Introducing: Alvin Kamara. He’s a class of 2013 running back from Norcross, GA, and he’s one of the most highly sought after prep stars in the country. He’s a compact 5-10, 191 pounds, and already has 4.5 40-yard dash speed. Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban made headlines when, according to Rivals, he sent Kamara 105 recruiting letters in a single day. All of the letters had a different message selling the Crimson Tide football program.
That sounds pretty impressive, except to Doug Marrone. Saban might believe he’s ahead of the curve with his recruting ploy. But Syracuse actually gave Kamara his first offer. The Orange extended a scholarship last fall.
Can SU land the explosive running back? Chances are slim. But the Orange is hanging with the big boys at the moment.
“Right now, I don’t have any leaders, but I’ll say a few schools stand out a little bit. Alabama, Georgia and Syracuse.”
Even the most pessimistic SU fan has to admit that’s pretty cool. Syracuse mentioned in the same sentence as two SEC powerhouses. That demonstrates the power of an early scholarship offer.
We might be seeing a philosophical change taking place before our very eyes. Marrone and co. have primarily attempted to recruit the northeast, and target attainable players outside the tri-state area. But the Orange may now be trying to lure the biggest names, no matter where they reside, by offering as early as possible.
Yesterday, The Fizz profiled Toledo, OH sophomore DeShone Kizer. He’s a 6-foot-5, dual-threat quarterback in the class of ’14, and SU mailed the QB his first BCS offer. The offer was Marrone’s first to a high school sophomore. Syracuse also dished out an offer to South Bend running back David Perkins well ahead of schedule (which came awfully close to working).
The downside to SU’s early offers is that occasionally it has landed lower-tier recruits, who jump at the opportunity to join a BCS school. This has soaked up valuable scholarships which may have been better suited for the frantic days before Signing Day.
With Kizer and Kamara, however, Syracuse has taken an even more aggressive approach. Marrone has undoubtedly upped the early-offer ante. He’s finding some of the nation’s top talent, and beating every other BCS school to the punch in the process. The question is whether it will pay off for SU long term.
Posted: Andrew Kanell