On last week’s episode of Fizz Radio, Logan Grossman and I talked to 2018 recruit Elijah McAllister (who has a Syracuse offer) about his recruitment and what he thinks about the Orange. You can listen to the full interview and all of last week’s Fizz Radio here, but here are some of the highlights from the interview:
Orange Fizz: A lot of sites have you listed as a wide receiver, but you’re six-foot-six. Do you consider yourself a wide out or a tight end?
Elijah McAllister: For me, it doesn’t really matter. I can do both. I block really well for a wide receiver, so if they move me to tight end I’m fine with it. Even though I’m six-foot-six I run well for a wide receiver and I run my routes very cleanly.
OF: What has Syracuse told you about where they want you to play?
EM: Syracuse is just recruiting me as an athlete right now. I know some schools also like me as a defensive end. The d-line coach, Coach Reynolds, is actually recruiting me from Syracuse. [Syracuse] didn’t really specify what position they just know they like me; the way I play.
OF: What has Syracuse been selling you on?
EM: They’ve got a new coaching staff. Dino Babers has won everywhere he’s been … They have a new staff, a new culture. They play in the ACC which is a great conference, and it’s close to home.
OF: Is location a big factor for you? A lot of the schools that have given you offers so far aren’t right next to home but they’re not across the country either.
EM: Location isn’t really a big factor for me, those are just the schools that have offered me so far. I feel like I’m pretty underrated, that’s why I haven’t been on the national scale yet. Location doesn’t really matter to me. It all depends on if the school is the right fit.
OF: What do you see in Syracuse so far that could make it the right fit for you?
EM: I’m a school first guy. I’ve heard great things about [Syracuse] University. As soon as everyone heard I got the offer it wasn’t about football really. It was ‘oh my goodness Syracuse is a great university.’ My school is one of the top five schools in the state of New Jersey and I love school. It’s school first for me, so Syracuse being a great school is great for me and it helps me get to know them better.
OF: You’re only 16 now, is it hard for you to imagine being a D1 football player? You’ve got two more years of high school ball before you even get to college.
EM: Yes. It’s pretty hard for me because coming into high school I wasn’t really that talked about at all. I was an OK pop warner player, but I wasn’t really that great and freshman year I wasn’t that good. But I started to put the work in; my strength and conditioning coach really inspired me. He was the first one to believe in me and to know that I can be as great as I can be as long as I put the work in and we’ve just been working since then. The offers keep rolling in and hopefully they keep on coming.
OF: What part of your game are you most proud of?
EM: I’m most proud of my toughness. I’m probably the toughest guy you’ll ever meet. I fear no man. I’ll do the dirty work. I’ll block. I make tackles on defense. I’ll do whatever you need me to do, I’ll play anywhere on the field. If you need me to punt, I’m not that great a punter but I’ll punt for you, it doesn’t matter. Whatever I can do to help the team.
OF: Is there somewhere on the field that you either think you’re better suited or you like playing more?
EM: I think it’s really too early to tell. I do some great things on the offensive side of the ball, but I do some bad things. I do some great things on the defensive side of the ball, but I do some bad things. There’s always area for improvement wherever you play. I just like playing football. I love the game, so wherever I’m playing is great for me.
OF: It seems like loyalty is a big thing for you, is that something you’re looking for in a university as well?
EM: I want somewhere that I can call home and I can be able to call my head coach and my position coach my family. I want to be able to call them family because in reality football is this game we all love, but it’s really about building relationships for life after football. That’s big for me.
OF: What should Syracuse fans know about you as a player and a person?
EM: They should know that I’m a family first guy. I’m in love with the game. I’ll do anything to play the game longer, and I’ll do anything for the university I go to… I just love life.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson