Doug Marrone and the Orange have gone quarterback crazy over the last couple of months. Hard work on the recruiting trail has paid off, with commitments from PA passer Austin Wilson and more recently Texas star Zach Allen. Syracuse isn’t done yet, though; SU is looking at Florida talent Asiantii Woulard and has an offer out to highly sought-after Connecticut prospect Tim Boyle.
With all of these offers and more still on the table, it’s clear SU is boldly shopping all areas of the country for the best man to succeed Ryan Nassib. Marrone’s aggressiveness and pride is admirable as he stands toe to toe with big programs to land highly talented recruits in unfamiliar territory. But is he missing out on a major get right under his nose?
Some sites have Chris Laviano as the top-ranked quarterback in the state of New York. He is a 3/4-star prospect in the Class of ’13. Chris made the New York Daily News’ 2nd team All-Suburban last season. He is even considered by some as the #10 ranked passer in the nation, and stands at 6’2″, 200 lbs as a pro-style QB. All of these impressive ratings, yet Laviano sits in the thick of his recruiting period with offers from just Boston College and Rutgers. SU has not extended a scholarship, although some reports say SU has mild interest.
To make matters even stranger, Laviano is from Hicksville on Long Island. A ripe recruiting area for Marrone. In between dropping swagger bombs, JUCO DT commit Wayne Williams (and Big Apple product) said SU is fortifying a home base in NYC.
“Syracuse owns the five boroughs right now. They own the boroughs. I expect Syracuse to be running New York for a long time.”
If Syracuse is supposed to be running the five boroughs, it would seem to make sense to have an offer out to a good quarterback prospect just 15 miles outside of Queens. But this isn’t just an SU miss, something just doesn’t add up. A 4-star quarterback and a top 10 passer nationally doesn’t enter the summer before his senior season with just two offers from mediocre programs.
It might just be that Laviano is a late-bloomer on the recruiting trail. ESPN’s Tom Lugenbill raved about Chris being one of the biggest surprises at the Elite 11 workouts in Dallas. He said Laviano may have had the smoothest and most consistent footwork of all the passers there. Lugenbill noted that at the time (March) Rutgers was the only offer to Laviano, but he expected the race to heat up through the summer.
He’s like many other agile pocket passers SU has targeted; big, with the potential to add more size to his frame. His arm strength is top tier, he’s been lauded for his ability to make reads, and his passes are accurate more often than not. Scouts do have some criticisms of Chris’ mechanics, but his raw skill is highly promising.
“Laviano is a guy that if you get past the slight drawback of delivery and scrutinize the production you will find there is a lot to like. He can control defenders with his eyes, will tuck the ball and run, and throws an impressive deep ball. Laviano isn’t always pretty, but he is productive and accurate.”
It’s interesting that Syracuse has offered quarterbacks all over the country, but avoided one right in its own backyard. Given SU’s wide net it has casted for a signal caller, you’d think Marrone would at least enter the fray against two recruiting opponents he can beat and has beaten before.
As with any recruiting dynamic, there are always other factors that nobody can foresee. Laviano may have no interest in Syracuse for personal, academic, or other reasons specific to his situation. Obviously, SU has its usual scholarship limits. Maybe he just doesn’t rate as high on the Orange board as the other quarterbacks the program has gone after.
Clearly other schools just like Syracuse haven’t gone after Laviano either. But if this is just the case of the Orange being late to the party like many other programs, SU should jump in fast. It would be a shame to have a bitter rival like Rutgers or a future opponent like BC yank a top prospect from what is being branded as Syracuse territory.
Posted: Jake Moskowitz