Reinforcement: Wide Receiver Recruits Can Help Terrel Hunt, Syracuse Offense

via ESPN

One week ago, Syracuse put the finishing touches on a top 50 ranked recruiting class on National Signing Day. It was the first time in six years, the Orange constructed a class that highly ranked. The Fizz puts the spotlight on the most important element of its 2014 recruiting class: the wide receivers.

It was obvious Syracuse placed a precedent on the run game this past fall. For a second consecutive season, the Orange rushed for over 2,400 total yards. That’s the first time that’s happened in 15 years. Not only was that because of four highly skilled ball carriers in Jerome Smith, Prince-Tyson Gulley, George Morris II and Devante McFarlane, but also because SU had a QB that could take off out of the pocket in a blink of an eye. Terrel Hunt progressed as a passer and a scrambler as the season. The soon-to-be redshirt junior is Syracuse’s best option at QB next season. But as he and QB coach Tim Lester have preached, he must improve his reads and his vision to take his game to the next level this fall.

Let’s be honest. Hunt is getting some much-needed reinforcement at WR. Jarrod West never quite materialized as the number one option at wideout, only collecting 26 catches—17 less than the previous year. Ashton Broyld was Syracuse’s lone threat on the outside, but he was used mainly for short screen passes. Hunt also loses seniors Beckett Wales and Christopher Clark. It is imperative that George McDonald institute his young freshman and sophomore WRs into the game plan quickly.

Brisly Estime and Alvin Cornelius (both first-year players) proved to be two of Hunt’s favorite targets when he caught fire down the stretch. And with highly touted targets like 4-star signee KJ Williams and 3-star commits Steve Ishmael and Corey Cooper, these younger receivers should get as much early playing time as they can.

Sure, it’s great that the Orange is getting WR Adrian Fleming back for one more season. But the Virginia native has caught two passes in his Syracuse career. He suffered a lower body injury in September and played in just one game all year. Syracuse fans really do not know what a player like Flemming is capable of. He has the size (6’3”, 205 lbs), but can he be an immediate star after four years? Perhaps. But odds say he won’t be the Orange’s next 1,000-yard receiver.

Give his snaps to some of the younger receivers and let them get immediate action. KJ Williams already has similar size (6’3”, 195 lbs), Steve Ishmael has terrific hands and Corey Cooper has a year of prep school under his belt. Don’t forget about sophomores Estime (his 28 receptions was third on the team) and Cornelius (134 yards in a two-game stretch vs. Boston College and Pittsburgh), and junior Ashton Broyld and senior Jarrod West, who will lead the unit next season.

Hunt will always pose a threat to take off and scramble. But like George McDonald said just before signing day, he wants to turn his offense up to full throttle in the coming seasons with added speed. That comes to fruition by building these young receivers up over the next couple seasons so they can grow during their four years at Syracuse.

Posted by: Kevin Fitzgerald


Filed Under: FB RecruitingFeatured

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  1. JB says:

    Is Funderburke off the team?

  2. Kevin Fitzgerald says:

    No Funderburk is not. He has another year left.

  3. orangeinva says:

    I tread lightly here…

    I hope McDonald is the answer as receivers coach. He has been one most of his college coaching career.

    I shed no tear when Moore announced he was leaving. Look at our WRs this past year. Yeah some of the blame must be put at the feet of Hunt and his inability to throw the moderate and deep routes. But our WRs aside from Alec Lemon have been non events.

    Wasn’t Sales a 3/4 star recruit??
    Funderburk a 3/4 star recruit??
    Has West developed(3 star)…at all??

    All were/are MIA.

    I’m OK with McD taking over..or if a proven WR coach can be hired. It will be an improvement. We seem to have an upgrade in number and talent level at the WR position. It seems there was another “Corey” from the St Louis area that was suppose to be physically gifted too.

    If we can find 3 WR along with Estime and Broyld..and HUNT develops, CUSE could be heck on wheels offensively as they have the OLINE back and talented, experienced RBs.

  4. chris says:

    Anone who thinks Terrel Hunt is a “blink of the eye” running threat needs an eye exam. That observation will soon be made accurately of an Orange QB but it won’t be Hunt. Edouard or Long will be in the audition room come this fall and they will knock the socks off the coaches watching the performances in practice. How long will it take for one of them to be given an opportunity in a game? I’m thinking a short lived QB controversy before a change is made. At the very least Terrel needs to speed up his delivery sequence in progression reads and delivery. If he loses a few pounds over this off season and makes himself quicker off the mark he stands a chance. He actually showed power back ability last year carrying the ball. Far more than PTG or the two freshmen backups. I might want to try him out there if another QB can do the job as a passer.

  5. Malone says:

    My ship has sailed from Broyld. I don’t see it. I like the kid’s passion and maybe I am selling him short based on the passes thrown to him, and the fact that once again he found himself in a new position, but he had a lot of drops and some insubordination. I hope he straightens that out.

  6. thesackster says:

    the problem with the upperclassman wr’s are as follows. they have a hard time catching the ball on a consistant basis. have a hard time getting seperation from db’s. they have a tough time staying healthy. i’m not trying to bash these guys by any means but come august you play the best of them period.

  7. SU Loyal says:

    The reality is that a high school WR going to college is a HUGE step up that being said any production we get out of our freshman WRs will be a bonus in 2014. I hope I am wrong and we see immediate production but I feel it will be 2015 before we really see a lot of production from them.

  8. Terry says:

    Not crazy about a D-III guy coaching OL!! We’ll see!! I think HCSS could do better there!! Good comments about FR WR’s but major problem is QB!! HUNT I feel will not get SU to the promised land. He’ll get SU almost there but NOT THERE!! His long throws are high school at best. So before we have issues with FR WR’s lets still remind ourselves out starting QB is there either!!

    DO NOT FORGET ABOUT THE KIDS OF PSABUSEDU!! THE NCAA DID!!

  9. Malone says:

    On the other hand Terry, I love the new TE coaching hire! Deep NJ roots and lots or varied experience at many levels and positions. I think the main takeaway with both is there are some ties to supporting the lead recruiters (Lester with Adam and McDonald with Acosta). I think Acosta will carry the heavy lifting in NYC/NJ/Eastern PA and DE. I think Adam may be help and even some insurance in case we lose our RB coach, who I understand is being pursued by Wisconsin.

  10. DuanyDuany says:

    The staff seriously needs to consider moving Broyld to LB. He could potentially play LB in the NFL, he’s never going to be an NFL WR or TE.

  11. Terry says:

    Nope not another DIV-III guy!! Sounds like mainly for recruiting purposes!! Don’t like that hire. SU is trying to get to the high times of big time college ball and you hire a TE coach just above high school level(DIII). Well that image went down the drain. Come on there’s gotta be other qualified coaches better than this guy!! Moore is absolutely right there is no loyalty in this state for players and SU!! So hiring a low level coach will not change that either!! Stupid move!!

  12. Malone says:

    Terry, the guy coached Flacco at Delaware and was with the Browns when McDonadld was there. He’s a bit more than just above high school. And for the record, yes this is likely a recruiting hire. Isn’t poor recruiting your biggest hang up? With this, we not only get local, but get a better invite to the table when discussing the region’s best recruits.

  13. Ron says:

    Here we go again throwing people under the bus just because we know nothing about either one of them. My MY. I think this lastest hire fella’s will open the doors to the area’s that Syracuse needs desperately to recruit. When a guy makes a statement like”is trying to get to the high times of big time college ball and you hire a TE coach just above high school level(DIII)”.

    Isn’t that exactly what Pat Perles did by leaving Syracuse and following his dream going to the CFL? You talk about a step above high school,people you sll need to get real here.

  14. Terry says:

    But poor recruiting comes from losing as well. HCSS could of got a better coach. There are many coaching moves and firings nationally that bodies are out there to be hired. Perles was a known fact. There is a reason a coach works the DIV III sidelines??? Its a control fact for HCSS. Fine I really hope it works. But when you bring in or want to bring in better talent (OL/TE) in the future you better have that quality coach in hand too. This move just shows that HCSS is a control freak. That’s his right!! I really doubt if other major programs would give this guy a look at all!! Maybe a DIV II program would?? GEZ!!

  15. Malone says:

    Deleware is Div 1 Terry, and they have as many SuperBowl QBs as SU does. That said, this guy was actually there when Flacco was there. I agree that we want the best coaches too, but it is not too different from recruits, as Ron mentioned. There are better opportunities out there than SU especially given that we don’t pay well from what I hear. The guy went from a position coach at a good FCS school (we are playing Villanova this year) to the HC at a Div. 3 school. He is now moving into a bigger opportunity. What do we offer these other coaches you talk about (whoever they are)?

  16. Bk su football fan says:

    How do you guys project the wr depth chart and qb depth chart next season?

  17. Ron says:

    Calling DR. Gross,HELLO!!!calling Dr. Gross. It’s time for you to come down off your throne and make the decision that’s needed here TO START PAYING THESE COACHES MORE MONEY.

    I can’t wait to see just how much money the SU Athletic Programs have generated during the 2012/2013 school year. Hell,the Duke game had to gross SU nearly $2 million for the afternoon. There is people out here in the REAL WORLD that don’t believe what people like you have to say when you tell us all that Syracuse University can’t afford to pay them the money they deserve.

    I honestly believe that it always goes back to the age old argument between Academics and Athletics. The people who work on the academic side can’t understand why the dump football coaches make so much money and are jealous of them making it.

    Get with the program Dr.Gross,because if you don’t your refusal to do so will set Syracuse Athletics BACKWARDS FOR 35 YEARS.

    It’s time to act,START PAYING the coaching staff what they deserve.

  18. Terry says:

    Ron your right!! $$$$$$$$$$ probably was a reason to hire a lower ranked coach!! But I doubt that would happen to JB if he wanted to hire a coach!! Double standard between the teams!!

    Malone Delaware is very LOW DIV 1. Kind worse than SU in the GROB era!! Come on!! Was Flacco a transfer into Delaware??? Still Malone and others just don’t get it!! Its a image thing here!! HCSS(love the guy totally but disagree with him here) moved way to fast here on both of these hires!! What’s the hurry???? There is plenty of coaching talent to think about other than lower level hope to bee’s. Come on coach think things through!! But it is what it is and we’ll see!! I just feel the programs growth should be at the very least parallel to upward not downward!! But did $$$$ played a part in HCSS hiring of these guys!! I don’t think so!!

  19. Malone says:

    You’re right Terry, I just didn’t get it until now. Flacco was a 3 star. Must be why we didn’t want him. He was a transfer. Understand what that means… He chose to go to Delaware. They won the FCS national championship, a true playoff system. Low level indeed. Bet their coaching sucked. Worse than GROB. Actually, while they were winning that championship, GROB was behind the helm of his greatest 1 win season ever.
    I just don’t understand why we didn’t hire Saban as our DB coach, after all he seems qualified enough, and he coached at SU. Must have been his time at Kent St or Toledo. That would be terrible for our image. I hear Jimbo Fisher is good with an O-line. We should get him. Oh, he coached at Div. 3 Samford. Forget that drag on our perception.
    Of course money is one of the bigger issues here, it always has been. A small private school usually doesn’t have a lot to throw around. I hope to see a change in the ACC. What part of this do you really think I don’t understand? Your dreams are great, but they’re unrealistic and short sighted. You can’t see the potential up side of a lower level coach, like the ones mentioned above were about twenty years ago? Fisher went from Samford to Auburn. Wow did that hurt their image. What a terrible move. Worse than GROB. These guys aren’t out looking for work, and we couldn’t afford them if they were. Acosta could be the next Vince Lombardi, that’s right, another former NJ high school coach.

  20. Ron says:

    Wow!!!! Malone that one hurt. Your post is spot on. In the past when a program brings in a super athlete to play they usually bring in his high school coach also. I just can’t get over the fact that someone can dismiss any individual that they’ve never met or spoken too and make a general statement that they’re not good enough for our program.

    I always told my sons that the next head coach of the Orangemen was going to be David Walker,instead they hired GROB,as we all know was a hugh mistake. If we ever needed to replace our RB’s coach I know that I would go after David Walker to come back to Syracuse hoping that he would accept the job.

  21. Terry says:

    Another Lombardi??? LMAO!! Your drinking that West Virginia water aren’t you??? We’ll see!!!

  22. Malone says:

    I don’t do absolutes Terry. I didn’t say he is, but I also won’t say he isn’t until I can see what he does. His pedigree seems pretty strong and our current staff thought enough of him (and coach Adam btw) to hire him. Shafer’s job is as much on the line as anyone else’s, (and I am not suggesting he is on any hot seat whatsoever). I can’t imagine he’d take too great a risk without the prospect of a great reward. If you’re talking about Holgerson, I think any fool can see that is not a winning situation. I saw it as soon as Stewart took over, but Stewart handled that whole thing wrong. If you are talking about the long line of great coaches who have come from or through the state of West Virginia, including both guys I mentioned above as well as the Bowden family and Ben Schwarzwalder, then I might be looking for a sip of that

  23. Malone says:

    Ron, I would LOVE to have David Walker back in the fold, but I doubt he’d come back as the RB coach. He has done that here, and at Pitt, and in the NFL. He’d be hard pressed to go backward. I hope that’s not the kind of hire Terry was expecting. It’s just unrealistic.

  24. Terry says:

    I think that SU is a program of fine tradition and history. And are slowly improving!! And Su will improve with quality talent and coaches!! When you hire lower level talent to coach your team your not showing that. There’s a reason these guys are at the bottom of the feeding coaches chain. They have some kind of issue. What it is we’ll never know. It is none of our business!! BUT GOOD COACHES NEVER END UP BOTTOM FEEDERS UNLESS THEY HAVE ISSUES!! Good coaching always finds a spot in good programs. Other quality highly ranked programs would not hire these guys. But SU did!! So we live with it. But I feel its just a HCSS kind of move and he never moves out of that box of his. Well not yet any way!! Yes at least Walker has a decent KNOWN pedigree and would be a decent hire for ANYONE!!!!

    RON- I think Walker will never come back to SU. He’s just not interested!!

  25. Well I guess most of you guyz as I am are happy about Hoops but I can’t wait till the spring game in all this crappy snow!!Great to see Fizz talking a little FB like all the big FB schools do ALL YEAR.Coach Q seems to have the Lady Orange(I know most arent interested) back on track too!!

  26. Ron says:

    The mens basketball/lacrosse teams are ranked #1 the womens baketball,hockey teams will win 20+ games this year with the basketball team gong to the NCAA tournament for the second time the last two years and the hockey team gaining momentum going into the CHA Tournament. The Womens Lacrosse team ranked #2 in the land has dominated early season games,could be #1 before all is said and done. The womens softball team set’s just outside the top 25 at #27. The mens/womens cross country and field and track teams along with the mens/womens soccer teams are doing great. I hope Russell I painted a good enough picture letting everyone know that all of the athletic teams are doing just fine.

    How in the world can anyone “NOT BE EXCITED ABOUT BEING A SYRACUSE FAN” Russell is beyond me.

    I’ve talked to approximately 20 of the football players and have asked how conditioning is going and how is the team looking. To a man they tell me without any hesitation the team is going to better than what it was last season. They’re saying it’s due to the conditioning regimen/policies that the coaching staff has introduced that’s given them all hope for a better tomorrow.

    The anticipation for the upcoming season is killing me Russell. I wish the football season started tomorrow with the first game scheduled for March 1st.

  27. Please try and squeeze in a FB thread weekly Fizz staff.

  28. Ron says:

    @Russell Dangerfield;

    I posted something about the New IPF on the latest basketball thread today.

    Nice to see you’re still up and around old friend. Your valuable insight/perspective have been missed lately. Real glad your back on giving us your opinion.

  29. Ron says:

    Ok Malone; I got the message and came back to this thread to report that 4* 210 lb RB Andre Robinson is interested in and will visit Syracuse University. The only problen is the article didn’t mention when the visit would happen.

  30. Ron,who is Andre Robinson and wheres he from? Wow I’ve never seen so few threads on FB here? Never anything about WBB? Diversity isnt a bad thing.I miss your input and general conversation too Ron…lousy winter but the Olympics kept me occupied.

  31. Ron says:

    @Russell Dangerfield;

    Here’s a short update on the new IPF building. Like I posted last week more materials arrived on site today. I expect construction to start some time in march when after the weather breaks.

    Russell, Andre Robinson is a 4* 5″11″ 210 lb RB out of Bishop McDivett HS, Harrisburgh Pennsylvania.

    The Womens Basketball Team beat up on Pittsburgh beating them by 31 points to improve their record to (20-8 9-6 ACC) for the season with one more game to play against Wake Forest on March 2nd. Then comes the ACC Tournament followed by the NCAA Tournament. Should be interesting. Started to follow the womens softball and lacrosse teams Russell. The softball team sets just outside the national rankings at #27 with the womens lacrosse team ranked #2 in the national polls.

    Your one of the main staples here Russell and will tell you that your input has been missed. Welcome home my friend,welcome home.

    I’ve talked to a lot of the football players and all say that this years team will be better than last years team. Their all happy with the recruits coming in and can’t wait for all of them to join the squad in July.

  32. Ron says:

    @Russell Dangerfield;

    One thing I forgot to mention Russell is Coach Shafer is making a concerted effort to open the doors to the NYS/NYC/LI/NJ region again. He has a ton of offers out to recruits in all of those areas. The big prize is Tyrone Wheatley JR. out of Canisius HS in the Buffalo area.

  33. Ron says:

    @@Russell Dangerfield;

    Here is another recruit from NJ, Russell that Syracuse has offered a scholarship too.

    3* 5’11″ 170 lb (CB) Kareem Ali Jr. out of Timber Creek HS (Erial NJ.)

    The article said that he’s really excited about getting an offer from Syracuse. I hope things pan out for us this year in NJ.

    Do you have any information on this kid that you’d like to share with the rest of us?

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