George McDonald came to Syracuse with a reputation as one of the nation's best recruiters. Specifically, he recruits the talent rich state of Florida very well. That reputation has been fulfilled thus far during his tenure as offensive coordinator of the Orange.
In the 2014 class, he helped land six players from the Sunshine State. This cycle, he has nearly hit that number already with five prospects. Even more impressive is that none of them have visited the Syracuse campus yet.
McDonald has an uncanny ability to relate to recruits, developing a trust and a bond early in the process. Each 2015 commit specifically mentioned their relationship with the leader of the Syracuse offense as a reason why they pledged Orange.
Dana Levine: "The relationship is good. I already feel like I'm part of the Syracuse family."
Colin Byrne: "Coach McDonald is a great guy. He gives us all the information we want, both the good and the bad."
Sam Clausman: "From day one, he's been really, really good to me. He's always looking forward to seeing me. He's always complimenting me. He always tells me that if I have any questions to call him."
Davante Davis: "My relationship with McDonald ahs been really good. We talk a lot."
Gerald Robinson: "The relationship with coach McDonald is better than any other coach that I've talked to."
How is McDonald able to connect with prospects year in and year out? If you talk to the high school coaches of the players he recruits, it's easy to understand.
Hallandale High head coach Dameon Jones: "Having kids instill trust in him when they get into the school, it's a great deal. I have some kids that are at Miami that still talk about him. They say he's the only coach they trusted talking to. That means a lot and shows you what kind of person he is."
North Miami Beach head coach Jeff Bertani: "He's blunt and honest. I think too many people pat a kid on the back and tell them how great they are….I think he's just honest….He's an honest guy that I think cares about the kids. He really tries to help the kids decide what's best and what's in their best interest."
Each of Syracuse's five commits from Florida this cycle have come over the last month, starting with Robinson on April 25th. And McDonald isn't done. There are several priority targets that the Orange will be chasing.
They include Trevill Holcy, Dominic Sheppard, Christian Strachan, Brandon Boyce, Marques Ford, Kyle Henderson, Riley Nicholson, Jonathan Crawford, Chris Hart among others. Syracuse could end up with as many as nine or ten players from Florida when the class wraps up.
McDonald is on quite a streak over the last several weeks, and shows no signs of stopping.