As the Syracuse Orange football newbies arrive on campus and get assign the jersey numbers that they one day hope will be sold in the bookstore for $99 a pop, none of which they'll see, we also welcome a trio of new walk-ons to campus.
First up, Kyle Kleinberg. The Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) middle linebacker played alongside scholarship player Daivon Ellison. The 6'1", 230-pounder chose walking-on at SU over scholarship offers from Maine, Dartmouth and Yale. He joins two scholarship linebackers in the class as well. Check out this article on his toughness, work ethic and smarts and be happy to have a well-rounded guy like that on the roster, especially as part of the depleted defensive unit. He also seems to be a Knicks fan, which...sorry Kyle.
Next up, fellow Jersey boy Adam Giordano. The Camden Catholic (N.J.) linebacker was also a lacrosse star in high school and didn't actually start playing football until his senior season. Must've been a helluva season as he received some interest from FBS schools late in the recruiting cycle and decided to walk-on at SU over a year at prep school. Check out some highlights of the 6'4", 210-pounder over here.
Finally, we welcome Nesean Crofford to the mix. The Alpharetta High School (Georgia) wide receiver might be a walk-on but he got a signing ceremony all the same. The 5'11", 190-pounder will hopefully add some speed to the mix in practice and potentially work his way up the ladder to special teams. Here's some highlights.
FYI, best not to forget about these guys before they've had a chance to show what they can do. Walk-ons have made an impact on the roster in recent years, including Hesiman candidate Riley Dixon, Dom Anene, Clay Cleveland and Cole Murphy.
As for guys who are still hoping for a chance to join the team, there's Lamar Dawson. The three-star DB committed to play for SU back in 2014 but a diagnosis of aplastic anemia eventually caused him to defer to 2015. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to be cleared before his offer became void. Now, Dawson is headed to a prep school with ties to Scott Shafer with the hopes of still making it here one day.
"They initially told me I'd come whenever I'm ready," Dawson said. "Then they said they don't have a scholarship for me. That was just crazy.
"Then a few hours later they have me a call saying if I do prep school for a year and play well, I'll be back."
Another SU recruit, Treevon Prater, went to Midwestern Prep to try and qualify but wasn't able to get his academics in order. Dawson's focus is on getting back to where he was athletically and he'll be doing so under the guidance of DB coach Jermaine Hampton, a former Scott Shafer recruit at Northern Illinois. Good luck, Lamar.