Randy Taylor has been coaching and recruiting in college football for the past 30 years. He played at Illinois, then became recruiting coordinator at UNLV and UCLA. He is now a senior recruiting analyst for NCSA, and has already lined up his top 50 prospects for the class of 2013. The Fizz had a chance to chat with Taylor, and he reiterated moving to the ACC will be gold for the Orange in recruiting.
“I think when you put yourself in the mix with the teams that are in the ACC you just raise yourself up a level. And that helps you in recruiting because kids want to play in the ACC. The most talent in the country is in the southeast. Having your games televised and your down playing in Florida, your playing at Carolina, that’s important.”
SU’s 2012 class proved the move has already reaped dividends. Doug Marrone has six incoming players from ACC country, highlighted by explosive running back George Morris, defensive back Julian Whigham, and pass rushing specialist James Washington.
The Orange is back in the thick of things down south already offering 4-star running back for ’13 Alvin Kamara (Norcross, GA). SU has some tough competition for the Peach State back who already has double digit offers, including national champion Alabama. Taylor shared his thoughts on AK.
“A lot of tailbacks get criticized because they don’t have the shake that the other guy does and can break you down, but (Kamara) doesn’t care. He has the ability to stick his foot in the ground and get downhill and he is a tough runner. He just flat out gets downhill and he slashes, he has some acceleration and a burst. He has great feet, a real talented kid.”
Alvin would be a huge addition for any school in the country. But how realistic is it that Syracuse can hang around and steal a top tier running back from the south? Taylor says as long as a player gets up to see the school, there is always a shot.
“If you can get him to campus that is a huge deal. You have an opportunity to show him what you’re made of, and he may see something when he gets on to that campus the he gets fired up about. Just being able to be in the mix, that’s another big thing. At this stage in game, having Syracuse’s name mentioned in the mix with these other schools is a big deal. It helps elevate them and their street cred.”
Another running back on SU’s radar is Ty Issac (Joliet, IL). Issac had a monster season last year at Joliet Catholic and did his best in big moments. He had over 500 yards and six touchdowns in a losing effort in the state championship game. Ty has never had the backfield solely to himself. He shared it the past two seasons with Josh Ferguson (freshman at Illinois) and Malin Jones (headed to Northwestern). Issac is an absolute freak and Taylor is real high on this kid.
“I’ve been watching him since he was in the 8th grade, and Ty is a flat out physical specimen. He is about 6’2’’ 215 lbs. and he is a downhill runner. He is not a fast kid, but he is a physical dominant type of a player. To be honest with you he can probably play in the NFL as a linebacker. If Syracuse can hang in there with a kid like this, he will be a heck of a get.”
Marrone has made it a priority to dominate the New York City area. SU has consistently lost New Jersey talent to Rutgers, but with Crazy Eyes Schiano’s departure maybe that can start to change. One Garden State big fish is QB Kevin Olsen (Wayne, NJ). Taylor says that nabbing talented players in your region is key for any program.
“Get the players you have a good shot at getting, you have to keep them home. Keeping a kid like (Olsen) in the Northeast will be essential to what level Syracuse gets to.”
As for Coach T’s thought’s on Olsen:
“I love his quick release. Also, what is important these days is this kid takes the snap from under center a lot, that’s a big deal. If you are a shotgun quarterback, it is hard to adjust when you get to the next level with your reads and having to turn your back to it. He has better than average arm strength. But he is just an easy thrower, he can get the ball out quick. I just like his feel and his poise.”
The football recruiting season is just in itsearly stages. However, the Orange has made the best out of offering kids scholarships early and building strong relationships with them. Lets see who SU begins to target as we creep closer towards the season.
Posted: Dave Van Moffaert