Syracuse Recruit: Respect Zach’s Decision, but TCU Not Right Fit
Isaiah Johnson has not been swayed. He made that clear when he told XLJ that “Hell yes” he was honoring his commitment to the Syracuse Orange.
The enthusiastic declaration came only an hour after it was revealed that Doug Marrone’s days of roaming the Carrier Dome sidelines had come to an unexpected (and swift) end.
On Friday, the Elkton Maryland defensive product reaffirmed his pledge.
“I’m very strong about commitment,” said Johnson. “If I make a commitment to the team, I’m going to be committed. That was my word, so that’s what I’m doing (despite Marrone’s absence).”
Johnson, committed to Syracuse last spring after helping Maryland’s Eastern Christian Academy rise to high school football prominence. Much like his soon-to-be alma matter, his future college has undergone a similar facelift.
After rebuilding the Orange program from the ashes of Greg Robinson’s era of ineptitude and irrelevance, Marrone had allowed Syracuse to once again recruit top high school talent.
With Marrone’s first crown jewel, Ryan Nassib, slated for graduation and a pro career, QB Zach Allen appeared to be the bridge that would carry Syracuse into a tough ACC climate.
That was until Marrone’s bolt for Buffalo, along with the Bills hiring of former SU OC Nathaniel Hackett, forced Allen to reconsider.
Earlier this month, the 6’2 QB out of Temple Texas reneged on his commitment to Syracuse and instead opted to accept an offer from TCU. Allen cited a desire to stay closer to his family as the main catalyst for his decision.
“I found out (about Zach) via Twitter,” said Johnson. I have to respect his decision and I wish him the best of luck, but I don’t think TCU is the right fit for him. He had a great chance to start at Syracuse.”
Johnson attempted to reach out to who he had expected to be both a future teammate and roommate. Allen and Johnson had already made living arrangements before Hackett’s departure finally persuaded the young signal-caller that his next stop would not be Central New York.
Johnson, on the other hand, still sees a bright future for a program that will continue it’s climb back to relevance with a new head coach and a new conference. In the week following Marrone’s departure, Syracuse promoted former DC, Scott Shafer. Shafer played a role in recruiting Johnson.
Johnson has “no doubts about Shafer” and expects the SU program to continue a “balls to the wall” approach.
“Syracuse is going to do a lot for me,” Johnson continued. “It will make me a better man than I am today. My dedication is there.”
Johnson will join the team in May.
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