Syracuse Football: Get To Know Your Orange Man - #21 #SHAMARKO Thomas

NEW YORK NY - DECEMBER 30: Travis Tannahill #80 of the Kansas State Wildcats is tackled by Thomas Shamarko #21 of the Syracuse Orange during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on December 30 2010 in New York New York. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

We're counting down every SU football player from Chandler Jones (#99) to Phil Thomas (#1). Keep track of every player profile right here.

Next up on your Orange-Man Orientation, #21, Shamarko Thomas.

Position: Strong Safety

Year: Junior

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 208

Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA

High School: Ocean Lakes

2010 Stats: #SHAMARKO is legend, so I don't need to explain anything to you. Just in case, I'll remind you that #SHAMARKO had 67 tackles (38 solo) and 2 sacks last year. He did not have any interceptions only because no quarterback was stupid enough to throw the ball within 25 feet of him. FACT.

2011 Projections: Assuming he can get over the effects of a concussion (which I'm not even sure I believe really happened considering he is made of titanium), #SHAMARKO will be one of our defensive leaders in 2011. It's a foregone conclusion that the SS spot is his and that he and fellow Thomas, Phillip, are going to dominate Big East receivers at every turn. In other words, It's #SHAMARKO Time.

How'd He Get Here?: Lest we forget, #SHAMARKO was thisclose to wearing Louisville red.

Cornerback Shamarko Thomas of Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Va., said Tuesday night he has made a verbal commitment to sign with the Orange. Thomas previously committed to play for Louisville, but said he changed his mind after the Cardinals coach in charge of recruiting him, Eric Lewis, left to become defensive coordinator at Eastern Michigan.

#SHAMARKO was a beast in high school, recording a team-high 102 tackles, six interceptions, 11 pass breakups and one blocked field goal as a team captain, leading his squad to a 12-1 record.

I think it goes without saying that Akron offered him, as did UConn.

Scouts/Rivals Said:. Both Scout and Rivals went two-star on #SHAMARKO, proving just how out-of-touch and silly both of those services truly are.

Money Quote: "He speaks the truth," Thomas said of Marrone. "He told me how he was raised, how he's brought people up in my situation and made them better. He's all for the players and stuff. They stayed truthful. They told me they were going to keep me right, keep my grades on and my degree comes first and football comes second." - #SHAMARKO on Marrone

Links of Wonder: Here's #SHAMARKO and his fantastic afro when he played in the Team USA Football Tour.

Doug Marrone Thinks: "We return two safeties, Shamarko and Phillip Thomas, whom we're excited about." - Marrone on his fantastic defensive secondary. 

Interesting Nugget O'Interest: #SHAMARKO and Syracuse LB Brandon Sharpe were high school teammates. The two were both supposed to go to Louisville together. When #SHAMARKO jumped ship, so did Sharpe.

Let Us Get A Good Look Atchya: As you would imagine, tons of #SHAMARKO highlights out there. So many they couldn't fit on one video...

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