Tuesday, February 05, 2008

LOI Eve

It's a big day for the future of college football tomorrow, when high school students all around the country sign on to continue their academic careers at the college of their choice. Or at least the college that wanted them the most that they wanted to go to. Sure, some of them are good football players, some of them are great, and some of them fooled some people during their high school career to get a free education.

Italicized players have confirmed their commitment with a Letter of Intent. - Also good that we no longer need to worry about Vaughan and Nassib. No surprises yet. Let's keep it that way unless someone unexpected wants to show up.

Syracuse's Greg Robinson is hoping that he gets a few of the great ones, and enough of the good ones to make a difference in the Big East. Oh, and keep his job as well.

By all accounts the Orange has convinced enough kids to sign with them tommorrow, most of the top recruits have already pledged their commitments to a school. But there is still a lot of recruiting going on tonight. As a coach you are hoping you can land that last undecided player, and keep the neighboring rival from stealing the commitments you've already gathered.

Syracuse has 25 commitments lined up (some are already on campus - so they may or may not count to that 25 signing limit) but they might sneak one or two more in, depending on how the next 24 hours falls.

Here are the 25 committments that Orange will be sitting by the fax machine waiting for a signature from tommorrow.

I list them by order of committment:

Romale Tucker - Tucker was one of those guys who jumped to Syracuse last year, from Virginia, on or around signing day. He's spent time at Milford Prep since then, and many expected the LB/DE to arrive on campus after Christmas. He hasn't made it yet. There is still hope for him to arrive in the fall. If he does, he could see the field quickly.

Ryan Nassib - This year's quarterback recruit. Was lightly sought after after his junior season, but had a fine senior campaign at Malvern Prep. That brought some interest, and some wavering. But he seems committed to the Orange, and could win a few games for the Orange. Everybody will feel better when the letter arrives.

Michael Kay - Syracuse needs to improve on the offensive line. This guard from the Washington DC metro area could fit the bill. Good size at 6-3, 285 he projects as a guard and was another early commit for the Orange.

Trey Fairchild - Somewhat smallish wide receiver from Ohio, but quite a talent when you watch his film. Has good hands, good speed and the ability to make plays. Might do his best work in the slot at this level.

Carl Cutler - Interesting recruit out of New Hampshire. You expect the staff will use him as an H-back, fullback type, in the role of Tony Fiammeta. Has good hands and is a tough kid who played tight end in high school. Don't think he has the size to do that here, but you never know. He's got the heart to be better than you'd expect.

Grant Mayes - A tough corner with good speed out of New Jersey. He seems to have great coverage ability and good football sense. Yet sometimes his speed (10.8 track 100) doesn't seem to translate to the football field. Chose Syracuse over Big East mate Cincinnati, Illinois, Michigan State and Temple.

Matt Jones - The first of the impressive New York state haul to commit to wear Orange. He led the way. Smallish defensive end from Rochester with the body to grow into. Good athlete, good speed.

Nick Lepak - Big, very big, kid from nearby Auburn. 6-4, 336 pounds will play on the interior lineman. May be that big strong defensive tackle to plug against the run, or he may become an offensive lineman. Have to wait and see what the staff has in mind.

Chandler Jones - He joins big brother Arthur with the Orange. If he's half as good as the big brother, he'll be just fine. Great size at 6-6 and a little more speed than Arthur. He'll likely line up outside his brother defensively. But there is also talk about making a TE out of him.

Antwon Bailey - The lack of size doesn't bother me as much with the runner from St. John's College in DC as much as the lack of breakaway speed. Still everytime I watch him, I'm reminded of another small back who nobody wanted that did pretty well for the Orange. The Mack Truck Malcolm Thomas has a pretty nice career. Just give Bailey #17 and let him do his thing.

Dorian Graham - Speaking of Malcolm Thomas, recruits out of Florida can never be a bad thing. Graham chose the Orange over Minnesota, Duke, and Air Force. Great kid, great student, who can't wait to get his Orange on. Will likely play safety for the Orange.

DeAndre Preaster - His athletic skills are phenomenal from Proctor High in nearby Utica. He'll likely be a wide receiver, and a good one, if he makes it to campus. There is some concern about his ability to get eligible and he's likely to need a year of prep school.

David Stevens - Orange needs a pass catching threat at tight end. Stevens could be that. The 6-4 receiver from New Jersey had an offer from Purdue before picking Syracuse.

Ian Allport - Another big body for the staff to work with on the offensive line. He's not polished but that is what the coaching is for. SU hopes they can make a solid tackle out of him. Another NY kid from nearby Pulaski.

Corey Boatman - Another DC metro kid who looks good getting to the Quarterback from his defensive tackle slot. Picked the Orange over Cincy and Rutgers.

Shane Kimmel - Orange liked what they saw in this linebacker from Council Rock North outside of Philly. Lightly recruited, we'll see.

Nick Speller - He's an interesting case since he didn't play his senior year. That likely kept from people away. When you are 2-10 you take these type of chances with good bodies and potential. Speller has both.

Tyrell Harris - The cornerback from central PA comes along with his teammate Mike Jones. He had a lot of interest but not a lot of offers.

Mike Jones - Running back/defensive back potential who made a ton of big plays in the mid-states best conference. I'm not sold on his ability to get the tough yards at this level. But in the open field, he's phenomenal.

Marcus Sales - Wide receiver from CBA in Syracuse stayed home to help the rebuilding project. He's a big-time prospect who could see the field soon.

Averin Collier - Probably could have gone anywhere if he wanted to play defense. He wants to run the ball. Syracuse may give him the chance and soon. Another prime prospect from upstate New York, who chose to stay home.

Mikhail Marinovich - Yes, that Marinovich. The younger brother of Todd, is big 6-6 and fast. He spent a year at Milford. He could play defensive end or tight end at this level. With a year at prep school under his belt, he's a year ahead of some.

Jeremiah Harden - Graham's teammate, is a solid runner who might have a bit more speed then Bailey but isn't quite built the same. Still another recruit from Florida who could help the Orange somewhere if he doesn't end up carrying the pigskin.

Dan Vaughan - I'm anxiously waiting his LOI to arrive. For two reasons, one I think he could really contribute at the linebacking position over the next five years. But more importantly, he wasn't real firm when he first committed. Then I'm hearing that Michigan State might be involved late. Waiting anxiously by the fax.

Jarel Lowery - A big body from New Jersey who has great potential. Late signee and he may have some academic issues. But he might be well served from a development standpoint to go the prep route anyhow.

I'm hearing there is still room for one. And if Terrelle Pryor goes to Michigan and not Ohio State. But I think he's a Buckeye, then that scholarship could goto Justin Feagin from Delray Beach in Florida. Feagin has committed to Michigan but the word we're hearing is he doesn't have an offer if Pryor signs.

If it isn't Feagin it seems like it maybe Dawan Nolton, who seems to be waiting for something. That something might be the Syracuse offer that could come at the last minute if the Orange doesn't get whoever else it is they might want.

By tommorrow night at this time we should know exactly who has signed. Now whether or not they turn into good or great players, well that we'll have to wait quite a little longer for.

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