Instant Juice: Syracuse adds 19 players in NLI class


A quick take on Syracuse’s 2013 recruiting class on LOI day:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse announced its first recruiting class under first year head coach Scott Shafer Wednesday afternoon. There are 19 players in the class, including four offensive linemen, three defensive linemen, three linebackers, three wide receivers, two quarterbacks, two tight ends and two defensive backs. Here is the complete class:

Shafer announced his first recruiting class
  • Luke Arciniega, LB, 6-2
  • PJ Batten, TE, 6-4
  • Jon Burton, OL, 6-6
  • Corey Cooper, WR, 6-0
  • Brisly Estime, WR, 5-9
  • Alex Hayes, OL, 6-4
  • Marqez Hodge, LB, 6-0
  • Isaiah Johnson, DL, 6-5
  • Darius Kelly, DB, 5-11
  • Mitch Kimble, QB, 6-3
  • Josh Kirkland, LB, 6-3
  • John Miller, OL 6-2
  • Kendall Moore, OL 6-5
  • Tyler Provo, TE 6-2
  • Chauncey Scissum, DB 6-1
  • Trevon Trejo, DL 6-5
  • Wayne Williams, DL 6-4
  • Austin Wilson, QB 6-3
  • Corey Winfield, WR 6-1

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  1. Former Syracuse coach Doug Marrone made it his mission to reestablish Syracuse’s pipeline to the New York area. Together with John Anselmo, Marrone’s staff worked the area extensively. But that, for now, appears to be over. Only two players from this class, (Chauncey Scissum and Wayne Williams) are from New York, with Williams being the only New York City athlete. “If there are good football players in New York, we want them to play for Syracuse,” Shafer said. “If they don’t want to, we will find someone who does.”
  2. Syracuse actually received the most commitments from Florida (4) and also had two recruits each from California and Illinois. It makes plenty of sense since neither Shafer or offensive coordinator George McDonald have any particular recruiting ties to the northeast but have coached in the midwest and southeast.
  3. SU lost a few battles on the eve of LOI day. Malik Brown, who had given a soft verbal to Syracuse, is headed to Tennessee. Laray Smith, who was on the verge of committing to the Orange, is now going to Indiana. “No hard feelings,” Shafer said of recruits that passed on SU, “but I can’t wait to play them.”
  4. Though it happened a few weeks ago, the loss of Zach Allen still stings. But the addition of Mitch Kimble may make up for that. Said Shafer on his two new QBs: They are “real gym rats.” “You’ll enjoy watching them compete.” Both are in the mix for the starting quarterback position now that Ryan Nasib has graduated. Also, Miami dual-threat QB Akeem Jones is still on the board.
  5. Shafer said that the linebacking core and the O-line were group that needed the most help. Syracuse added four OLs and three LBs. But the most glaring omission from this class is at the running back position. SU doesn’t have any among the group now that Smith is Indiana-bound. You also have to be worried about depth at safety. Right now, the Orange had just Jeremi wilkes, Ritchy Desir and Durell Eskridge. Darius Kelly should be in the mix there but after that, someone will have to shift positions.
  6. Doug Marrone’s legacy to this class was his JUCO commits. Syracuse took six of them this year, with five on the defensive side of the ball.
  7. The dark horse of the class according to Shafer is Scissum. “I was excited to offer him as soon as I became head coach. I can’t wait to see him.”
  8. You can just hear the passion coming out of Shafer. “We look at each other everty day and say, ‘They’re paying us for this?'” Another great quote from the new boss: “We may not be the fastest or the strongest. But by god we’re going to play our butts off.”
  9. Shafer made a strange analogy at the end of the press conference when asked about recruits that decided to go elsewhere: “The last girl in the bar always gets looked at.”
  10. Closing thought: Ryan Nassib. Justin Pugh. Alec Lemon. Besides being NFL prospects this year, what else do these guys have in common? All were recruited as two-star athletes. We won’t know how good this class is until a couple years down the line.

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]