Reasons for Optimism

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Let's face it; unless you're in one of these kids' heads, you're not going to know where they're going sign until signing itself, or shortly thereafter. That being said, it's always fun to speculate, and speculate I shall (based on some interesting tidbits strewn about the Internet). Here are some reasons for Big East fans to feel optimistic about three major potential recruits coming on board:

David Oku (RB - Oklahoma):

Rated as the #1 all-purpose back on, David Oku has been disenchanted with the idea of fulfilling his verbal commitment to Tennessee ever since their coaching staff was shaken up. Phil Fulmer's former running backs coach, Stan Drayton, has since moved on to Syracuse in the same capacity, inciting interest in Oku to come North as well. Gene Chizik's new staff at Auburn has also focused in on Oku though, and Tennessee can never be counted out to retain the shifty half back. So, why should Syracuse feel good about Oku following in the footsteps of Jim Brown and Ernie Davis?:

  1. Oku has officially relinquished his verbal commitment to UT -- also mentioned in this post is Oku's distaste for the spread offense, which Auburn will employ with new OC Gus Malzahn (3rd Saturday in Blogtober)
  2. Scroll down this posting on and see the concern over Auburn's saturation at the running back position (something Oku may not want to deal with)

Justin Brown (WR - Delaware):

Just about everyone in the Mid-Atlantic region wants to know about where this four star ( wide receiver is going to end up catching passes. With great size (6'3"), speed (4.4 forty time), and smarts (3.8 gpa), Brown is a coach's dream recruit. Penn State (old guard in the East) and Rutgers (the new kid on the block) are fighting for Brown's services. What may make Scarlet Knights fans feel more confident about seeing Brown catch bombs from Tom Savage in the near future?:

  1. This posting on notes the ominous absence of Joe Paterno in the recruitment of Justin Brown, versus the open recruitment being done by Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. Advantage Rutgers in my opinion.

Andrew Tiller (OT - New York):

Finally, at 6'6" and 320 lbs, Nassau Community College's (NCC) Andrew Tiller is a hot commodity to anchor an offensive line. Tiller's former head coach at NCC, John Anselmo, is now on staff at Syracuse, which makes the Orange squad a natural fit. Tiller also has offers from Rutgers and Miami and made official visits to both schools recently. Most observers seem to think Tiller will choose between Miami and Syracuse. Besides the connection between Anselmo and Tiller, why should Syracuse fans feel bullish about their chances to land this behemoth?:

I'll sum it up in a quote from Manny Navarro in a posting on his Eye on the U blog:

"I think Tiller, a New York area kid, is headed to Syracuse."

I hope all this gives Big East fans a little more to chew on ahead of tomorrow's big day. All of the above is pure speculation and some of these sources are more viable than others. The reality is, unless we actually know these kids and have heard something from them first-hand (which isn't always reliable in itself), then this is all we have to rely on.