FB : Syracuse recruiting class for 2012 starting to take shape

first_img Published on January 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: [email protected] | @mark_cooperjr Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Interest in Josh Manley escalated soon after he committed to Syracuse.Manley, a defensive tackle from Alpharetta, Ga., verbally committed to SU on Jan. 15. Missouri, with a football program transitioning to the powerhouse Southeastern Conference, swooped in to try and flip his commitment. Wake Forest also showed some interest.The Milton (Ga.) High School senior was a commodity. But Milton head coach Howie DeCristofaro persuaded him against reopening his commitment.‘A guy from Missouri, recruiter, came by, tried to come in late, tried to promise him some things about playing for Missouri and all that,’ DeCristofaro said. ‘Then I had a little talk with him. Said, ‘Hey, you made a commitment. You stick with it.”Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone and defensive coordinator Scott Shafer gave Manley an in-home visit on Friday, which also helped to seal the deal, DeCristofaro said. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound lineman will sign his name on a national letter of intent to play for Syracuse in a ceremony at Milton at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. He’ll be part of a batch to sign on to play for SU on Wednesday, known as national signing day.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMarrone and Greg Adkins, SU recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach, will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. Wednesday to introduce the signing class, which currently has 23 solid verbal commitments, according to Scout.com.There could still be more to come, too. The period in which recruits can sign letters of intent runs from Feb. 1 to April 1, and not every player signs on national signing day.In the past week, there has been a lot of moving and shaking in the Syracuse recruiting class. Syracuse has added two players to the class —defensive ends Myles Hilliard and Markus Pierce-Brewster.And the Orange also lost one recruit to an SEC school.Manley resisted the spiel from Missouri, but Harold Brantley found a better fit. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive tackle from Hershey, Pa. gave a verbal commitment to play for Syracuse on June 29. More than six months later, a visit to Columbia, Mo., the weekend before signing day changed his mind.‘I guess the sort of ‘it’ factor that he was expecting on his trip in Syracuse that didn’t happen did in Missouri,’ said Shantih Dean, Brantley’s mother.Brantley visited Syracuse the weekend of Jan. 14, when more than a dozen recruits were on campus. Dean said Brantley and the family still has a great relationship with and great respect for Marrone and defensive ends coach Tim Daoust, the coaches who were Brantley’s primary recruiters.Brantley was more quiet and reserved during his visit to SU, said Dean, who accompanied her son on both trips. But he was more himself at Missouri, and Dean said he seemed more comfortable.‘He still felt really good about (Syracuse), he still wanted to play for coach Daoust and coach Marrone,’ Dean said, ‘but he did not make that connection and come home excited about Syracuse like most kids do after a big recruiting trip.’Brantley’s first call after the Missouri visit was to Daoust on Sunday night, when he decided he would commit to the Tigers instead.Still, Syracuse’s up-and-down week of recruiting has had some wins, too. On Monday, the Orange received a commitment from Myles Hilliard, a 6-foot-6, 258-pound defensive end from Bedford, Ohio.Hilliard had previously committed to Pittsburgh before former head coach Todd Graham moved on to Arizona State.He visited SU from Jan. 20-22. From there, his choice was straightforward.‘After the head coach at Pitt quit, I started looking around,’ Hilliard said. ‘Syracuse had been recruiting me for the whole time, so I just figured I’d take a visit to Syracuse, and I ended up liking it.’With the news of Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano’s departure to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, another potential outlet opened for Syracuse to close its class on a strong note. With Schiano gone, some players have rethought their commitments to Rutgers.One of them is defensive lineman Julian Pinnix-Odrick of Montclair, N.J. The younger half-brother of current Miami Dolphins defensive end Jared Odrick gave some other options a look after Schiano’s move.Montclair High School head coach John Fiore described the 6-foot-5, 265-pound lineman as ‘unblockable in high school.’ Pinnix-Odrick visited Syracuse this past weekend, and Fiore said his trip was a positive one for both the high school senior and Syracuse.‘It was awesome. He and his family were ecstatic,’ Fiore said. ‘Syracuse, their staff, (wide receivers) coach (Rob) Moore did a phenomenal, phenomenal job.’Fiore said the high school senior and his family were going to have a discussion Tuesday night about their plans.Scout.com reported late Tuesday night that Pinnix-Odrick would stick with Rutgers, but there are more decisions that will be made on Wednesday, too.The Tampa Bay Times reports that linebacker Tashon Whitehurst of Gainesville, Fla. — who originally gave a verbal commitment to SU in July — will announce his decision between the Orange, South Florida and Rutgers.Defensive back Wayne Morgan of Brooklyn, one of the top high school seniors in New York state, is picking between Syracuse and Connecticut, according to Scout.But Manley, the defensive lineman from Georgia, already knows who he’ll be signing a letter of intent for on Wednesday morning.‘The school itself and everything, all the school had to offer me,’ Manley said of SU on Jan. 16, a day after he verbally committed. ‘The connections with the school and also with the other recruits.’[email protected]last_img

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