Unlike former Syracuse quarterback Todd Philcox, Marvin Graves was not recruited nationally by major collegiate powers. He was specifically recruited to fit certain systems because of the skills he possessed.
But there was one visit that stood out to Graves, which may have been the biggest factor in his decision.
”Syracuse had the apartments,” Graves said. “On south campus, they had the two story apartments that looked like a small house. The living arrangements were very comfortable. The coaching staff was amazing.
”The food was great. I had a great time there and south campus really sold me on it.”
Graves’ primary recruiter was Ivan Fears, the wide receivers coach for the Orange. That relationship was also a big factor in why Syracuse stood out, a similar parallel to the current state of recruiting.
”It was pretty huge,” Graves said. “He was a very good guy and very detailed. He made me feel comfortable through the process. Looking back on it, he made me feel comfortable rather than intimidated.
”For a kid that didn’t think he could play college football, that was huge. Ivan did a great job communicating with my parents and me as well when he could. He did a really good job (of recruiting me).”
The final straw was the offensive system. Graves took a look at George DeLeone’s option scheme and pictures himself flourishing within its concepts.
”It’s funny because we didn’t run the option in high school,” Graves said. “I always wanted to do so but really didn’t know how much. It was attractive because I liked to use my legs. I had a lot of experience running with the football playing different positions from my Pop Warner days.
”Also playing different positions in high school until I settled in at quarterback. It was a challenge but something I thought I could do because of my skill set.”
Once Graves arrived on campus, even with high expectations for his experience at Syracuse, he was still blown away by his time there.
”It did surpass (my expectations),” Graves said. “Going from not really knowing if I would be there for four or five years. Being unsure if I could play at this level to becoming a full time starter, the first game on national TV, I would have to say it pretty much surpassed everything I could expect.”