Pasqualoni Proud Of His Class

The Syracuse football team and the Big East conference face many questions in the next few years, after the departure of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College left their futures hanging in a wayward balance.<br><br>

Although the conference will add Cincinnati, South Florida and Louisville to the football program, much remains to be answered. One of the most important questions for Syracuse to respond to is recruiting, with National Signing Day nearly one week away on Feb. 4.

"The first ranking or the first feeling about this class is a great feeling in regard to we are as far along as we are," said SU head football coach, Paul Pasqualoni. "I have never been one to rank the class initially. I think you rank the class after two or three or four years."

Pasqualoni, however, is proud of the recruiting class considering the conference situation. Within the middle of the recruitment process, Syracuse was in the Atlantic Coastal Conference and then back with the Big East.

"The guys that we have recruited who have been committed and who we continue to recruit have been as solid as ever," said Pasqualoni. "They have hung right in there with all of that going on."

The coaching staff has been a little nervous over losing some recruits over the conference situation. They recognize that there is some uncertainty there.

"Even as we continue to pursue some high-profile guys down the stretch, it hasn't been an issue," said Pasqualoni. "Syracuse football is Syracuse football and the Big East is a highly respected conference among high school players and high school coaches."

Pasqualoni, in fact, returned from Florida on a recruiting trip more than one week ago. Peoples reactions have been positive.

"Syracuse football, the school and the tradition of football is as solid in recruiting as it always has been," said Pasqualoni. "Syracuse football and the university and the athletic program are very well respected. I can't tell you the number of compliments I get from people who saw our last game of the year [Notre Dame] and their impression of that game."

Pasqualoni also said that the success of the men's basketball team and their championship run last season has created exposure and an opportunity for fans to see the university. When he meets people, they are also talking about the number of former players Syracuse has succeeding in the NFL.

Joe Fields, a highly touted quarterback from Texas, who has already enrolled in the university and began winter conditioning, wasn't fazed about Syracuse's conference affiliation.

"I wasn't really concerned about the conference situation because I totally bought into Coach P and Coach DeLeone, so wherever we would be playing, I would be fine with that," he said.

One of Fields' new teammates, who has also enrolled and began winter conditioning with the team, agrees with the Houston native.

"I wasn't really concerned about whether we played in the Big East or the ACC," said Mike Sklarosky, a defensive tackle from Wilkes-Barre, Pa. "The only thing that really concerned me was whether Coach P was going to be here. What conference we play in really didn't affect me either way. It's more about who was going to be here."

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