|Syracuse football national signing day news conference|
Speed. That's the word of the day for the 2010 Syracuse recruiting class. Not everyone is a speedster, especially those on the bulkier side, but when it comes to the positions SU went after most, WR and LB, you better believe these kids can run.
"I believe in getting people that can run," Marrone said. "I look at this class and the first thing that I look at as a coach, everyone can go out there and run, which is an important part of being a football player."
Marrone spoke glowingly of the 31-players in his first real-deal recruiting class, which is ranked 55th overall by Scout. While there are no blue-chippers and five-star athletes, the class proved that Marrone and his staff are quickly re-developing the in-roads in New York State and around the nation that once made SU a perennial Big East contender.
It would have gone even better had Marrone and his staff been able to keep Johnson City offensive lineman Daquan Jones (Penn State) and Staten Island defensive tackle Dominique Easley (Florida) in state, but those battles for big-time recruits will have to wait for another day. In the meantime, Marrone has returned to a recruiting philosophy used by his coach at SU — Dick MacPherson — and Mac’s replacement, Paul Pasqualoni.
"We have to get on kids early, get them to campus early, establish that relationship," Marrone said. "We have to look at players we can develop from a football standpoint. When you look back at Syracuse, that’s what we’ve been successful doing."
Just ask players like Malcolm Cater why they chose SU over places like Rutgers and you'll realize the kind of care HCDM is putting into things.
"Syracuse is just a big family, man," said Cater, who wore a blue and orange Syracuse cap and jacket. "They care so much."
Cater said it was "a little overwhelming" talking to Syracuse Coach Doug Marone for the first time during his first official visit to Syracuse, but something felt right. "I just felt at home when I was there," he said.
Keon Lyn's story on how he de-committed from Northern Illinois and chose Syracuse is just as good, if not better. Check out comments from a few of the recruits and you can sense the excitement they have for Marrone, Syracuse and the opportunities ahead.
From the outside, most would regard Syracuse's recruiting class as mediocre-at-best. But when you realize just how quickly Doug Marrone has taken a broken program, rebuilt it's connections to the recruiting world around it and convinced a collection of kids from around the country that their best option was to come play for a program that hasn't won more than four games in a season since 2004...that's a helluva effort. Just imagine what kind of numbers he'll be pulling in within two more years?