Letter of intent day a successful one for Robinson

From the moment Greg Robinson was introduced as the new Syracuse football coach Jan. 11, he said recruiting local student-athletes would be one of his top goals. He is off to a good start.

A hectic three-week period of recruiting ended today as Robinson announced his first recruiting class, headlined by local standouts Lavar Lobdell and Bruce Williams.

The two teammates and wide receivers, hailing from 2004 state champion Christian Brothers Academy, were surprise additions to the 2005 class of signees.

Lobdell spurned offers from Florida and Miami while Williams had given a soft verbal commitment to Rutgers earlier in the week.

"We're very, very proud to be bringing Lavar Lobdell and Bruce Williams into our program," said Robinson. "They truly do stand for everything we're talking about. They are impressive in every way: socially, academically, athletically. They fit the profile."

A year ago Onondaga High School standout Mike Hart got away from Syracuse, attending the University of Michigan instead. He had a solid season his freshman year.

Robinson inked 19 other commits, including seven more from New York state.

"It was a lot of work, racing around over a little less than three weeks period of time. I liked the way our coaches got involved with it, especially that they were coming on board and hitting the ground running," Robinson said. "I really felt that we did a very good job. We went from the tip of Long Island and to the city (New York), to Buffalo and Albany and many other areas."

Of the 20 students that had committed and were recruited by former coach Paul Pasqualoni, 18 stayed with the Orange.

"There really wasn't a lot of room to maneuver," Robinson said. "I look forward to getting the process really rolling. I am confident we will be very successful a year from now in our recruiting session."

This class though may also be known for the recruit the university decided not to keep, embattled quarterback Colt Brennan of Saddleback Community College (CA).

Formerly with the University of Colorado, Brennan was kicked off the team after an incident of trespassing and unlawful sexual contact, according to the University of Colorado Police Department.

Syracuse had shown a good deal of interest in Brennan, who eventually made an official visit to the campus. Ultimately, Robinson and Syracuse did not offer him a scholarship.

"When you talk about a situation where there are extenuating circumstances, it goes beyond a head football coach. I wanted to make sure that everyone who needed to be a part of this situation was involved," Robinson said. "After a thorough evaluation, we decided it was not our place to offer him a scholarship."

Without Brennan, the new class does not include a quarterback, though it boasts six wide receivers and four cornerbacks. The class also includes two running backs, three offensive lineman, three defensive lineman, two linebackers and one kicker.

Syracuse signed three players from Pennsylvania, five from Virginia, two from Washington, D.C., one from West Virginia and one from Texas

The last few days haven't felt right to Robinson though, mostly because he wasn't traveling.

"There was one day I think there was four or maybe five airports in one day. So it could get crazy," Robinson said. "I reminded a couple of my coaches that man doesn't live by football alone, we are allowed to eat and we are allowed to sleep. We've been at it."

The time to relax has not come for Robinson though, now he turns his attention to his current team.

"It's premature for me to say that I have this football team totally evaluated," he said.

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