The last few days in the Syracuse recruiting world has been filled with shock, surprise, and now subsequent relief. A handful of commits have remained positive, while¬†others will start to take visits elsewhere¬†as Signing Day approaches in less than a month. But the hiring of¬†Scott Shafer as Syracuse‚Äôs next head coach¬†will help solidify the trust of wavering recruits. Three-star Florida DE Malik Brown (pictured right) made his pledge to the¬†Orange about three weeks ago, but told The Fizz he found about the Shafer hiring yesterday afternoon. After the loss of Marrone, he was hoping that the defensive coordinator would get the nod.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôd be amazing. That‚Äôs be real nice because that defensive coordinator, he was in my house, and I‚Äôd be better off with him. He‚Äôs just so down to earth, he‚Äôs never going to BS you.‚Äù
Brown said right now he‚Äôs totally committed to SU but is thinking of taking a couple visits to Tennessee and South Florida (the Bulls have offered the DE). He told The Fizz that as long as John Anselmo and Linebackers Coach Steve Morrison remain with Shafer, all will be well. Although Brown was relieved to hear the news about Shafer, a few other Syracuse commits are looking at all their options.¬†Two-star Rochester LB Devan Carter¬†has downgraded his commitment to a soft verbal and will be taking a visit to Rutgers on January 25th.¬†One of SU‚Äôs biggest catches of the 2013 class, Augustus Edwards¬†will also be visiting the Knights that weekend as well. Gus has also planned a visit to Florida State this weekend and could be heading down to Miami as well.
It‚Äôs always difficult¬†to keep all your recruits in place after a coaching change. Just ask Kyle Flood and the¬†Scarlet Knights staff a year ago. Daryl Gross spoke for the first time yesterday since Marrone left for Buffalo and assured recruits ‚Äúeverything will be fine.‚Äù He reiterated to the 15 commits that Syracuse would still be playing fast and tough to compete for an ACC conference championship right away. Malik has his own message in response to the Doc.
‚ÄúYou just better keep up with your word. Don‚Äôt say anything you don‚Äôt mean.‚Äù
Brown admitted he was shocked when he¬†first heard the news of Marrone bolting for the NFL. Two-star DT commit Isaiah Johnson (pictured left) echoed that sentiment. The both were surprised but wish him the best. Similar to Gross, Johnson has done his best job at ‚Äúdamage control.‚Äù The Delaware native has been reaching out to many players in the class of 2013.
‚ÄúEverything‚Äôs got to be positive so I got to make sure all the commits I talk to, we‚Äôre all on the same page. Because I don‚Äôt like the de-committing thing. If you committed first of all, that means you already made a good decision.‚Äù
Johnson has talked numerous times with QB‚Äôs Austin Wilson and Zach Allen. Both¬†made similar comments in recent weeks¬†they‚Äôd have a lot to think about if Marrone did bolt to the NFL.
Johnson has been¬†Syracuse‚Äôs most positive and energetic commit¬†throughout the process. Despite not hearing from the SU coaching staff since just before Christmas, he‚Äôs leading the charge to keep the 2013 class in tact. For him, it‚Äôs still Orange all the way.
‚ÄúI am the strongest Syracuse commit, that‚Äôs who I am. Nobody is going to persuade me to go anywhere else, you guys don‚Äôt have to worry about Zeek going anywhere.‚Äù
The class is undoubtedly stabilized by the hiring of Shafer. Disaster would‚Äôve ensued had¬†Gross hired from the outside, which was almost out of the question to begin with considering how late the search would have started. Many current SU players felt relieved Shafer will become SUs next head coach. A few took to Twitter.
Keon Lyn:¬†‚ÄúIt’s a celebration in Syracuse. Great hire and it’s a nice way to pick up where Coach Marrone left off‚Äù
Eric Crume:¬†‚ÄúSo Glad Ain’t Nothing Changing The Orange Machine Gone Keep Rolling¬†#CuseNation‚Äù
Zach Chibane:¬†‚ÄúI’m so happy for Coach Shafer being promoted to HC. He’s going to do great there. Great coach and even better person!¬†#OrangeNation‚Äù
There is one positive when looking at SU‚Äôs recruiting class. Seven of the 16 already signed their letter of intents during the early signing period, including Zach Allen. It means they can‚Äôt go anywhere. If they did not want to play for the Orange next season, they‚Äôd have to sit out, lose a year of eligibility and then transfer elsewhere. That scenario is unlikely, considering five of the seven are JuCo‚Äôs.
For a day or two, things looked spotty for SU‚Äôs class, but the promotion of Shafer changed all of that. But nothing is a sure bet. With less than one month until NSD, it will be a rollercoaster ride for the SU coaching staff to keep everything in order.
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald