Early Tuesday morning, news broke that former play caller, top recruiter, and wide receivers coach George McDonald had left the Orange to take up the same job with North Carolina State.
While this move was long expected after McDonald was stripped of his play-calling duties midway through the season, this is not the news that the football program needed. McDonald was the gateway to the South Florida pipeline for SU in recent years, and the fact that one of the Orange’s best recruiters is now doing the same for another team in the ACC Coastal division could be a problem.
With National Signing Day about a month away, the recruiting class of 2015 will draw a lot of attention in the coming weeks. Of the team’s 26 commits, six come from South Florida – McDonald’s turf.
The first of the six, defensive end Keivonnis Davis, committed to the Orange way back in November. The three-star athlete was recruited by McDonald and received offers from schools like Cincinnati, Pitt, and West Virginia. He doesn’t think McDonald’s departure will affect his status, however.
Samuel Clausman and Colin Byrne are two teammates that committed to SU on the same day. The offensive linemen come from St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, FL, the heart of McDonald’s recruiting. Because they committed all the way back in May, it will be interesting to see if McDonald’s movement affects the two three-star recruits after months of recruiting from the former Orange offensive coordinator.
Three-star corner back Andrew Spence is another McDonald recruit for 2015 out of the South Florida region. He, too, committed to Syracuse in late-May and is reportedly expected to stick with the Orange.
Defensive end/outside linebacker Dana Levine committed to the Orange out of Hallandale, FL in late May, as well. He has since received offers from Minnesota and other programs. Kicker Sterling Hofrichter is SU’s final current recruit out of Florida.
Leading up to National Signing Day, it will be interesting to see how the departure of McDonald will affect the potential recruits of the Orange. The Syracuse coaching staff does need to get itself together quickly, because another season like last season could mean disaster for the program.
Posted: Jason Weingold