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Ben Barrett & SU’s Bermuda Triangle: The Amazing Disappearing Oranges?

Syracuse.com

Class of 2012 and former CBA OL/DE Ben Barrett has left the Syracuse football team to reportedly pursue other interests. Doug Marrone predictably did not release information on why the 6’5” 255 lb. lineman will not be on the football field this season. This would have been his freshman year. Barrett attended early August workouts, but was not present with the team at the Fort Drum practices.

It hurts SU to lose a big body like Barrett, but the Manlius, NY native is the just next name on a growing list of players that have left the program for, quite frankly, unknown or unusual reasons. It seems like every few months another Orange player drops from the roster, or an SU commit doesn’t quite pan out. The Fizz put together a list of some of most recent and oddest departures under Marrone.

Mark Garrick (Class of 2012) DE – Sacramento City College

The South Carolina native committed to Portland State back in June, after he seemed destined to sign with the Orange on National Signing Day. But an ACL injury suffered in the last game of his Sacramento City College season put those plans on hold. The injury wasn’t thought to be too severe in January when Garrick gave his verbal to Syracuse, but SU’s doctors projected Garrick may not be fully healed from the injury until September. His scholarship was not honored, as the SU medical staff never granted approval. The Orange lost out on one piece of its California JUCO 3-headed monster.

Pancho Barnwell (’12) DT – East HS, Rochester, NY

Barnwell’s grades and SAT scores were not high enough for him to make the football squad. On National Signing Day it was originally thought Pancho would be headed to Milford, but the lineman enrolled at Nassau County Community College. According to reports, the earliest Barnwell could enroll at Syracuse is January of 2014.

Shu Mungwa (’11) S – Bergen Catholic HS, Oradell, NJ

The safety was a top candidate to step in and fill the shoes of the departed Phil Thomas, but Mungwa decided to part ways with SU earlier this month. Shu admitted Syracuse “wasn’t the best place for him.” He was part of the trio of SU players, including Corey Boatman and Riley Dixon, who were also left off the roster a few weeks after Big East Media Day in Newport, RI.

Tyree Smallwood (’11) RB – Cornwall Central HS, Cornwall, NY

And now the curious case of Tyree Smallwood. The New Windsor native originally committed to SU in June of ’10, but ended up at Milford Academy last season. He and Ashton Broyld played well for Bill Chaplick’s Falcon squad, but reports surfaced in January that Smallwood had subsequently decommitted from Syracuse. Tyree had also been arrested a few weeks earlier on shoplifting charges at an Old Navy in the Palisades Shopping Center.

Dom Timbers (’10) RB – Woodland Hills HS, Pittsburgh, PA                            

The Pittsburgh native originally signed with the Orange in ’10, and all seemed well. Timbers was extremely excited to sign with Syracuse, and seemed like a viable option in the run game in the future. Then after not qualifying for ’10 season, he disappeared. There were rumors Timbers had enrolled at San Francisco City College, but he wasn’t named on the team’s roster. The Fizz finally found Timbers hiding in Scranton this past fall, where he played for the Lackawanna College Falcons. Even Dom’s mother, Cassandra Reese, was concerned about his son’s playing career, and the possibility that she would not see her son play for SU. As of now, the Woodland Hills HS product is still listed on the Lackawanna College football roster.

Mario Tull (’10) RB – Xavarian HS, Brooklyn, NY                       

Tull was left off the SU roster before the Spring Game this April. In March, reports surfaced that Tull, along with Johnny Miller and Shane Raupers, were no longer part of the team. Tull came to SU as a LB in ’10 but was converted to RB last year. The Brooklyn native did not play last season after appearing in 10 contests his freshman year.

EJ Carter (’09) LB – Dr. Phillips HS, Orlando, FL         

Carter was kicked off the SU squad for missing an important “exit” meeting with Marrone. During finals week of his freshman year, EJ allegedly missed a team function as well – the same day his mother Beverly Carter claimed he took three exams. He apparently had forgotten about the meetings and functions that day, and instead flew back home to Florida. Carter almost left the team earlier that year, but eventually stayed with SU until his eventual dismissal a few months later.

In a world of 18-to-21-year old athletes, it’s inevitable every program will have some players leave the program when life situations pop up. But for a team like Syracuse trying to build stability and consistency, a roster in flux can hurt the pace of growth. Let’s hope the carousel of players leaving has slowed down for SU.

Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald

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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