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Fallout from Robert Washington’s Verbal

The four-star running back is arguably the Orange’s best recruit in a decade. How will his commitment affect the team?

On Saturday afternoon, Orange fans were treated to an emotional roller coaster by one of its top football targets in the last decade. Robert Washington verbally committed to play for SU after news broke just 15 minutes earlier that he would be a Florida Gator. While the Fizz has documented the Washington saga heavily in the past week, here is some fallout on the commitment.

Washington Works on Recruiting

Just because Washington verbally committed to SU doesn’t mean that his work is done. As a cornerstone in a program, Washington already has, and will continue to recruit other players to come to Central New York. Sometimes, all it takes is one player to help shift a program back towards relevance, and Washington certainly has the talent and mental drive to be one of these players. He has already stated that he wants to bring the Orange back into the national spotlight.

He May Have Saved Scott Shafer’s Job

It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which any SU football coach is given less flexibility than G-Rob, who miraculously managed to remain coach for an abysmal four seasons. With Shafer having completed his second year as head coach, some fans are already calling for his head. But, with Washington coming to SU in two years, Shafer may have loosened his leash for the time being. If the Orange fired its head coach, one could only guess what would happen to its most prized verbal commitment.

…And Yet, His Recruiting Is Not Finished

A verbal commitment, while reassuring, essentially means nothing these days. Washington clearly wants to play for the Orange, but things can change in a heartbeat. Despite already beating out programs like Alabama, Michigan, and Florida for the running back’s verbal, nothing is official until he signs his letter of intent. So for now, be happy with Washington’s decision, but don’t be surprised if something changes in the near future, especially considering how quick he was to switch his decision over the weekend.

Running Back Becomes a Team Strength

With a strong foundation at running back currently, and three more recruits coming to Syracuse next season, running back looks like a position that the Orange will have under lockdown for the next six or seven years. With explosive redshirt juniors George Morris II and Devante McFarlane already in the backfield, and Erv Phillips transitioning to a running back, the future certainly looks bright. SU will be bringing in Jordan Fredericks, Dontae Strickland, and Tyrone Perkins in the class of 2015.

Posted By: Jason Weingold

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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