News broke Monday afternoon that former four-star safety Marquise Blair was deemed academically ineligible by the NCAA, forcing him to go the junior college route in order to eventually play division one football. Monday evening, Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer confirmed the news after day two of training camp wrapped up.
”We got notice that he came up short,” Shafer said. “So he’ll be heading out to a junior college to be determined at a later date.”
While Shafer praised the NCAA for looking hard at the academics of kids coming out of high school, he also expressed frustration that a player worked as hard as he could in the classroom and was ultimately turned away.
”In the kid’s defense, he did everything asked of his school,” Shafer said. “He made the grades. I think they just had a couple questions with the high school with a couple courses with the way they were handled. Wooster High School in Ohio is a very good school. Highly academic school. For me, it was a little frustrating but it’s outside of my control.
”The most frustrating thing is a young man that put forth a ton of effort. Overcame a lot of obstacles and did everything we asked. Unfortunately, the NCAA deemed him a little short. Hopefully we’ll come on back and get him in a couple years.”
Shafer praised Wooster head coach Doug Haas as a great human being who has the always has the best interest of his player’s at heart. He also confirmed that Syracuse is not done recruiting Blair, as they hope to add him to their 2018 class in the future.
”I felt like with Marquise Blair, the risk and reward as well worth waiting,” Shafer said. “Because he’s a high character kid with a lot of ability….We’re keeping Marquise in our thoughts and prayers as he moves on to his next stage. Look forward to coming after him hard in the next two years and getting him back here.”
Blair told CuseNation.com prior to the NCAA’s final decision that even if he were declared ineligible he would still be “all ‘Cuse for sure.”