Doug Marrone has made it a priority to keep elite talent inside the state of New York. It hasn’t always worked, as stars like Ishaq Williams, Jarron Jones and Chad Kelly have bolted elsewhere. But his efforts are paying off with Brooklyn standout Wayne Morgan right now. The 5’11” 190 lb safety is the state’s #2 prospect for the class of 2012, and tells The Fizz he loves the ides of playing for The Dougie next fall.
“Coach Marrone is great. He doesn’t beat around the bush. He just tells you straight forward how he thinks and what he thinks I should do. He said he’s not going to tell me Syracuse is the place for me, I got to see it. When he said that, he got my attention. I knew he was a real coach.”
Coach is spreading his Dougie-ness around an area he’s trying to turn into Syracuse’s personal recruiting turf. Morgan is a top notch, versatile safety, who plays QB as well for the Erasmus Hall Dutchmen. The next phase of SU’s influence in New York will be landing the best of its homegrown recruits. TV ratings show that’s still a work in progress: Rutgers’ game on ESPN2 last week actually beat Syracuse’s enormous win over WVU at the same time on ESPN in the Big Apple.
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Luckily, Morgan is not making his college choice based on the Nielson ratings and his coach Danny Landberg tells The Fizz the playmaker is a born warrior.
“He has extreme speed and quickness wrapped up in one package. He’s got no fear. He wants the ball, and he’ll want the ball in crucial times, and that’s the type of player you want on your team because guys like that are winners.”
Winning helps land athletes like Morgan, who understandably considers himself a big time player. The safety says he was “blown away” by the West Virginia upset. Wayne is also excited about possibly playing with Fort Hamilton HS product Brandon Reddish, a close friend from Brooklyn. And SU’s move to the ACC obviously makes the Orange a bit more attractive for Morgan. When asked if that sweetened the pot, Wayne says, “it really did. They are going to be playing against great schools, with a lot of publicity.” The other top schools on his list? Rutgers and UConn, which have both been recruiting him hard. That realignment move is paying dividends specifically where The Fizz theorized it would two months ago. Meantime, Morgan loves to step up when needed most.
“On the field I am a leader. When my teammates are down, and we’re down, I just bring them back up and keep them focused. I need to make big time plays in big time games.”
Morgan has been recruited by John Anselmo, and will make a visit to Syracuse after his season is finished. Wayne will wait to make his decision until January, but it seems like SU is the favorite at the moment. Another crucial opportunity to gain ground on Morgan will come this Saturday when SU travels to UConn. Landberg believes SU has that x-factor Morgan is looking for, and playing in the Carrier Dome “would be something special.” Grabbing Morgan would help insure the Orange’s attempt at maintaining a foothold in New York State is taking shape.
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald