When Scott Shafer and Syracuse's new coaching staff took over for Doug Marrone, they had to work tirelessly to keep their 2013 commitments together. Not only were they successful, for the most part, in that venture, but they added some impressive talent as well.
When signing day came, the new staff was able to add three 3-star prospects and eight overall from Doug Marrone's haul. The Orange fanbase was satisfied with the job their new head coach had done. Little did anyone know, they weren't quite done with 2013 prospects.
A few weeks after signing day had come and gone, CuseNation.com was receiving information regarding the staff's desire to add more talent to their 2013 class. Specifically, wide receiver, defensive line, and offensive line were the priority. The Syracuse coaches were creative and diligent in finding players they felt could make the Orange better heading into their inaugural season in the ACC.
First up was linebacker Malcolm Howard. An unknown prospect who originally walked onto Navarro Junior College in Corsicana (TX). He was overlooked by most division one programs, though he did receive some moderate interest from Kansas and others. But he had not signed anywhere and was available. The Syracuse staff identified him after using their connections to find unsigned prospects. Howard was viewed as a talented prospect with the size and speed to help the Orange. After an official visit, he committed approximately six weeks after signing day.
Less than three weeks later, another linebacker was added to the Syracuse roster. This time, they grabbed Alryk Perry straight out of high school. Again, using their connections to identify unsigned players, the Orange found the speedy linebacker. Perry had some interest from division 1-AA and division two schools, but remained unsigned over two months past signing day. The speedy linebacker took the trip up north from Smiths Station (AL) to check out the Syracuse campus. He was sold and made his verbal pledge before returning home.
The Syracuse staff used another creative technique to add talent to their 2013 class. They identified a pair of junior college prospects who were academic qualifiers out of high school. That means they were free to commit to a division one program at any time. Enter Tyler Marona of Pasadena Community College (CA) and Michael Lasker of Riverside Community College (CA). Both would have been 2014 prospects if not for Syracuse's realization that because they were qualifiers, they could join the Orange right away.
Marona was a smaller defensive lineman out of high school, but used his year at the junior college level bulking up and working on his technique. The result was a defensive end that Syracuse feels has a chance to contribute right away.
Michael Lasker was identified by the Syracuse staff on film as a stud. They loved his physical play and thought he was a prospect that would be difficult to bring in because of his talent level. Being a qualifier, it allowed the Orange to jump the competition. Rather than being a 2014 prospect, he was able to commit right away, and the Orange landed the offensive lineman they coveted at a position they desperately wanted depth.
The last member of the 2013 class was Sean Avant out of Miramar High School (FL), the same school as current Orange cornerback Keon Lyn. Avant had interest from several division one schools, but took his time signing. That resulted in scholarships being pulled and Avant without a landing spot. Syracuse reached out to him once they realized a talented player at a position of need was available. The result was a visit and a commitment.
The 2013 is finally complete. The Syracuse staff did a tremendous job bringing in reinforcements so late after signing day. Rare is it that a program adds a player so late, but even more rare is when a program adds five. The Orange were able to utilize creative recruiting techniques to bolster their roster. The five newest members of the Syracuse Orange are set to arrive on campus in early July.