Connecticut emerges as recruiting spot for Syracuse

first_imgEvan Adams said it was an off chance he got any out-of-state offers.The Class of 2015 Syracuse verbal commit from Norwalk (Connecticut) High School acknowledges that Connecticut isn’t frequented by the scouts of top-tier programs. The past 11 years have only seen three recruits from the state come to Syracuse, according to Scout.com.The Orange’s Class of 2015, though, features the same number of Connecticut verbal commits as Syracuse has reeled in during that span. Adams, a three-star offensive lineman, joins three-star defensive end Brandon Ginnetti and two-star defensive tackle Anthony Giudice in a group indicating a potential new target area for SU football recruiting.As Syracuse’s recent coaching staff shake-up casts some doubt on SU’s recruiting prowess in the south, the Orange’s first Connecticut native in eight years, freshman Ervin Philips, has returned the majority of the team’s kickoffs and has also contributed out of the backfield on offense.“When I talk to the guys at Syracuse, I’m going to say, ‘Look, this kid’s a Division I player, look at him,’” said Joe Linta, Ginnetti’s head coach at Hamden Hall (Connecticut) Country Day School. “If they call me back and say ‘Coach, we don’t like him,’ I’m fine with that, or then they like him.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“All I expect is that they respect me enough to look at the kid and make an informed opinion.”Philips has shown that players from the state have the potential to receive playing time right away for an Atlantic Coast Conference school.From 2006 to 2013, the Orange didn’t pick up a single player from Connecticut. Philips was the first one since three-star cornerback Ken Tinney in 2005. Now, the team has four in the past two years.“Erv, anytime you get a good running back from Connecticut, why wouldn’t you? … Right, Floyd?” said SU head coach Scott Shafer after Philips rushed for 55 yards on nine carries in a win over Central Michigan. He also beckoned to NFL Hall of Famer and SU product Floyd Little as he said it, a Connecticut native who’s still part of the program.In Connecticut, the competition in the southern part of the state is significantly higher than in the northern, Adams said, whereas in Florida talent is recognized across the state.“You have to base it off of what league they play in, what division, the competition around them for you to really judge a player so it’s kind of difficult finding that type of player,” Adams said. “If you see them on tape that’s one thing, but you have to catch the essence of the player. They have to come out and watch themselves.”Scout.com only gave Philips two stars, but he was still-the second-rated player in the state. Hamden quarterback T.J. Linta last year, Joe’s son, was the 10th-best prospect in Connecticut, and now plays at Brown.By comparison, the No. 91 prospect in Florida for the Class of 2014 currently plays for the nation’s No. 2 team, Florida State.“There are a couple players that we played against this year that could play for any high school team in the country and could play anywhere,” Linta said.“… If you go down to the Fort Lauderdale area, there are 20 schools looking at 80 players whereas in Connecticut it’s one kid here, two kids there, one kid here, so it’s maybe not as great a use of time for recruiters.”And while both Linta and Adams realize the rationale of recruiters, they don’t necessarily agree. Both said they feel Connecticut is undervalued and under-appreciated as a recruiting hot spot.But to get recognition from teams like the Orange, Linta said, may not be as hard as some think.“It comes upon the high school coaches to make the calls to the Syracuses of the world and just get them to look,” Linta said. “The individual players are as good as anybody.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 14, 2014 at 12:20 am Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidmanlast_img

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