New York‚Äôs best football player is once again, going out of state. 5-star DT Thomas Holley, who visited the¬†Syracuse campus multiple times, decided to commit to Penn State yesterday. The 6‚Äô5‚Äù, 285-lb lineman chose the Nittany Lions over Florida, and it was clear for a while that the Orange didn‚Äôt have the best chance at landing the Brooklyn native.
He admitted¬†in multiple interviews¬†that he wanted to be part of the Penn State legacy that churns out great defensive players after one another. Holley has only been playing organized football for two years, and his potential is just being honed. ¬†He just led the Lincoln High School Railsplitters to an undefeated 13-0 season that was capped off by a New York City Championship at Yankee Stadium just a week and a half ago.
Holley is now added to a growing list of top New York City recruits that have decided to go out of state, and not choose Syracuse:
2014: ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Thomas Holley¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Penn State
2013: ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Ebenezer Ogundeko ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Clemson
2011: ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Ishaq Williams ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Notre Dame
2010: ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Dominique Easley ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Florida
Syracuse fans can argue that this is a huge lose, but why? Holley is New York‚Äôs top recruit, and¬†never truly had a real interest in the Orange, especially with big-name programs like PSU, Notre Dame and Florida surrounding him for months. It‚Äôs not worth throwing a fit about his decision to play at Penn State. The recruiting game is a funny one, and it‚Äôs not realistic to think that Syracuse can snap its fingers and magically reel in the New York‚Äôs City‚Äôs best every season. Does it matter if the Orange is getting top talent elsewhere?
Syracuse pulled in a 4-star¬†WR from eastern Pennsylvania this fall: KJ Williams. That‚Äôs been a target area for Syracuse for years. The Orange also signed a big DT from Delaware this past winter, and then Isaiah Johnson promptly became one of the most meaningful members of the D-Line in his first year. Ron Thompson is from Michigan. Syracuse‚Äôs secondary is nearly all from Florida.
Orange Nation should not arbitrarily throw a fit when a top-20 recruit¬†in the nation¬†(forget about just New York state) decides to play elsewhere. Syracuse is winning other geographical recruiting battles, and it‚Äôs led to success: after all, the Orange will have made three bowl games in four years. It‚Äôs not realistic for any college football program to win every recruiting battle.
Syracuse won‚Äôt be having a happy Holley-day this time of year. But if Syracuse coaches win other recruiting battles across the country, that‚Äôs all that matters.
Posted by: Kevin Fitzgerald