Matt Domer is visiting Illinois this week, and it presents and interesting litmus test for Syracuse recruiting. Let’s explain.
We’ll start close to home. It appears SU could be losing some of his territory in NYC after the departure of Doug Marrone and staff. It wouldn’t be the most surprising event, since Marrone continually stressed winning the Big Apple and is a 5-borough kid himself. The previous staff’s connections to Nassau Community College, Long Island and the city were obvious, and Scott Shafer simply does not have those same roots.
Which brings us to a story we previously reported on: UConn feels it has taken back much of the ground it had lost in Big Apple recruiting. You can take it two ways. Either the Orange should be worried rivals are encroaching on its territory, or it’s no big deal for SU to be losing 2-star kids to schools like the Huskies.
So now back to Domer. The running back plays for Donovan McNabb’s old high school, Mount Carmel in Chicago. He is down to Syracuse, Indiana, Kansas and Illinois. Domer told the Chicago Tribune:
“I’m planning to get out and visit all four schools one last time this summer, then I’m going to make my decision.”
Shafer’s staff has deep roots to the Midwest and specifically Illinois. They’ve already had success plucking talent from the Land of Lincoln. So if Shafer’s crew loses NYC but wins players in the Midwest, then it’s a wash. In fact, it’s more like a win because Illinois and the Midwest turn out better talent overall than NYC (this does not include fertile New Jersey – but that’s Rutgers territory).
But is Domer leaning Illini? Mike Dudek is an incoming wideout in Illinois’ ’14 class. He tells The News-Gazette:
“I talk to Matt Domer the most. He’s told me he’s actually going to commit (to Illinois), so I’m just waiting for that to happen.”
Domer is a three-star running back who plays in the triple option offense of Mount Carmel. He’s 6’0″, 190 pounds, a good powerful back. It’s not the end of the world if Domer signs elsewhere. The running back depth – and future depth – is SU’s strength. But if Shafer can win Domer, then any worries over losing NYC kids may start fading away.