As we continue our countdown of the Top 100 athletes in Syracuse history, there are bound to be controversial rankings along the way. Some arguments may be statistically based. Other arguments are emotionally based, from when each of us first started watching SU sports. We all have a certain athlete we remember growing up that are habitually underrated. At least to us. So, let’s get started.
#90: Riley Donahue
The native central New Yorker became one of the best players in Syracuse women’s lacrosse history in her four years at SU. In her 2018 senior season, the attacker became the ninth player in program history to record 200 points in her career. Overall, she finished seventh in program history in goals and assists. Donahue comes from a family of Syracuse lacrosse players, including brother Dylan Donahue and three uncles. After her junior season, Riley was named an All-American and placed on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List heading into her senior year. Donahue also helped Syracuse win its one and only ACC Tournament in 2015, scoring a goal in a 9-8 double overtime thriller against No. 2 UNC.
#89: Wesley Johnson
Wesley Johnson would be much higher up on this list if he had spent more than a season in Orange. But that season was incredible, which engrains him on this list of SU greats. After transferring from Iowa State before his junior season, Johnson started all 35 games in 2009-10. After averaging 16.5 points and shooting almost 42 percent from three, Johnson was awarded as the Big East Player of the Year. In the NCAA Tournament, Johnson propelled the No. 1 seed Orange to the Sweet Sixteen before falling to eventual runner-up Butler. He was also named a First Team All-American and Eastern College Athletic Conference Division 1 Player of the Year. Then, Johnson was off to the NBA, where he was drafted fourth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
#88: Jojo Marasco
As a high school senior, Marasco was named as the fifth-best lacrosse recruit in the country. Once he arrived in Syracuse, he lived up to those lofty expectations. In 2010 Marasco was SU’s top scoring freshmen with 17 points while only appearing in 10 games. In his next three seasons Marasco was named an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection twice before breaking through and being named to the All-BIG EAST First Team in his senior season. In that senior year Marasco was also named the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year and a Finalist for the Tewaaraton Award.
#87: Michelle Tumolo
Like Marasco, Tumolo arrived at Syracuse as a highly rated recruit. She was named as the fourth best recruit by Inside Lacrosse and was named to the 2010-11 U.S. Women’s Lacrosse national team after her freshman season. Tumolo was immediately a star upon arrival, posting the highest single-season totals in points and assists for a freshman in Syracuse history. Tumolo was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team after her sophomore and junior season. After her junior year, Tumolo was named a First Team All-American and was named the BIG EAST Player of the Year. For her career, she ranks third on Syracuse’s all-time scoring list with 278 points.
#86: Riley Dixon
After walking-on to the football team for a redshirt freshman season, Dixon became one of the best punters in Syracuse history. In 2014, Dixon was an All-ACC Honorable Mention selection and a Burlsworth Trophy nominee – given to the best player who began their career as a walk-on. However, in his senior season, Dixon took off. He was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, given to college football’s best punter, and was an ACSMA All-ACC First Team selection. Dixon also set the record for the longest punt in Syracuse history with a 75 yard bomb against Clemson in 2013. After graduating, Dixon was selected in the seventh round of the NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos and now punts for the New York Giants.