This is Doug Marrone’s fourth recruiting class since he took over as head coach for the Syracuse University football team. In my opinion, this is the best one he has produced. Now I don’t want to completely overreact and look at how many stars each of the kids received, I would rather look at the potential of these players, look at what other school offered them a scholarship, and look at their particular type of skill set and how they will fit in to the Syracuse system.
This class did manage to pick up a few big name recruits. Wayne Morgan chose the Orange today over UCONN, Rutgers, Penn State, and others. Most of the recruiting web sites have him as the best player in this class. Morgan is a shut down corner who is said to be lightning quick and may be able to help the Orange in the return game as well. Syracuse has lacked a true shut down corner. Hell, watching last year’s team, if one of our corners was within five yards of the receiver I was considering it great coverage. It was very sad to watch. We also did not have a corner that could make a play on a ball even if they were right on their defender. Hopefully Morgan will be able to eventually bring that to the Orange defense.
Losing Chandler Jones to the NFL is going to be a huge hit on the defensive line for next season, but Coach Marrone did a damn good job in going and finding a couple players that will be able to hopefully make an immediate impact for this team. The biggest pick up on the D-Line was Markus Pierce-Brewster. Markus was the National Junior College Defensive Player of the Year. Markus should be able to step right in for Jones and limit the loss of his departure. Josh Manley and Myles Hilliard are also some good looking defensive line prospects that had multiple offers from some big name schools.
On the offensive end, a big point in the Orange’s offense is the tight end. Last season, Nick Provo set multiple school records and was the leading receiver on the team. With his departure, Syracuse needed to find someone to back up Beckett Whales in the upcoming years. They did a great job in pulling in Ron Thompson from Michigan. Thompson is a big tight end that is said to have great hands. He also had offers from most of the Big Ten schools, and Coach Marrone’s ability to take him right from underneath Michigan’s nose just shows the way Coach Marrone can recruit. Another big get on the offensive end was wide receiver Alvin Cornelius. Cornelius is a big wide receiver and he was named the New York State High School Football Player of the Year.
Running back George Morris from Georgia was another big name get on the offensive end as he turned down his hometown Georgia Tech Yellowjackets to come up to Syracuse. Morris is a big, athletic back that may be able to come in right away and contribute. If not next year, look for him to be a big name for the Orange in years to come.
Overall, Syracuse signed 22 new members to their football team today, in what was a very solid recruiting class for Coach Marrone and is probably his best to date. Hopefully this will be a step in the right direction for direction for Syracuse football and Coach Marrone can lead us into a new era.