Safety Valve

Syracuse confirmed its prevalence in the metro Washington D.C. area this recruiting year, bringing in nine players from D.C., Maryland and northern Virginia.<br><br>

One of the standouts from the area, Donta Herrod, recognized that Syracuse did the important things in recruiting him, which ultimately helped his decision to travel north.

"They did the little things that really counted," said Herrod, the 6-foot-2-inch, 190-pound strong safety. "I found some good things about them and they started recruiting me really hard."

The little things did not include a flyer with his picture on it like the North Carolina state football staff produced trying to sway Herrod's decision. The flyer read: Missing: "The Wolfpack's Next Starting Strong Safety."

"The coaches will do anything to get you, but I consider that a compliment," Herrod said. "If you are not good, then people will not want you."

The three-sport all-around athlete, playing football, basketball and track, chose Syracuse over North Carolina State, Michigan State ,Virginia Tech, Virginia Georgia, and Maryland, all who recruited him hard.

"They (Syracuse) talked with my family, came to my basketball games and track meets," said Herrod. "It's the right place for me."

He said he wasn't concerned with Syracuse's conference flip-flop and eventual stay in the Big East.

Herrod hails from H.D. Woodson High School in Washington, D.C., where he led his team as a captain with 81 tackles, five interceptions, two fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and two punt returns for touchdowns during his senior campaign.

Part of Herrod's decision to attend SU may have been made easier because of his friendship with current Syracuse football player Reggie McCoy.

McCoy, a freshman is also from the Washington, D.C. area and is also a strong safety.

Though Herrod recognizes that he will be competing for playing time with McCoy, he said he is up to the challenge.

"I want to come up, work hard, get up to speed fast and compete for a starting job," he said of his freshman year goals.

More on this article can be found in this month's issue of The Juice.

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