Consider the case of running back George Morris, tight end Josh Parris and defensive end Josh Manley. All three are Georgia natives, who formally signed National Letters of Intent to become part of SU’s 2012 recruiting class.
If Syracuse was still rooted in the Big East, Manley, Parris and Morris may not have been lining up for Syracuse in the fall. But with SU’s anticipated move to the ACC starting in the fall of 2013, that has changed.
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“A move from a conference, obviously, that can open up some things for you,” Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said. “Parents want to make sure they see their son play in just about every game, so that becomes a factor in some instances when you go into recruiting.”
It certainly did in the case of this trio, and instead of staying home in their native southeast, they will be playing in the northeast area.
“We have to sell the ACC, and that’s helped us quite a bit with those players,” Marrone said. “For us, we have a good foundation in Georgia since coach (Greg) Adkins and I have been down in that state for a long period of time. In the history of Syracuse, we’ve had some players come from Georgia who have come up here and played right away and they’ve done well in school and on the field.”
But those recruits have been few and far between. Now, it seems that SU may make Georgia a recruiting bed.
“For us to re-open that area opens up a greater recruiting area for us with the players,” Marrone said. “It’s been kind of tough to get into those pockets when you’re jumping in and jumping out and trying to go specifically for certain kids. We’re starting to see the benefits of our ability to have been down there since we’ve been here. But now we’re in there a little bit harder, and we have a little bit more to sell at the end of the day.”