All Eyes on ASA: Syracuse Needs to Recruit Brooklyn’s Powerhouse JuCo

Even Nick Saban is roaming the halls of ASA in Brooklyn and plucking players.

Over the last few seasons, Syracuse has brought in plenty of JuCo standouts the best programs in the country. Some of them are going to see significant time on the field this year for Scott Shafer. LA Harbor’s John Miller is already making a case as a starter on the offensive line, and LB’s Luke Arciniega (Sierra CC) and Josh Kirkland (Butler College) will be rotating in and out of Chuck Bullough’s nasty linebacking crew. Not to mention CB Darius Kelly from Pima College who might turn some heads in the secondary.

But don’t forget about big DT Wayne Williams and where he came from. The Brooklyn native played his high school football at Lincoln HS, and then went to ASA Junior College right in the heart of the BK. ASA is quickly becoming a national powerhouse right in Syracuse’s backyard.

Doug Marrone made it a priority to establish a pipeline in New York City and he did a solid job. But the next mission for Shafer and company is to create that specific connection with the ASA Avengers, who year in and year out are quietly sending players to some of the nation’s best schools. Alabama Head Coach and 3-time National Champion Nick Saban frequently roams the halls at ASA and Coach Dennis Orlando’s offices. This season, Orlando watched his 6’6” 315 lb. offensive lineman Leon Brown sign with the Crimson Tide. How does a coach in Tuscaloosa find himself in Brooklyn? When Saban was an assistant at SU he recruited New York City. 

The Fizz talked with the fifth year coach about how his team has built up a powerhouse reputation.

“The attention turned to where your kids are ending up after they leave the program. Our push was certainly to make sure these kids were getting opportunities when they left here, that were not only great for them but would be attractive for guys looking for a junior college.”

In 2009, the first year of ASA’s football program, Orlando had one player sign with a BCS school, Indiana. The next year, 12-14 prospects signed with Division 1 programs. Now, more and more players are going to BCS schools in just the fifth year of the team’s existence. The college has become a viable option for players who need just a little more time to cultivate their talents or to pull up grades before signing with D-1 teams.

“We do a good job of recognizing and pinpointing talent that may need a little bit of polishing before they become a big time recruit. We do a good job of recruiting the hell out of them, and then when they get here, it starts with the academic part.”

And this school is right in SU’s backyard. The new Orange staff has focused primarily on expanding its recruiting boundaries to the Midwest and Florida over the last six months, but Shafer and company cannot forget about the JuCo that has Saban interested every season. Orlando does a terrific job of recruiting talent from Florida. In fact, there were only 8 players from New York on the roster in 2012.

Last season, Orlando’s squad went 9-0 in the regular season before playing Snow College in the inaugural Carrier Dome Bowl. Not bad to have some of these kids intrigued by the idea of playing every week in the Dome. Not to mention, former Syracuse LB turned RB Mario Tull played this past season at ASA.

The school is a perennial powerhouse, and sits in an area that SU cannot forget about. With the amount of talent that Orlando is churning out of ASA, Syracuse must return to its New York City roots to reel in experienced two-year players.

Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald

33 Comments on this Post

  1. 44forever

    We have to get these NYC and NJ kids.

  2. texascuse

    I’m confused. If they’ve had a program since 2009, how was ASA in Nick Saban’s recruiting territory as an SU assistant?

  3. You stated “dougie did a solid job” of developing a pipeline into NYC. I don’t think so. Maybe a few players, but not the diamonds from his HOME state!! But that pipe line would of got many CEO’s fired from gas/oil companies. dougie really did nothing in NYC!! Quit defending that guy!!

  4. I have to agree with Terry.Dougie ‘s reputation was massaged by the PR department at Syracuse,not reality and resultsThe real big names in the city and state went elsewhere.Emotionally Marrone was a fraud when he was hired to be the head coach by Dr Gross. I think he deceived Dr Gross as well about his “dream job”. It was still a good hire after the bomb that Robinson laid on Syracuse University’s program setting it back to Jurassic levels.

  5. Agree with you chris!!

    Just seen where SMU(that’s right SMU) just got a verbal(4-star) from a quality Florida QB!! While WE/SU fans are excited about a 2/3 star QB maybe athlete or whatever he is labeled!! Come on SMU now too!! I like Long as a player/QB. But when lower ranked programs(I think)grab up quality players and SU sits for crumbs it starting to show the old laid-back recruiting of recent past years. Only concern I have with HCSS is his adamant denial of quality coming to SU. Well if you admit that you’re not on top and you’ll never get the cherries and here’s an example of that. HCSS go for the gusto will ya!! Quality won’t hurt this program at all gambling on talent could!!

  6. Jack Martell

    One way to establish pipeline dominance is to hire a coach from such school. Want proof? Marrone hired Anselmo and it seemed we were a lock on every recruit from Nassau Community College. Why not promote a head coach from one of these “powerhouses” in NYC/NJ and add them to your staff as an assistant (of something). Said coach would be able to establish relationships right off the bat and get the wheels turning.

  7. the nyc pipeline is very important, and needs to be a priority. nj is going to be tough with rutgirls.

  8. Jack I believe Pasqualoni did that to get Konrad, but my recall is fuzzy.

  9. Konrad was going to BC until Coughlin left his dream job for the NFL

  10. Hey guy’s,I think Coach Shafer should make an all out effort to get Johnny Morant back to Syracuse and let him help with the strenght and conditioning of the team,put him with rob Moore and let them recruit the NYC/LI/NJ area.

    I think putting both of them together would give Syracuse an immediate impact in the region.

  11. SMU’s QB is from Georgia-sorry!!

  12. Ron,I hear RU withheld Witters scholly?I was offline for 2 days getting my computer fixed did Witter commit to us or anyone?He was supposed to announce on BSN in Fla yesterday to us or RU??

  13. I heard RU only has 5/6 schoolies left and are holding out for only big fish?We should be able to reap the whirlwind!!Guys like Custis who likes RU might come hear now!!RU even cooled on Winfree who I know Ron likes and will be glad to hear!Their already loaded at WR!20 some more days to kickoff wow
    I’m excited for this year but worried about QB!!RB and Defense should be fine!!

  14. Look guys the stars on all the recruits very depending on what site you use. As far as Long go he is 4 star recruit according to Espn, a 2 star NR yet but scout and Rivals he’s a 3 star. So if you take the avg he’s a 3 star but w/o long would Su have landed kj willams?

  15. @Russ;

    Welcome back Russell. Are you sure on Winfree? You talk about getting bigtime players 4* Juwann Winfree would fit the bill nicely.

    You’ve made my day Russell. You and I have said that Syracuse needs a couple of surprises to happen this year,Winfree coming to Syracuse is exactly what the doctor’s have ordered. Now if we can get 3* DE Kurt Holuba to join him. Santa will have made two of my wishes come true in August. I haven’t given up hope yet Russell. I believe that good things are still going to happen this year.

  16. Doug was an excellent coach at SU. The team made huge improvements under his leadership. I don’t even understand how there is a debate. Sorry your feelings are hurt that he left college coaching for the freaking “NFL”. Time to get over it… Let’s remember him for returning the program back to respectability and bowl wins. The biggest loss in recruiting NYC will be John Anselmo. His network of contacts downstate can not be overstated.

  17. @Russ;

    This is what the new sports writer had to say about the QB situation yesterday during a call in for the fans to ask questions. Here’s his reply and I believe this is what’s going to happen.

    Michael Cohen:
    I think Drew Allen wins the job. He and the coaching staff can say that there was no promise given, but Allen is a smart kid. He doesn’t come here if he doesn’t have some sense of security that he will line up on the field in week one. That said, I think Terrel Hunt gets a few reps each game, and then there will be some wildcat stuff, too. But Allen is the No. 1 in my mind.

  18. Mademan

    Juwan Winfree is really feeling West Virginia. RU cooled on him because we have “big fish” to get like Blacknall, Samuel, and Edwards. We are loaded at WR. The staff didn’t accept Witter’s pledge from what i heard and they are holding out for Hilliman. You guys might get Witter if we get Jon.

  19. Mademan is spot on, but how is Rutgers playing selector school with anybody? Is the B1G really that much draw? Especially since RU is middle of the pack at best? RU is not picked #1 in the AAC even. The team that is will be in the ACC next year. No malice intended with my disrespect, but I just don’t get it.

    I think Custis leans Pitt. Ollison Wisconsin. Mavety OSU, Hallmon, who knows, but I think he wants to lock himself up a spot. I think the Witter situation has him worried (no facts, just my instinct). We are having a year on the D side, and even though its a pipe dream and I’m sure a favor, Holley will be on campus on the 7th. I think we get Roberts on the 11th and he will join the push for Sykes and Applefield although I hear he’s between Mary-land and…Rutgers.

  20. Malone,ya know your right about RU?For some reason with limited success they’ve become…can I say it? Sorta popular with the kids!?!After overcoming so much bad press and adversity I can’t hate them for their good fortune as a Jersey native but understand why most Cuse fans would!

  21. Rutgirls has a nice playground to sell!! SU and Dr Gross lagged behind on facilities and players like the glitz of sparkling new facilities. That’s one major reason we are losing NYS/NYC/NJ players to Rutgirls!! Yet SUBB programs facilities have not hurt JB’s recruiting has it. Yes Rutgirls has looked better on the field in recent years than SU has, but its the bling of Rutgirls facilities thats getting local NE players. Yet SU is still waiting for that shovel to be put in the ground for SU’s new digs. Its got to effect the programs recruiting and effect the coaches spirit too!!

    Again all the mentioned players(above) not coming SU’s way good riddence. Its all about their name play and the lights of players on themselves. Anselmo who?? When he “WAS” at SU did SU get the NYS/NYC diamonds=NOPE!! Yes Juco but not local HS players!! Until SU figures out how to lure NYS/NYC and some quality NJ to SU they will be bottom feeders in the ACC. For a FACT quality players wonder why NYS/NYC players are not going to SU??? They ask if they(NYS/NYC) don’t like SU then there is a problem there!! NE/East Coast programs are playing on that to defeat what ever player might be interested in SU. The staff “HAS TO” cure this illness before it spreads!!

  22. Mademan

    I think it’s all about what Schiano did. Sell, Sell, Sell. RU’s playground is crazy. From what I’m told, some big time kids expressed their desire to play in front of a lot of fans in a big stadium. You know what Flood does? He starts showing recruits future stadium images of HPSS at 80,000 with the B1G logo. He learned from “Crazy Eyes” to sell. I’m not a Cuse hater and I actually hope the Orange do well in ACC. RU and SU have never been great at the same time and that would be great for regional gossip. Believe it or not but PSU, RU, SU, BC, and Pitt are trending up and Northeast football is on it’s way up. In my opinion, and I heard this out a big time jersey kid who would’ve chosen SU over Rutgers because of McNabb and He loved Marrone. The only holding the orange back are facilities.

  23. Thanks for the partial explanation but thats the 1st time I heard of any kid picking Cuse because of Dougie?I’ve heard most thought he was “chilly” and unapproachable!I thought as long as Dougie stayed we’d never get any real “blue chip’ type kids but I think as a teaching coach he was great!

  24. Well, folks if you haven’t noticed,dougie is havingsome problems out in Buffalo. the media is relentless.

    Sometimes you get what you asked,for and payback is a bitch.

  25. I have to say this. I have gone on line and looked at the Hale Center. I don’t see any separation. I am willing to acknowledge that facilities may have hindered SU recruiting, but not when compared to Rutgers. I just don’t see it. Is the Manley turf that much worse than the Rutgers inflatable field? Both have weight rooms, both have trophy halls (one with more trophies I might add). Both have film rooms and offices. Both have a dining facility. I am at a loss.

  26. @Malone;

    I started to attend basketball games at Manley back in 1977. In the mid to late 1980’s,I went to watch the women play their games their. Now they’ve transformed Manley into a practice facility for mens lacrosse,sometimes football and womens softball,lacrosse and field hockey teams. They have held women softball camps there over the last couple of years also.

    They’ve added a great new weight room for all to use. The entrance to the building has all of the National Championship Trophies on display along with the Heisman Trophy won by Ernie Davis. When you first enter the building,go left and you’ll run smack into the Melo Center.

    What I’m trying to say is that Manley Field House is still as beautiful today as it was back in it’s hayday when the great Dean Smith refused to play Syracuse in a game there. By adding the new “White IPF” to that complex, will only make it one of the most formidable(second to none)complexes in all of the land.

    My only wish(not a complaint)is to put a Hall(room)Of Fame somewhere in the building honoring all the great athletes ever to play at Syracuse.

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