Syracuse has made New Jersey a key target state in the 2015 recruiting cycle. The Orange have made a concerted effort to reestablish themselves as a major player in the talent-rich state. On Monday, they added their third player from Jersey in Don Bosco defensive back Daivon Ellison.
Throughout his recruitment, even with multiple division one options, Syracuse stood out as a place that just felt right.
”My family, my coaches and I all felt it was the best place for me,” Ellison said via text. “I just love everything about Syracuse! The coaches show me so much love and the players are really cool also. And the base is just crazy. I can’t wait to be playing in the Dome!”
During the recruitment of fellow New Jersey players who have committed to Syracuse, running back Dontae Strickland and safety Daiquan Kelly, a key factor in both of their decisions was assistant coach Bobby Acosta.
Despite getting a late start in recruiting compared to other programs, coach Acosta was able to quickly develop strong relationships with the players he was recruiting. That played an important role in Syracuse landing Ellison.
”Coach Acosta was a big factor,” he said. “He’s the man! We’re really close. We talk a lot. I just see how much he cares and loves his players and I just love that. It’s a lifetime relationship.”
As much as recruiting is about relationships, it is also about momentum. Syracuse recruiting in New Jersey started with Dontae Strickland and continued with Daiquan Kelly. The Orange, more and more, were becoming a legitimate option or some of the state’s most talented players. As that happens, a situation develops as it did with Ellison.
His close friend, the aforementioned Strickland, committed to Syracuse. That helps get the ball rolling for the Orange and ultimately was a factor in which school Ellison ended up choosing.
”That was really good,” Ellison said. “When we visited Rutgers together, I just knew right there I wanted to play with him.”
Ellison is very close with his mother. Any decision he made would have to have her one hundred percent blessing. Ultimately, it was the Syracuse coaching staff’s ability to create a family atmosphere that helped make Ellison, and his mom, feel comfortable with the decision.
”She was very excited and ready,” Ellison said. “She played the biggest role in my whole entire recruitment. She thinks it’s a great place for me to be.”
Now that Ellison has verbally committed, he can focus on getting better as a football player during his senior season at Don Bosco. After that, he will be prepared for life at the major division one college level.
”Well the number one goal is to win the national championship,” Ellison said. “Second goal is to be ACC champs. I plan on coming in and making noise!”