    Guys,I hear ESPN laid off 400 employees today or 10% of there workforce!! I never saw that coming…the WorldWide Leader I thought darn near recession proof!!RUs QB verbal from Mich, Tyler Wieger got his 4th star today and is in ESPN 170 I hear AJ Long is supposed to get a 4th star soon too!

  10. thesackster says:

    all i can say is get them from florida, georgia, illinois, nyc, pa, but make sure those recruits can compete immediately, stay eligable, and stay out of trouble …

  11. Ron says:

    @4orty4our;

    You think Cantor & Gross had anything to do with our basketball program. Wrong!!

    Cantor while here has gone on an unprecidented spending spree and has raised the schools debt 250%. How come they just don’t go ahead and build the indoor practice facility with the monies that the school has in the bank collecting interest instead of asking the fans to support the building? The Melo Center,if it wasn’t for Carmelo coming through with a huge donation it probably would never have been built.

    As far as the other programs,you tell me,what have they done to build the repetition of Syracuse University? Should Dr. Gross put more advertisements in Yankee Stadium or add some to MetLife Stadium now that it’s become a second home to Syracuse University?

    The sports programs have gotten better because of the coaching staffs that we have in place now,not because of Cantor or Gross.

    I know that we don’t realize that the recruiting aspect has gotten way better than what it was prior to both of them coming here.

    I also know that because of my previous post that I would get responses that didn’t agree. But after Cantor retires I see Dr Gross going as well.

    Like I said earlier it’s not gospel and it’s only one mans opinion.

    Thanks for the response though,I appreciated your thoughts.

  12. Ron says:

    @4orty4our;

    I’m not going to be an idiot and go ask for the books to see where all of the money is going. But it would be an interesting article in the papers if they were to print it on their own. Now wouldn’t it?

    As far as offering substance,Greg Robinson,should I say more?

  13. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Carlton,Peppers is visiting 3 schools in 7 days!!RU for an overnight Thursday according to a friends payboard site and assumptions are Mich and either PSU or LSU??According to a Peppers tweet 3 schools in 7 days!

  14. Russell MacEachern says:

    I have to guess Michigan…safest bet!

  15. 4orty4our says:

    @ Ron…I read the first sentence of your first response to my post and I stopped reading because it was political. Look through politics and look at hard numbers and facts. I will not read your comments until you prove you can keep politics out of it. Your anger is directed towards their policies and political orientation. You refuted nothing that I said.

  16. 4orty4our says:

    @ Ron….my apologies my last response was a little rude and I don’t want this to turn into a bickering syracuse.com conversation. I really do respect your thoughts and opinion, I just really could not disagree with you anymore.

    Yes, GRob was a terrible hire. I think there was a big learning curve for Dr. Gross and it yes I admit it did take him a while to understand this market. Quite frankly he’s still learning it. With that said, I don’t see anything wrong with marketing in NYC. People complain about the games being moved to NJ and they have every right to. Just remember why these games are being moved. Attendance started declining in 2002. The reason why our games are being relocated are for two reasons: 1) We as a local community do not support this football team the way it should be supported. 2) These marquee match ups, ND, PSU, USC etc. are at MetLife becuase they will not travel to The Dome and play in front 34,000 people. Can you blame them?

    As far as advertising. Why is it bad that we have an ad in Yankee Stadium? Would it it better at Oswego Speedway or Vernon Downs? We know what we have here, it’s exapnding the brand and any successful ‘business’ has done this and continues to.

    Cantor is a liberal. We know that. As far as you calling her out on her spending, I can’t speak on that becuase this discussion was originally about the athletic department, not the scholastic side.

    I live in Syracuse and in my opinion Syracuse University has done a fabulous job raching out to the community. Remember this is a private institution which has no responsibility to the taxpayers. That’s the truth.

    What I do know is that our athletic department is envied by a lot of other private schools. I see nothing in our athletic department that would make me feel wary about where we are heading in the future. I’m sorry that you have so much distaste for these two individuals but as a fellow conservative, I urge you to look past politics and focus on the results.

  17. Terry says:

    Ron forget about any stories from the local media unless its about dog biting the mailman. They(media)just refuse to educate the SU fan base!! I feel Dr. Gross is trying things to grow the SU brand. Firing coach P.(I agreed to that) the mistake hire of GROB and the dishonest moves of dougie haven’t helped the good Doctor!! The NYC ads are good. The only thing other than the GROB and dougie hires are the Doctor just hasn’t improved the football facilities at all. Even with the recent mention of upping the facilities there still no shovel in the ground yet!!

  18. Ron says:

    @4orty4our;

    Look I know exactly where your coming from. I never intended it to be political. We agree on some of the points that were made in your response. I know a thing about Dr.Gross and how he goes about raising money,I’ve seen it first hand and up close.

    Your spot on when you say that our athletic program is one of the best in the land. But as far as I’m concerned neither Cantor or Gross has had anything to do with it’s success. I don’t want you to misunderstand me,I truely love all that Syracuse has to offer.

    I will never argue or bicker with a person who disagrees with me,if they stay civil without using vulgar language to make their point. You did no harm with your response. Healthy discussions is what this website is all about and you need not apologize to me for what you believe is true.

    I’ve read articles that our basketball program has been the leading money maker for the university over the last 5-10 years. Joining the ACC and getting a $20 million a year paycheck will definately help us to turn the program around.

    I hope you all survived the bad storms that we’re experiencing.

  19. Russell MacEachern says:

    Guys…what bothered me is going to Metlife and still only drew 39,000 for USC when we probably could have filled the Dome for such a high profile game!!I expect much better this year just due to our BEATABLE opponent!How sweet would that game be at the Dome for the local fans!!

  20. Ron says:

    @4orty4our;

    I’ve read and reread your last post and if I may would like to make a couple observations and ask a question or two. Also understand that this is in no way trying to get you upset and me wanting to start an arguement with you.

    I didn’t know what Nancy Cantor’s political affiliations were and didn’t care one way or the other. I’ve never in any of my post did I address them. That would be getting personal and I wouldn’t do that.

    We owe the BB teams success to Jim Boeheim who’s been at the university for close to 40 years and no-one else. The program is his baby,his life,and when he gets ready to retire will turn it over to another man who will probably be here for another 40 some years.

    Advertising down in NYC trying to sell the idea that Syracuse is NY’s college team. How’s that working for you? With the exception of Jason Bromley,Syracuse isn’t getting any of the top recruits to come here and I feel the cost of doing business in NYC definately outweighs the end results. You and I along with everyone else in NY State knows what Syracuse is all about and I feel advertising in the cith is a waste of money.

    I understand why Syracuse moved some of the games to MetLife Stadium. The university got approximately $5 million for the USC game.

    Notre Dame doesn’t like coming to the dome because the last 2 times they were here we kicked their butts. With them it doesn’t matter how many people are in the seats,their supposed to have the best fans in all of college football and how well they travel to support the team. They have a $50 million contract with NBC,having people in the seats to watch them play is the least of ND’s worries.

    The Penn State/Syracuse series sets the standard,a home and home game with the last played at a neutral site(MetLife Stadium). All three of these games will be sellouts and I for one am glad that we’re playing them again. I hope that down the road it leads to something getting done that we can play each other again on a yearly basis.

    Please understand that Syracuse isn’t the only school experiencing a decline in attendance to their games. Take a good hard look at the economy,the demographics of the area. There is a lot of immigrants within the city that doesn’t understand the game of football. Unemployment is at an all time high,people on welfare,how about the people who are aging and is now retired. What about the games on television? Any person who wants to take his family to a ball game has to decide if he wants to pay the price of doing so or should I just stay home and watch it on TV.

    You and I agree on a lot of topics concerning Syracuse Athletics 4orty4our,a lot of topics.

    This is the end of the discussion for me and please remember,I’m not trying to get you upset or to start an argument.

    Enjoy your day,

  21. Mademan says:

    Peppers might commit to Michigan but their are rumors he is having a change of heart and might stay in Jersey come signing day. His father is beingf released from prison in June and he can’t leave the state from what I have heard. Jabrill wants to be close to his father. He hasn’t seen him 10 years but I still expect him to commit to Michigan for now. Rutgers is showing that it has great scouts because Tyler Wiegers was a 2 star QB from Michigan and only had MAC offers. He from 6’2 to 6’4 this summer and is still growing. He won the Rivals MVP and that’s overall which is hard to do for a QB. He is competing at the Elite 11 comp and hopes to go to Nike’s The Opening. I heard KJ Williams will end up Orange. Michigan isn’t acceptinh his commitment right now. RU still has a shot but we have other recievers ahead of Williams.

  22. Russell MacEachern says:

    as usual Mademan…thanks for rubbing it in!!…I hope ur right about KJ cause his cousins already here verbally committed as u know!To not accept a beast like KJ Wms verbal their (Mich) recruiting must be stellar!I think KJs as good as Kenny Britt!!

  23. Terry says:

    WOW!! I feel the blocking and tackling coming from this blog. Love college football!! PSU/Rutgirls will always be our main rivals. PSU because of the long history with SU and the tired display of PAPA JOE, before the mess he refused to deal with. Anyone who knows about the SU/PSU rivalry knows JOE-PA was never that clean before the all sexual abuse charges were ignored. He had to do what he had to do to “improve” his team and he did that. It at times it interfered with what SU was doing. But that didn’t stop JOE-PA from doing it!! Rutgirls is a recent rival, because most SU fans just hate their style and attitude(I sure do)!! To smack that off their attitude SU needs to play them yearly!! BC can be a minor rival. Time will tell on them!!

  24. Russell MacEachern says:

    Terry,excellent observations and post….I always enjoyed your unique and sometimes quarrelsome insights!

  25. Russell MacEachern says:

    btw,I happen to know Pernetti was working on just that RU/SU into the future b4 PC/ESPN forced his resignation!Will J.Hermann seal the deal now thats shes in his seat?TBD!!I certainly hope so for footballs sake!!

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