On last week‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôre six-foot-six. Do you consider yourself a wide out or a tight end?
Elijah McAllister: For me, it doesn‚Äôt really matter. I can do both. I block really well for a wide receiver, so if they move me to tight end I‚Äôm fine with it. Even though I‚Äôm 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‚Äôt really specify what position they just know they like me; the way I play.
OF: What has Syracuse been selling you on?
EM: They‚Äôve got a new coaching staff. Dino Babers has won everywhere he‚Äôs been ‚Ä¶ They have a new staff, a new culture. They play in the ACC which is a great conference, and it‚Äôs close to home.
OF: Is location a big factor for you? A lot of the schools that have given you offers so far aren‚Äôt right next to home but they‚Äôre not across the country either.
EM: Location isn‚Äôt really a big factor for me, those are just the schools that have offered me so far. I feel like I‚Äôm pretty underrated, that‚Äôs why I haven‚Äôt been on the national scale yet. Location doesn‚Äôt 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‚Äôm a school first guy. I‚Äôve heard great things about [Syracuse] University. As soon as everyone heard I got the offer it wasn‚Äôt about football really. It was ‚Äòoh my goodness Syracuse is a great university.‚Äô My school is one of the top five schools in the state of New Jersey and I love school. It‚Äôs 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‚Äôre only 16 now, is it hard for you to imagine being a D1 football player? You‚Äôve got two more years of high school ball before you even get to college.
EM: Yes. It‚Äôs pretty hard for me because coming into high school I wasn‚Äôt really that talked about at all. I was an OK pop warner player, but I wasn‚Äôt really that great and freshman year I wasn‚Äôt 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‚Äôve 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‚Äôm most proud of my toughness. I‚Äôm probably the toughest guy you‚Äôll ever meet. I fear no man. I‚Äôll do the dirty work. I‚Äôll block. I make tackles on defense. I‚Äôll do whatever you need me to do, I‚Äôll play anywhere on the field. If you need me to punt, I‚Äôm not that great a punter but I‚Äôll punt for you, it doesn‚Äôt matter. Whatever I can do to help the team.
OF: Is there somewhere on the field that you either think you‚Äôre better suited or you like playing more?
EM: I think it‚Äôs 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‚Äôs always area for improvement wherever you play. I just like playing football. I love the game, so wherever I‚Äôm playing is great for me.
OF: It seems like loyalty is a big thing for you, is that something you‚Äôre 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‚Äôs really about building relationships for life after football. That‚Äôs big for me.
OF: What should Syracuse fans know about you as a player and a person?
EM: They should know that I‚Äôm a family first guy. I‚Äôm in love with the game. I‚Äôll do anything to play the game longer, and I‚Äôll do anything for the university I go to‚Ä¶ I just love life.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson