Recruiting the Sunshine State

Doug Marrone and the rest of the new Syracuse coaching staff have obviously come in with a different recruiting philosophy than the last regime and one of those focuses have been on plucking recruits from talent-laden states. takes a look at how they've recruiting the Sunshine State in this feature article.

A school always wants to dominate their own state in recruiting, but to speak frankly, when it comes to Syracuse the state of New York isn't exactly one that you can build a roster from. One state that is always full of ridiculous talent is Florida and while Head Coach Doug Marrone hasn't limited his reaches to just that state, he has clearly made it a priority to bring some of its athletes to his campus.

The argument can obviously be made that Greg Robinson also recruited the Sunshine State as well, bringing in a couple of recruits from Florida per recruiting class, however one of the things that we also need to take into account is the talent level of the athletes these different staffs have gone after.

It's tough to make a completely objective case either way in this discussion as Greg Robinson's players haven't completely developed and Doug Marrone's players haven't even hit campus yet. It's also tough to go on ratings, star rankings or high school accolades as well, but one thing we can do is explore which other schools were interested in the recruits that each coach got to commit, and we do stress, got to actually commit.

Coach Robinson and his staff brought several players from Florida to the school when they were running the program such as Jeremiah Harden, Dorian Graham, Randy McKinnon, Kyven Scott and Nick Provo, among others. Harden has since left the team, Graham did not play a snap in 2009 due to a season-ending shoulder injury and McKinnon, Scott and Provo have played sparingly in three seasons with the Orange. Holmes has been a solid starter.

If you take a peak at the offer sheets of these recruits coming out of their respective high schools, the schools include Air Force, Akron, Duke, Minnesota, South Florida, Wisconsin, Bowling Green and Connecticut.

Fast forward to the Class of 2010 which is not finished and you can determine for yourself if these look like different types of recruits.

Syracuse locked down a verbal commitment from Max Beaulieu, who also had offers from Arkansas, Nebraska, Purdue, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Wake Forest, among many others. They picked up Jeremi Wilkes who passed up on Florida State, Louisville, Rutgers and Troy for the Orange. Behind them are Gareef Glashen, Beckett Wales and Brice Hawkes, who were offered by programs like Bowling Green, Colorado State, Miami, Utah State, Tennessee State, Indiana, Iowa, Duke and Florida Atlantic.

Marrone has made sure to maintain recruiting in important areas like Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Ohio, but his focus on a state like Florida going forward is going to go a long way to bringing Syracuse back to prominence if he can develop the talent.


I originally wrote that Mike Holmes had not contributed much. Apologies to Mike and to our readers. Too many tabs open at the same time.

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