Robinson expresses "relief" over Williams, Lobdell

There are certain emotions that go with landing a recruit when you're a head coach of a football team. Some experience jubilation, but when Syracuse coach Greg Robinson found out last night that he hand landed two local Central New York prospects, Robinson it was a different emotion.

"Relief," Robinson said. "It's a very satisfying feeling."

Robinson got the news last night from Lavar Lobdell and Bruce Williams that they would be signing letters of intent to play at Syracuse. Lobdell was mulling offers from Florida and Miami while Williams had given a soft verbal to play for Rutgers earlier in the week.

"They are very impressive in every way," Robinson said. "Socially, academically, athletically. Secondly, they are local student-athletes and state champions who know about winning."

And that's why it was so hard to land both recruits.

"It was uphill. Lavar was highly touted, but once I met them I believed we had a chance," Robinson said. "I believed that if we could deliver our message, not just as football coaches, but as people who are here to help these young men in their development we could appeal to them."

The Orange definitely did, landing both CBA stars, who were wide receivers for the state champion Christian Brothers Academy.

"They are local student athletes," Robinson said. "They are New York state champions. They know about winning. They know about the sacrifices."

When Robinson was first introduced as the head coach of the Orange, he said recruiting local student-athletes would be at the top of his goals. Landing Williams and Lobdell was exactly that.

"I don't want to use them as poster boys," Robinson said. "I would like to think that they will help attract other local players. I think that our University, program, and staff are what will continue to attract in-state football players."

Lobdell, a four-star recruit according to had 29 receptions for 556 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2003. Williams had 92 catches for 1,414 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Still, with Syracuse landing six wide receivers in its class, there has been talk about Williams shifting to a defensive back. He added 55 tackles and seven interceptions as a free safety.

"When you talk to competitors against that school, they all talk with great respect for Bruce," Robinson said. "It gets your attention."

Lobdell and Williams will be roommates next year. Although both of them made their decisions on the same day, it wasn't a package deal, Robinson said.

"That wasn't an issue at all. Lavar committed to us before Bruce. At the same time, they're excited about being together."

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