Syracuse and USF Continue to Set the Recruiting Trail Ablaze

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Doug Marrone knew when he took the head coaching job at Syracuse that fans would expect him to quickly turn around and build a formidable coaching staff and recruiting class. When Greg Robinson had been hired for the same position four years ago, some gave him a free pass because he was hired well further into the recruiting season. But as any observant Big East fan can see, Robinson built a less than stellar coaching staff and regardless of the talent he brought to the football field, the results were not satisfactory to the school's administration or fans.

In roughly a month's time, Marrone built a staff around several highly respected assistant coaches and as of this evening, has also built a modestly accomplished recruiting class (considering the time with which he and his staff had to be out on the trail). Various sources are reporting the commitment of Charley Loeb (Quarterback - MA), E.J. Carter (Linebacker - FL), Dale Peterman (Defensive Back - OH), and Philip Thomas (Defensive Back - FL) to the Orange today.

If that weren't enough, Marrone isn't stopping anytime too soon. With the February 5 national signing day looming, the first time head coach and Syracuse alum is looking to add Andrew Tiller (Offensive Tackle - NY), David Oku (Running Back - OK), and Craig Drummond (Defensive End - IL), among others. Here are the headlines on the aforementioned recruiting developments for Syracuse:


After a somewhat disappointing season, the USF Bulls and head coach Jim Leavitt are taking no prisoners on the recruiting trail. They've shown that they too can be competitive in attracting top level talent in the state of Florida, along with Miami, UF, and FSU.

There has been a great amount of discussion over ultimate destination of former Miami quarterback Robert Marve. The troubled former high school standout announced that he would transfer from the Hurricane program and wished to play at a highly competitive football school, where he could also be closer to his sick father (he lives in Tampa, FL). Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that Marve is focusing on four schools: Oklahoma State, Purdue, USF, and Oklahoma (scroll down). This would be quite development for the Bulls, should Marve decide to play his college ball in Tampa, because he would be able to potentially step into the starting job after Matt Grothe graduates at the conclusion of this coming season (Marve would sit out this season).

Then again, it's well known that Robert Marve has had trouble "playing well with others," his coaches in particular. He was suspended for the Hurricanes' bowl game appearance, accelerating his decision to leave the program. USF would have to be sure they would want to risk using a scholarship on another athlete who causes trouble, much like strong safety Carlton Williams.

If you want to discuss the "here and now" of USF recruiting, the Bulls managed to haul in a big fish, in JUCO offensive lineman Carlos Savala. There's no question that if Grothe wants to have the type of senior year that he feels he's capable of having, his offensive line will have to help him a great deal.