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Schiano 1, Upstate NY 0

Posted: D.A.

Greg Schiano has not only won another recruiting war against Doug Marrone – he walked into Syracuse’s backyard to do it.

Quentin Gause, an All-State linebacker from Rochester’s Bishop Kearney High School, commits to Rutgers after an unofficial visit Friday.

He also received full scholarship offers from Syracuse, Buffalo, Louisville, Duke and Akron. He’s a Rivals 4-star recruit and a U.S. Army All-American nominee.

Gause recorded 114 tackles, six sacks and one interception. He doubled as a running back, racking up 800 rushing yards and 200 receiving yards. Gause scored 14 touchdowns for a team that finished 5-3.

It’s beyond disheartening that a (really good) Rochester product would choose to spend four years in freakin’ New Jersey rather than slide an hour down I-90 and play at the Dome.

New York in general does not manufacture top-tier football talent. Long Island and New York City metro will occasionally pump out the four and five-star kid. This is why Marrone has gone to such lengths to create goodwill and trust between the state’s high school coaches and SU. When there is talent in New York, Syracuse must capitalize. When it’s upstate? That kid can’t get away.

But the wreckage left behind by Groobers is still smoking. Many of you will tell this Fizz scribe, “Let it go D.A. Are you gonna blame everything that ever goes wrong this century for Orange football on one guy?”

My answer: at least right now, yes.

Here is a young man who grew up and played high school ball an hour and change from the Syracuse campus. He had a scholarship offer from both the Orange and Knights. His major? Communications, because he’d like to go into sports broadcasting one day.

Ten years ago it was unheard of for Rutgers to win this battle. Five years ago, people still wondered if Schiano could get to bowl games consistently. Rutgers is known for sports broadcasting as much as it is aeronautics and genetic engineering. This was an SU slam dunk. Newhouse or Snookie?

But the tides have turned. And for that blame Groobers. There’s obviously credit that goes to Schiano and the Knights for doing their part to turn around that disaster. But Groobers failures reached such depths, it’ll be a few years to dig out from. Syracuse went from a consistent bowl program which always nabbed the Quentin Gauses’ of the world – to two-win seasons, national scorn and losses to Akron.

If Groobers was able to even keep the Orange a .500 program and nab a four-star kid every once in awhile, Gause would likely be sporting Orange. If Groobers could have merely avoided turning the name “Syracuse football” into mud, things would be different.

Instead, Marrone is still in for the fight of his life – and a 4-star linebacker/ aspiring sports broadcaster from Rochester just chose Rutgers. Argh.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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