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Talkin’ That Ish: 3-Star Tampa RB Ish Witter Places Syracuse in Top 5

The Orange is continually looking to stock its already deep backfield.

NJ.com

Syracuse’s long term depth at running back is very strong, and it may continue to flourish. You may be able to count running back Ish Witter in the SU backfield in the future. With uncertainty at the quarterback position it’s never a bad thing to have the backfield stocked, and the Class of ’14 Witter lists Syracuse high on his list according to Scout.com. Looks like SU is in his top 5. The Orange have a mutual interest in the running back from Alonso High School in Tampa. Witter is only 5’8” and 180 lbs, but has plenty of talent.

Witter’s quick feet allow him to break tackles and spin his way out of trouble. He has the ability to completely fake out defenders to get into open field and to break free. He ran a 4.56 40, and Rivals has him ranked as #51 at his position in the nation. He is a three-star recruit and has received offers from Missouri and Rutgers. He also has interest from Marshall, UMass, Ohio, Tulane, and Western Kentucky. He has interest in hometown South Florida, and has made it clear that he would consider playing close to home.

He has interest in other ACC schools such as B.C. and Duke, but Syracuse is the only one he has received an offer from. Since Witter lacks size, his power makes up for it. He can run laterally, going to the sidelines. But he also has the lower body strength to take on defenders.

It is unknown where he is in the decision process, but quarterbacks coach Tim Lester is the man looking at him. He also has his eyes on two other Tampa players in Tajee Fullwood and Amani Oruwariye. Lester was able to get a commitment from linebacker Colton Moskal. He may be able to add another running back to that already strong depth chart.

Posted: Austin Pollack

49 Comments on this Post

  1. Russell MacEachern

    Good chance we get him as he was a longtime RU camper and thought he was going there(listed 100% on 247) but because of the Ollison target on RU’s board and 3 other backfield commits already(2RB/1FB) its doubtful there’s any room for him there unless we get Ollison!He’s a cross between Juwaun Jamison and RR IMO!I’d prefer him to Ervin Philips who’s been holding off?A great 3* value who might be closer to a 4* type!!If we get Ollison I’m not sure if RU takes him anyway with only 5 scholly’s left?Nice to get them both!!

  2. Russell,I don’t want to put a damper on your hype of this kid,but from what I’ve read,his size seems to be a problem. He set out his junior year of ball due to injuries. If he’s getting injured in high school,whats going to happen at the college level?

    5’8″ 180 RB Ish is comparable to another RB that played at Syracuse (Joe Morris).
    Might be Russ,that I’m blowing things way out of proportion here. Maybe just maybe things will work out for him.

    Schools of interest for Ish Witter are;
    Missouri, Rutgers, Syracuse, Louisville, Marshall, Massachusetts, Mississippi State, Ohio, South Florida, Tulane, Western Kentucky.

  3. I agree with Ron. Per one of the podcasts I listened to, Ish had a problem with injuries in HS and the question was ,’Could he last a college season?’ I believe that is why RU doesn’t want him.

  4. Does how much someone is prone to injury part of the rating system? …could be a good value if he works out.

  5. Please do not compare any small running back to Joe Morris as he was in a class by himself. Joe was 200+ pounds and strong as an ox. He was one of the strongest guys on the team and was not a small RB. Short but not small. Ran through guys and not around them. As a SU and NY Giant fan, I never understand why Joe does not get much more attention from fans waxing poetically about the all-time greats. Joe might not have been Jim Brown or Ernie Davis – but he was right there with Floyd Little and well above everyone else.

  6. i remember the arguments when Joe Morris was recruited. Too small,wouldn’t get out of the backfield,those types of complaints. Looking back,Joe Morris made all of his critics look silly. Didn’t he?

    The article I read was a lot of injuries. It didn’t describe what type of injuries they were. Were they self inflicted? Did they happen on or off the field? Were they broken bone related or concussion related injuries?

    The article used conjecture and hyperbole to make his/her point. I think it was written to force the fans to speculate about the qualities of Ish witter.

    I hope that no matter where he goes to school,he makes his critics look stupid. If you come right down to it,making the pundits on ESPN and other web sites look stupid really isn’t that hard to do.

  7. Hey guys,

    The size could be a problem, but I don’t think so. He can use his strength but big guys stomping on him could be a problem since he’s so small. But if he stays healthy, he can really break free and be a good running back.

    Have a good weekend.

    Austin

  8. I don’t see his size being any significant negative factor.This player has speed and excellent cutting ability . You can’t tackle someone that avoids the tackle with great abilities with the ball in his hands. Whether he can stand up under being hit through out a game is subject to debate but as a depth chart player he is more than satisfactory. Put him next to Ollison and he will be more than effective.

  9. Malone

    I think he likes us a lot. I think RU already has two RB commits this cycle, and and I know one that will be converted to an LB week one from last year (Cater). I don’t know why everyone worries about height, there are miriad examples of diminutive RBs, at SU alone. Kyle McIntosh was great. David Walker was not extremely tall. Malcolm Thomas was TINY. I met all three and I can say that confidently. Ray Rice is a short guy as well, so we seem to like recruiting short RB’s.
    I agree with Jeff about Joe Morris. I have met him several times growing up in North Jersey. Most recently (not that recent) I was at his number retirement (At least that’s what I thought it was, but it seems it was just an honor ceremony at the NYAC)He has gotten bigger. With very little exageration, the man is as close to a cube as anyone I’ve ever seen. His height, width, and depth are all the same measure. He is 5’7″ in all directions. Sad part of the Joe Morris story is that his youngest brother did not go to SU. 5′-7″ Jamie Morris was the only of the 4 Morris boys not to go Orange. He set EVERY rushing record at Michigan, some that he still holds, but many that were broken by…5′-9″ Syracuse native Mike Hart. OOUCH! Injuries may indeed be an issue, but don’t condemn what appears to be a strong runner with high interest in SU for his height.

  10. When Joe Morris came to Syracuse in 1978 at 5’7″ and approximately 180 lbs.
    In 1980(in the dome)Joe Morris was injured when he was hit out of bounds and driven into the cement wall that surrounds the field. That hit,shortened his season by 5 games and rushed for 732 yards. Syracuse later put up the gray/orange padding around the field that you see today because of that hit. Joe finished his career in 1981 as the top running back by gaining 4,299 yards. That’s a record that still stands today.

    He didn’t hit the 200 lb mark until he went to the Giants in the 1982 draft. He was fast. I watched him play during his four years at Syracuse,I don’t think I ever saw him run over anyone. The main play for Little Joe was the end sweep around the right side that he gained the majority of his yardage. After he turned the corner,got by the first line of defense,got open the rest of the defense had a hard time catching him. I rest my case.

    Fond memories. Maybe Ish Witter will duplicate Little Joe’s desire to carry the ball and set a new record,if he decides to come to Syracuse.

  11. Chris 2

    According to a lot of recruiting sites he’s listed at 5’8″/9″ 180. In person he looks bigger. From what I’ve read, he’s the second strongest player on his team- first being Gary Brown. He would probably be a 4 star if he was a little taller. In my opinion, his explosiveness makes up for the size he “lacks.” He did have back to back season ending injuries (both ankle related) to the same team. If he remains durable throughout the season there’s a very high chance he’s going to be high on a lot of radars. So, his size isn’t the true factor to be worried about.

  12. @Jeff;

    The other player that reminds me of Little Joe is Ray Rice. Ray didn’t get that big until after he came into the NFL. After watching him play in the playoffs last year, I think his NFL career is over due to the pounding he’s taken going through the line instead of running the sweep play more.

    it’s just my opinion.

  13. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,I think his height is ideal?These scatback’s like RR(not fast) and JJamison are at the most 5’8″ and as freshman not more than 180?They hide,cut and dart….thats the beauty of it and why their in demand!!They have low centers of gravity and hard to get a hit on!!Ervin Philips is smaller than “5’7″ 165?” Witter and not really a top 4 Connecticut state RB whereas Witter is a top 5 or 6 in Fla!!UConn just got a nice athlete and smart too in Newsome!!3* too I believe!!About the injuries I’m not aware of it?

  14. Russell MacEachern

    @Ron,you sure about RR?He just got a nice new contract in the offseason and was pursed as a possible FA I thought?He was never really an edge runner as he wasn’t really fast(deceptive)but shifty!!(3rd and 9 29yd 1st down in playoffs)…cuts on a dime!!Good reciever out of the backfield too!!Wasn’t lil Joe Morris 5’6″ or 7?185?I agree with Malone he’s turned blocky built in person!!Also could cut on a dime but had olympic speed to go with it!!

  15. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,I’m pretty sure Ish Witter is bigger than Little Joe at his tallest!I think he’s a TALL 5’8″ with the ability to get to 190+ at least but can he retain his speed?Sometimes the best athletes come in smaller packages!!

  16. @Russell MacEachern;

    I’m not and repeat knocking Ish Witter in any way shape or manner. Little Joe convinced me long ago that size really doesn’t matter. I think Prince Tyson Gulley is a little smaller that Ish Witter.
    I hope the kid does decide to come here.

    Yes Russell I agree,Ish Witter is an inch taller and is/was about the same size as Joe Morris at 180 lbs.

    I remember reading an article after the playoffs that Balitmore was looking to dump Ray Rice,main reason was he was banged up. maybe it was just another sports writer blowing smoke out his a$$.

    All I could think of(watching Ray Rice) was what Syracuse had missed out on when they let Coach Pasqualoni go.

    Russell,I hope the kid commits to Syracuse.

    @Malone,as you get older,aging has that effect(distortion of the body) on people ya know.

  17. @Russell MacEachern’

    Did Ray Rice resign with Balitmore? If he did then I’m happy for the guy.

    Joe Morris was 5’7″ and around 180 lbs when he came to syracuse in 1978.

  18. Look fella’s, I like an believe in the little guys. I watched 5’7″ 185 lb Antwon Baily(2009) run the gauntlet/up the gut,off left guard for the go ahead touchdown at ND.

  19. My wife and I will be in Buffalo/Niagara Falls Region to watch our granddaughter play in a softball tournament over the weekend and will return sometime Sunday evening.

    Lets hope we get a couple more recruits to commit before I get home on Sunday.

  20. Nearly 4.6 40 is not impressive for his size either. For his size 4.3 is a must or at least a 4.4!!

  21. Malone

    @Ron, I know first hand what age can do to body shape lol. I was just blown away at how square he was. I knew he was big and had put a few on, but he was as wide as Pepper Johnson, and that guy was big. Understand, I am not saying fat, just big.

  22. Russell MacEachern

    Terry,do you realize how fast 4.56 is Terry?Believe me its PLENTY fast enough!!Jerry Rice a pro bowl,HOF WR only ran a 4.7 40!!Everson Wall’s a 4.8 40 PB and HOF DB for the cowboys!!RR only run’s about 4.59 40!!Mo Sanu a starting WR for the Bengal’s run’s a 4.72 40..until your in the open it’s about a heck of a lot MORE than just speed or why not just recruit track guys?Speeds important but if you exclude talent for speed ur in big trouble!!

  23. Russell MacEachern

    My god Terry…I ran like the wind as a youth and doubt I was much better than a 4.6 guy!!That’s real fast!

  24. Russell MacEachern

    @Ron,its that time of year again!!I remember your trip to Buffalo/Niagra fall’s to watch her last yr!!After that the season seemed to creep up quick!!

  25. BK SU FB fan

    You’d have to figure that he’ll put on some weight during his time on campus(wherever he goes) and that he’ll likely serve in a backfield with other backs that offer other skills to compliment his. I wouldn’t mind going after him if he has talents that can be honed and utilized(cutting ability, underrated power, hands..etc) I’ve never seen him play but he may be worth a look.

  26. Russ not in today’s CFB 4.6 for a light weight player!! That’s average at best(3 star and up). And his 4.6 might not be actual either?? Yes 4.6 at 220+lbs would be a get, but not 4.6 at 180 lbs(if he’s that weight to). No real break away speed!! Olden days like ours maybe 4.6 was blazing but not today for his SIZE!! Remember ACC has plenty of speed burners at 4.6 or better!!

  27. Russell MacEachern

    Terry,Light weight?180 as a HS Jr?My god Terry before he gets here he’ll be 190….why do you think he’s a high 3*?Cause he’s slow and undersized?Damn,you wouldn’t have taken Ray Rice with your expectation’s!Today’s athlete is still an athlete and 4.6 is still plenty fast and 5’8″ 190 is just fine for a RB recruit or maybe you’d prefer BC get him?Or Pitt who wanted him?…@btw,if you believe everything they say about these recruits Ht and Wt I know of a bridge for sale!!Your evaluating to YOUR OWN tastes…let HCSS do the evaluating…speed don’t always translate into talent?The ACC hasn’t been winning very much OOC either w/all that “speed”!!

  28. With regards to Joe Morris’ size ,most didn’t realize that Joe was a compact body type that besides his speed had a little or perhaps enough power to blast his way through a hole and maintain his balance. Once he did that it was over in that Joe would simply outrun the defenders. Ish is a little different in that he uses quickness to avoid the hit and then run away. Perhaps just as effective but until he is tested will remain a question. Others that we want are more physically able like Ollison and Phillips.. This not in any way a slight on Witter. If he comes here,his body will mature and develop in muscle mass and perhaps make him even more effective,

  29. Gee Russ got a stone in your shoe lately!! If anything his speed will not increase if he put weight on or musle to. He’srated a 2 star by Rivals so i don’t see where you got the high 3 star thing either!!

  30. Just for the hell of it I looked into Kentucky’s verbals. They are rated 3rd country wide not bad huh and of the same quality of SU too. All of their DB’s are 5’11 or higher in height. SU is looking at DB’s and Ath’s in the 5’9″ class. They better be kangaroos and jump real high. One of Kentucky’s RB is 6’1 and 215(4.6/40). Wow now that’s not bad either huh. Ish might be the next Morris/Little/Bailey or whom ever, but give me the beef please!! Sorry Jim brown ruined me. PS Rice was no small guy either. I hope Ish is the guy, but at RB really don’t see it. Slot/Return maybe!!

  31. Russell MacEachern

    Not sure Terry our own article and everyone else has him as a 85 rating!?!We don’t recruit 2* rb’s I would hope?SEC’s Mizzou wants him too?Don’t believe everything Rival’s tell’s you they probably lowered him cause they know were interested and we all no that causes you to lose a star(conspiracy theory)!!Hold on Terry,I have some peebles in my brogue’s!

  32. Russell MacEachern

    Terry,”see title in article”(3*Ish Witter)!

  33. Russell MacEachern

    Terry,are you on your backyard deck?Keep your hands on your glass and eye’s to the sky!!I guess Ron’s offline till tommorow?

  34. LOL!! Off to work!!

  35. Russell MacEachern

    On RU rivals page they polled film of Witter,Ollison and Hilliman and Witter’s film got twice as many votes as the others for talent!

  36. Cuse don't luse

    Need a new article fizz has taken 2 days off

  37. Cuse your right old news!!

  38. Hey guy’s I’m back!!!!

    Terry,what are you saying? A 5’9″ player can’t be as strong of a player as a 6’1″ guy. I’d like to be a 5’9″ guy going full bore into a guy a little taller than me. Really I would.

    And your comment’s about his speed!!! A 4.5 40 is damn fast,doesn’t matter what the fans think.

  39. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,1st welcome home!!2nd tell that to Emmit Smith 5’9″ 198 lbs 4.6 40!!….Ron,4.5?heck 4.6 is fast if your shifty,strong and dedicated!!Half of guys listed as 4.45’s are really 4.6 guys!!Stat’s are routinely inflated!

  40. Russell MacEachern

    Not many RB’s are over 6′ these days!!5’8″-5’10” is ideal and 200 lbs at around a 4.55 40!!

  41. Russell,lot’s of softball played,made for a long weekend. Girls all had a lot of fun,took them over to see the falls for the first time. One parent had foreign exchange students from France and Spain. Everyone had a blast. We get to do it all over again tom evening. My 12 year old granddaughter has a game tomorrow at 6:00,7:45 and 9:30 pm in Syracuse. I hope I’m able to keep up with both of them.

  42. Russell MacEachern

    You’ll be almost as busy watching as them playing Ron…have fun it’s gonna be warm again!Oh to have all the energy of the kids again huh Ron?

  43. i like this kid and feel if they put another 20 lbs on him he could be a great d1 rb. his highlight reel looks impressive and reminds me of a e smith and look at how he turned out.

  44. Yeah right Brown, Davis and Nance were 5’8″/5’9″. For control give that bigger guy anytime. BOOM BOOM BOOM !!! Power FB! When was the last time SU had a real “BREAKAWAY” RB?? Very,very few!! He’s a talented player and love to have him. But give me the beef please. SU until it gets back to were we hope it gets to needs a ball control “O”. Our QB situation is well known nationally as SU’s weak spot. And Smith and company will fill the RB need nicely. Don’t forget the OL has to execute well too! Now 5’8″ and 200 that’s a small mighty bull, but that’s down the road and not a sure thing either. 6′ players are out there and are not “rare”. Majority of the time give me a 6’+ player over a 5’8″ player for the bulldozer effect. Just go to my first sentence-OK!! Come on the USA isn’t midgetville at all!!

  45. Also forgot look at SU’s goaline “O” it was terrible last year. Beef might help there.

    Come DA get off vacation and get some new info out!! THANKS!!

  46. Russell MacEachern

    Well look at AB?With all his height Wt and speed he hasn’t given us much yet?And in the 50’s and 60’s BIG RB’s were in vogue…not as much today with all the “spread’s”!!

  47. Russ need a anti-like-Paulus QB to spread it around, first. 200+ RB’s are the norm now if they want time in the NFL as well!! So any time give SU the beef it won’t hurt ya at all only your cholesterol!! Come with AB, he really has not panned out totally yet. Who’s the goal line buster this year?? A 180 lb wonder?? SU couldn’t get it across with any kind of regularity. AB might be the guy this year. Smith didn’t do it greatly last year. Challenge here!!

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