The man tabbed to take the offense forward for Syracuse Orange football, George McDonald, was formally introduced to the Syracuse community and is currently introducing himself to who could be pieces of the future of the Orange.
The bridge already built between McDonald and Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer assisted in making his filling of the vacancy at offensive coordinator possible.
McDonald spoke on the beginnings of his relationship with Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer. "It started back at Northern Illinois when he first hired me," said McDonald. "Coach Shafer's always been a mentor to me. Every job I've taken. Every question I've had about coaching, I've called him first or make sure he's on one of my call lists."
Not unlike recruits deciding on where they will be playing in their collegiate career, McDonald de-committed as well. "In terms of coming here, I was out on the road recruiting for Arkansas," McDonald remarked. "He called and said he wanted to talk and have an opportunity to come here and be a coordinator, and we talked. And it was a situation that was good for me and was good for him and kinda the rest is history as they say." McDonald left Arkansas for Syracuse to join Shafer in the new chapter of Orange football.
With such a short time until National Letters of Intent will begin to be signed, recruiting is of highest importance. "I've talked to some guys on the telephone," McDonald expressed. "We had some kids in this past weekend and then [this week] I fly out and really start going out recruiting hard for Syracuse University and wearing their shirt and I'm trying to finish this class off with some really good players that I feel might be under-recruited or some guys that based on my relationship, they might want to come look at Syracuse."
As far as switching schools right in the midst of the recruiting frenzy, McDonald said, "Guys understand that Arkansas' a great place and I loved it, and I went there for a reason. But, when this opportunity presented itself, it was a no-brainer. It wasn't a lateral move. It was a move to go be an offensive coordinator, put your stamp on something, and be with friends and be with people that you really admire. And to be in a BCS conference also. So, when that opportunity presented itself, it's kinda like, okay, you have to take the job."
"It was a tough decision to leave, but when you all boil it down to chasing the dream and your dream's at the front door and all you gotta do is open the door and walk through it, you know you gotta go through it," McDonald expressed. "And I didn't walk through it, I ran through it when the opportunity came."
How McDonald left says something about his character. Even though he ran through the door, he did not do it without speaking to who opened the door for himself at Arkansas. "[Arkansas] coach [Bret] Bielema was awesome when we talked about it," McDonald stated. "He's been a lifelong friend in terms of my coaching profession. And he knew my goals and my dreams. When he heard what this job entailed, he really helped me pack my bags and gave me some great advice on my way out, also."
Though the games have a substantial distance until they begin, wins and losses are occurring as you read this.
McDonald has an opportunity to show what he can do right now, and he has been working since the beginning to help bring in those who had already committed as well as some who had yet to verbally agree to be with the Orange.