Today marks one week since National Signing Day, which means Syracuse fans can officially consider this the start of the true offseason. The Orange reeled in a class of 19 recruits (not 20, ahem Akeem Jones), and the future is looking bright with the new staff. Before the Spring Game jumps up in two months, let’s take a look The Fizz’s top three storylines to keep your eye on until spring practice.
- New Football Facility?
According to reports, Syracuse is about to reveal new plans for updated athletic facilities on the Manley complex. The new 120 yard indoor practice turf would connect with the current Iocolano-Petty wing and cost around $15-20 million. The Orange has needed an update of its facilities for years, and its too bad Doug Marrone won’t be around to see it. It’s because of his four years that plans have even been put into action. Two 8-win seasons, a pair of bowl victories, and improved recruiting classes proved that SU had earned an upgrade.
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How close was Marrone in landing big names, specifically Ebenezer Ogundeko? The Orange came so close in signing the 4-star Brooklyn defensive end. Now that SU will be competing with 13 other ACC schools for some of the top talent, the addition of brand new facilities is a necessity. Scott Shafer and company will get a necessary boost if these new plans are true.
- A Jump On The Class Of 2014
We already saw what The Mailman George McDonald, Tim Lester, and Shafer could do in a matter of weeks. Now imagine what this staff can accomplish in a calendar year. SU’s Class of 2014 should follow the upward trend since Marrone shook over. The biggest concern after NSD was losing out on all three of New York’s top rated prospects, Ebo, Augustus Edwards and Laray Smith. At one point, it looked all three would wear Orange.
But there’s one name that already stands out in Brooklyn next season: Erasmus Hall RB/WR Curtis Samuel. The versatile 6′ 190 lb. tailback is being touted as the next big fish to come out of the city, and the Orange should get a jump on his talents. After missing out on a RB in this past class, his speed and agility would make a great addition next season. He’s played on a Dutchman squad that went to back to back PSAL city championships and won last year’s in Yankee Stadium.
- Injury Watch
There are already a handful of players that have been deemed out for the Spring Game: Prince-Tyson Gulley, Dyshawn Davis and Eric Crume. All three will be playing huge roles this fall. The trio has already had surgeries and houldn’t have any problems making it back for the Penn State opener. But it’s something to keep your eye on. Alec Lemon had offseason shoulder surgery last offseason, and the rehab lingered long enough that he missed the openerNorthwestern, and didn’t truly look himself until half way through the season.
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald