Syracuse University announced it signed 22 players during National Letter of Intent day. The class ranked 53rd in the country according to Scout.com.
“We’re excited,” Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said. “The players understand that they have a lot of work ahead of them. They’ve been very successful, whether it is in high school, prep school or junior college, which we have two players from.”
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Offensive players who signed NLI included offensive linemen Ben Barrett, Jason Emerich, Kyle Knapp and Omari Palmer, tight ends Josh Parris and Ron Thompson Jr., running back George Morris Jr., wide receivers Alvin Cornelius and Ben Lewis, and quarterback Ashton Broyld.
On defense, SU inked defensive linemen Myles Hilliard, Markus Pierce-Brewster, James Washington Jr., Marcus Coleman, Zian Jones and Josh Manley, safeties Dontez Ford and Julian Whigham, linebacker Myles Davis and cornerback Wayne Morgan.
The Orange also added kicker Ryan Norton and athlete Devante McFarlane.
“The better players you have on a team when these players come in and show promise, if they’re not going to push for a position to start, then you have a redshirt and one more season and then you move on,” Marrone said. “Then you’re recruiting to make sure the numbers are correct because you have people in place.”
The three highest rated players in the class are Morgan (given a four star rating from ESPN), Thompson and Broyld (both given a four star ratings from Scout.com).
Syracuse did lose out on linebacker Tashon Whitehurst, who committed to the South Florida Bulls. South Florida announced that he signed his letter this morning.
There was also no mention of junior college transfer Mark Garrick from Sacramento City College, who had committed to SU in January.
“I’m not allowed to discuss anyone who hasn’t signed a National Letter of Intent, so I cannot comment on any player who isn’t a part of the team already or has signed a National Letter of Intent,” Marrone said when asked about Garrick. “I apologize, and that’s NCAA rules.”
Still, Marrone knows there is a lot of work to be done. The Orange finished 5-7 this year, missing a bowl game after winning the Pinstripe Bowl in the 2010 season.
“Over the course of the break, I talked to quite a few players on our team, and it was interesting to hear the enthusiasm in their voice in that they were ready to come back to,” Marrone said. “We had about 55 kids on this team who had not lost until this year. I think there’s a good understanding right now about what we have to do to work.”