FizzCast Exclusive: Syracuse Commit Rodney Williams Talks Ball-Hawking

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Scott Shafer and his staff are now rolling along on the recruiting trail. Over the last three and a half weeks the Orange has scooped up four commits, including QB/DB Rodney Williams. The 2-star athlete out of Cherry Hill West High School in New Jersey pledged to SU Shafer and coach Tim Daust decided to offer Williams while he was up at Syracuse’s camp. The 5’11″ 190 lb. speedster plays with his hair on fire, and is already drawing comparison to another former defensive back for SU – Shamarko Thomas.

The Fizz spoke with Williams about why he chose Orange, (“The facilities are awesome. The campus is great. The connections I had with the coaches – it was just perfect.”) plans for his senior season at Cherry Hill, and how his basketball talents have helped him on the football field. Rodney also explains why he’s putting academics before everything else when he arrives in CNY.

What’s his biggest strength?

“My ballhawking abilities. In high school, teams don’t really like throwing to my side. Coaches put me on the best receiver, I usually take him out of the game.”

Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald

Filed Under: FB RecruitingFeatured


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  1. Ron says:

    If you were to take a good look at the picture above of Rodney wearing that Penn State teeshirt,you might come to the conclusion that Syaracuse didn’t have a chance in hell of getting this guy. RIGHT?

    Looks like Coach Shafer got another recruit that has want he wants,SPEED. Great grab out of NJ.

  2. Ron says:

    @Kevin Fitzgerald;

    I just finished listening to you interviewing Rodney Williams on the radio,and a couple of thing really stuck out for me.

    I believe that the reason he’s only rated a 2* athlete is because of his love for and playing AAU basketball. If he plays the game the way his coach tells us,then the 2* rating is way to low and should be elevated to either a 3* or maybe even a 4* recruit.

    Rodney,mentioned in the interview how he had spoke to Zaire Franklin,AJ Long and how they helped him to decide on the orange. His statement was,everything Zaire had told him was the TRUTH. Rodney has now joined Zaire and AJ in spreading the word on Syracuse,in hopes of getting more of their friends to come here to play.

    It appears the class of 2014 is going to be a special class. Recruits are already establishing frienships and building comradery that’s needed on a team.

    It’s also improtant to know that this kid wants to get a masters in business. I hope he achieves his goals and becomes successful in life after football.

  3. Terry says:

    Rated a 2 star because of AAU basketball??????????????? If anything his love of playing and abilities on the AAU BB court might get his ranking higher. That’s why one reads the recruiting sites!! JEZUS!! Come on!!

  4. Ron says:

    It’s my opinion that he played basketball on the AAU circut for a long time and recently come to the conclusion that he wasn’t going anywhere and changed his mind and started in playing football using the skills he achieved while playing the game of basketball.

    So Terry,please tell me,how many of those experts on those recruiting services went and rated this kid? To me it looks like they failed when rating this kid too.

  5. Ron says:

    Terry,your the one that’s always throwing people under the bus here.

    Now we find out this kid is a hell of a basketball player. What are you going to say if he decides that he wants to play basketball too for the school? Will you say the same about Rodney Williams as you did J.R. Zazzara? They’re not quality athletes and we don’t need players like that here at Syracuse?

  6. Ron says:


    Rated a 2 star because of AAU basketball??????????????? If anything his love of playing and abilities on the AAU BB court might get his ranking higher. That’s why one reads the recruiting sites!! JEZUS!! Come on!!

    I’ve looked at the recruing services websites.Where did you read anything about Rodney Williams before he was offered a scholarship? You may have an advantage over me,because I won’t pay to get information on anyone and the only place that I see his name mentioned was on cuse website.

  7. Malone says:

    I think we got a good one who was/is flying under the radar. From Twitter feed, athletes in the area seem to know who he is, so he has a presence in South Jersey/Philly.

  8. Terry says:

    Dear Ronster: Mr Williams verbaled to play FB at SU. AAU has nothing to do with his decision or SU’s decision to offer him. Its crazy to think his AAU play would affect his rating at Rivals or other sites. That’s nuts. If anything if he’s decent at HSBB it only helps his abilities. Its a well known fact that College FB staff will attend toss-up talent that play HSBB too. Just to get a feel for the kids ability!! Joe-Pa from PSU came here( about 25 yrs ago) to watch a player on the HS court. That was big news then. They just want to see the player up front using different but similar athletic skills on the court. Those visits probably are vital to NR/2 star talent to convince the staff the HSFB player they are looking at has the athletic ability to play major College Football.

    I don’t pay for any sites. But I might ask for a subscription for a gift when that time comes around.

    Do your research Ronster!!

  9. Ron says:


    First let me respond by saying your missing my point. All the time spent by Rodney playing basketball is a benifit to him. Agility,durability,sustainability are qualitiesr needed in both sports.

    J.R. Zazzara commited to syracuse to play lacrosse,and his “dream” was that maybe he would have a shot at playing football for the school also.

    Just the possibility of a two sport athlete at Syracuse caused you to have a stroke and probably had to take medicine to stop you from having a damn heart attack.

    Here we have another athlete that plays more than one sport and good at it,I might say.

    I mentioned the possibility of him asking the coaches to play basketball,just to see what your foolish reaction would be. Just letting you know you didn’t disappoint.

  10. chris says:

    “Ballhawking”is a quality even SS i.e. strong safeties need to possess. If he plays inside there he will need some additional weight room time.If they like him back as a FS thats a different game altogether.

  11. Ron says:

    There is no one who can say that this coaching staff is trying their very best to build a winning program here at Syracuse.

    Coach Shafer recieved another late commitment for the class of 2013.

    6’7″ 290 lb (N/R) OT Jamar McGluster out of St. Anthony HS Jersey City NJ commited to Syracuse today.

    Russell,we have another player from NJ. That’s great man. Shafers efforts are starting to pay off and I’m hoping other recruits are paying attention.

    Can you feel the “winds of change blowing across the field at Syracuse University”?

  12. Ron says:

    I meant to say;There is no one who can say that this coaching staff isn’t trying their very best to build a winning program here at Syracuse.


  13. Ron says:

    I want to be the first to welcome Jamar McGluster to the Orangenation.

    Coming out of high school and already 6’7″ 290 lbs.

    Russell is the cuisine better in the state of NJ than what we have here in NY?

    Man this kid is huge. Another great grab by our energenic coaching staff.

  14. Terry says:

    The only winds of change come from the Ronster and his unbelievable posts!! LOL!!

  15. Carlton says:


    The truth is playing AAU basketball could have hurt his ranking a bit. Why? Because if during the summer AAU basketball is in full swing as well as football summer camps. So if he was mainly attending basketball camps the guys at places like rivals could have overlooked him.

  16. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,NJ may be doing us another favor inadvertantly!!Ish Witter 5’8″ 190 3* from Fla has been trying to commit to RU since Dec but RU had other higher targets like the Pa. All stater Robert Martin and the #4 rb in Fla who committed in Feb!!Lo and behold “Ish Witter” who is a very good RB in his own right might fall right into our laps!!He’s a 3* RR type IMO!!It seems Domer is a heavy Illinois lean!Hey,no shame in how we get him!!Look at how RU got RR!

  17. Russell MacEachern says:

    Fla RB Josh Hick’s 5’10″ 180 tb,Palmetto,TB,Fla high 3* rating might get a 4th!Jacob Kraut,FB 5’11″ 240 lb supposedly the #1 FB rated nationally?And there still targeting Qadree Ollison who has RU,Pitt and PSU in his final 3…I think were listed but it don’t look promising as he nixed his visit and I never saw a guy that was gonna commit pull out of a firm up visit!His dad raved about RU and said he could trust them with his son?Beyond Athletics connection?Gause family?

  18. Russell MacEachern says:

    Wisconsin was also originaly on the list but a longshot and now Taiwan Deal RB/LB 6’2″ 225 out of MD committed yesterday to take the spot reserved for Ollison so scratch them off too!

  19. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Ron,He is a real sleeper because like Cuse St.Anthony’s is a world famous HS basketball power who didn’t even field a football team till last year or “11″!!The whole student body is only about 125 boys in the middle of Jersey City kept alive by famous father of the Hurley boys “Bob Hurley Sr” HS hall of fame coach!With out Mr Hurley the school would have to close!!A real live Jersey story and hero St Anthonys survives on his donations and efforts thru drives!btw.. their football team was suprisingly good in there 1st season or two and he may be an agile 6’7″ 290 cause its not a coincidence that he was at St Anthony!!Also you can bet the kid is a gentleman and hardnosed!Bob Hurley don’t suffer fools!

  20. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,I see Ish Witter went from 100% RU commit with no competiters to HIGH INTEREST in us!!I think he also added Pitt to his list but RU (uncommitable offer) ain’t interested so he should be ours!I think this will be a real “steal” lol!!(can’t let Pitt in)

  21. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Malone,could he be affiliated with Rodney Williams on an AAU team?We all know St Anthonys is in North Jersey..JerseyCity,…Hudson Cty across the river from the famous NYC skyline vista!!They both hoop and were found under the radar??Coincidence?No stone left unturned type finds!

  22. Terry says:

    Carlton-Playing had no effect at all in his rating. Yes it did affect him in one way. He got his name out there that he is versatile an athlete!! I really like this kid, but playing summer ball did nothing to his rating now. If he ups his safety play this fall in HS then the rating might increase, not decrease because he played another sport.

    All around us other programs are scooping up talent. Yet SU says its got offers out there and very little action. Lousiville just verbaled 2 4 star players.

    Again another top NYS HS player probably lost=Ollison RB, Buffalo. What goes??? SU’s own farm can’t harvest its own crop. Don’t you feel a bad wind here??

  23. Ron says:


    I’ve put you in the group along with Malone and Russell as being a member of the Fizz Family that is very knowledgeable and knows of what they speak.

    THe old saying there’s “two sides to every coin”. That applies here,we have people who knows all to well how things work that articulates their point very well and then we have people,no matter what is said, just don’t understand.

    I’ve never read a post from Russell,Malone or you Carlton that has ever thrown a kid under the bus. I’ve never read a post where either of you have disparagingly put a recruit down.

    Terry stands alone in this department,at times his remarks are troublesome,ignorant and with malice. I wish he’d think before speaking. These recruits are not stupid,I believe that they read different websites to see what the fans are saying,and when they come across a person who trashes them,it goes viral when they put in on twitter to other recruits.

  24. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Ron,I really like where were going with these kids!!Size,athleticism,and extremely talented!I think HCSS has a PLAN!I don’t see how anyone can complain?I can’t keep up with the new commitments some days!!Look up Ish Witter Ron he’s a steal!!RR kind of guy IMO!A little under recruited but still 3* quality!Who knew how good RR would be when he was a Frosh?Custis looks good too!!And maybe KJ Williams will decide?Im excited!

  25. Ron says:

    @Russell MacEachern;

    Russell,do you really think we have a chance of getting Ish Witter?

    I just watched the tape on him,and all I can say is WOW. Watching him run brought back memories of “LITTLE JOE MORRIS” running the ball again for Syracuse.

  26. Ron says:

    This weekend is going to be one of the biggest weekends for recruiting in the history of Syracuse Football. Chad mavety and a couple of recruits will be on campus. If Chad commits Russell,it’s going to be a sign to everyone telling them that SYRACUSE HAS CLIMED OUT OF THE ABYSS,AND WE’RE BACK.

    Watch out ACC,were coming and we’re not going to lay down for anyone.

  27. Terry says:

    Ronster is at it again with knowledgeable issue!! Pretty soon he’ll want only his invites to to apply to this site. A babble hound he is!! Or a Barney Fife!!

    Look the over wheleming stuff I mention is fact based. Some fans on this site just wish like a child that SU improves. They say crazy stuff that has no merit at all. If a player has an issue with SU or not in todays world everything is out there for fans to see. Like HCSS if a player is playing games around the recruting of him, let him go else where and I couldn’t agree more.

    This team is being build “slowly”. Rated now in the high 60′s is discouraging, but its early. Someone out there has to bring out or high-light certain issues that stick out. One needs to bring up sensitive issues CORRECTLY not ignore them.

    Sorry cowboy Ronster couldn’t help being troublesome,ignorant, and with malice, but its time to objective instead of what you want to happen!

  28. Ron says:

    Well well folks,Terry has come out from under the rock that he’s been hiding under for the last couple days.

    Here is a fact that can’t be ignored Terry. Over the last couple of years you haven’t had one good thing to say about anyone or anything. You throw people overboard and dismiss them like they were garbage. When your facts are challenged,you can’t come up with proof to back any of your complaints. I look at it as an old man setting in a chair at his computer and blowing off steam because things aren’t going is way. The thing that bothered me the most over the last couple days was the way you handled the Corey Cooper story. Have you read the story on the latest commit Jamal McGloster?
    He took the SAT & ACT test 3 times. The first 2 times he came up short by 50 points and passed it on the 3rd try. i have to believe Terry that Corey Cooper was in the same boat as Jamal KcGloster. Corey by going to prep school for on semister is taking the harder route of the two players. bur the end result for both will be both of them on campus next spring.

    Reaching out and helping a young man in need isn’t a bad thing. Showing compassion to another human being Terry isn’t as bad as you might think.

    Look I said earlier I may not be correct with all of my comments,but when I’m corrected I apologize to all of you and move on. You either won’t or can’t do that. It leads me to believe that your incapable of admitting to yourself that your sometimes wrong.

    I want to say thanks for calling me and labeling me as “COWBOY RONSTER”. I just want to know if your going to give me a badge to go along with the name. Usually when someone doesn’t know how to respond to a certain person they start calling people names. I’ll ware and use that new name as a badge of honor.

    The difference between you and I Terry is,I will never put a person down that I’ve never met,worked with or held a conversation with in person. I may get upset at times,but I’m not going throw him/her away like a piece of garbage.

  29. Malone says:

    I think Phillips may have a conditional offer based on Domer and Ollison. Unfortunately I don’t feel great about either of them. I don’t see how Rutgers is getting all these WR when they have no QB. As for their run game, every one thinks they will be the next RR. Good luck with that. Disappointed with some of what has happened recently, but not enough to give up.

  30. @Terry;

    Should I use this as my new moniker or should I just the word cowboy?

  31. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Malone,who has no QB?RU is loaded with young QB’s I think?How about the #1 QB in PA in “11″ that RU got over PSU and MVP of the Big 33 game last year?And this year Tyler Wieger is the #7 prostyle QB in the nation and solid 4*?Not even to mention Laviano the #1 rated NY QB last year?Heck Nova even looked great as a true soph last year and that beast of a giant WR Brandon Coleman?6’6″ 225 lbs!I see where your coming from but RU’s QB problems come from not having an upperclassman start since Tom Savage transferred!Seems every year they have a fr or true soph starting!Not to mention a young OL that should be much better this and in future years as they had the #2 rated OL class two years ago with 3 4* and 3 High 3* star guys in one class!I don’t think Philips is the answer as the number 4 or 5 RB in Conn but maybe Ish Witter out of Fla might be?Im no expert Malone…maybe you no something I don’t?Keep your chin up Malone were almost there!

  32. Russell MacEachern says:

    Edit above:Nova looked great “at time’s” see Arkansas game!Unbelievable in first 8 games!I think he’s gonna shock people this year based on reports!I just hope our QB is all we hope!

  33. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,whats up? your getting Dippers habits!!LOl..always showing with a “new style Dipper”!!Is it that easy to change moniker?Or is it a new computer?

  34. Russell,all you need to do is change your name before posting and leaving your e-mail address and website information the same.

    I’ll use the name Terry gave me yesterday,and wear it as a “BADGE OF HONOR” until I get tired of it,then I will revert back to using my original name.

    It looks funny to me,so I might use it just for a couple of days.

  35. Russell my computer is predated 1959.

  36. Russell MacEachern says:

    Thats funny Ron..I was in 3th grade I think in 1959 and my teacher told us that computers were the future?I thought she miscalculated in the mid 70s but by 1990 I saw the wisdom!

  37. @Russell MacEachern;

    Things were getting a little to serious here. So I thought I would throw in a little humor when I made that post.

    Glad you caught onto it.

  38. I savour, lead to I discovered just what I used
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