With Siriki Diabate graduating, Syracuse has a big hole to fill at the middle linebacker spot for 2013. The man to fill that role may now be Orange as JUCO linebnacker Luke Arciniega made his decision on Monday.
"I just felt at home when I was there," he admitted. "I felt at home with the coaches and thhe players. My host Jerome Smith did a great job.
After taking trips to both Memphis and Syracuse, he knew he had to speak to his family about which school was the best fit. Ultimately, that choice became easy the more they discusses the situation.
"I sat down with my family and discussed everything," Arciniega recalled. "I discussed everything that was important to me. The pros and cons of each school. Syracuse was the best fit.
"My family was excited for me no matter what. They are my biggest support system and will always back my decisions. Overall, they're very happy I'm playing again."
A big factor for the talented linebacker was the relationship he was able to develop with the Syracuse coaching staff. He says, that was the most impressive part about the Orange.
"The relationship with them was very big," Arciniega remarked. "Besides all of the nice stuff and facilities at the school and everything else, that was a huge factor. It's all about who you're going to be around for the next couple of years.
"That's where I think the relationship with the coaches and players played a big part."
Now that he is part of the program, the 6-foot-4 Sparks (NV) product is already focusing on what he can bring to Syracuse and hopes to have a great career in Orange.
"My overall goal is to be the starting middle linebacker for Syracuse," Arciniega declared. "Hopefully with much hard work I will have the best season a linebacker out of Syracuse can and hopefully move on to the next level of the NFL.
"I want to be able to leave something behind and Syracuse and always be a part of that family."
Arciniega will be enrolling in January and has two years to play two. However, he is going to petition the NCAA for a third year of eligibility due to a medical hardship from a heard injury. If that is granted by the NCAA, Arciniega will have three years to play three.