On his first trip to the campus of Syracuse University in May 2012, Austin Wilson wasn’t expecting all that much from the visit. It was still early on in his recruiting process and the East Pennsboro quarterback was still just getting a feel for what it was all about.
Walking out of that first visit, though, something definitely changed.
“I really wasn’t expecting to love it,” Wilson said. “It was that first trip though where I really did love what I saw. It just took that one trip.”
It wasn’t long after that Wilson made his interest known. The three-star recruit gave a verbal commitment to the Orange on May 21 before his senior season was underway. Wilson said he was in contact with the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse almost once a week and developed a great relationship with the coaches on staff.
What seemed to be a done deal suddenly changed in December. After giving his verbal commitment to then head coach Doug Marrone, Wilson was forced to take a step back when Marrone left the Orange for the NFL as head coach of the Buffalo Bills.
With the man he had been recruited by out the door, Wilson needed some time to think.
“I definitely had to think about what I was going to do,” Wilson said. “The whole situation threw me in a spin and I had to reevaluate my options. But once I got to meet with the new coaches, I was reassured that I made the right decision.”
Syracuse promoted Scott Shafer — who served as defensive coordinator for two seasons under Marrone — to head coach. Shaffer brought with him a lot of the same ideas that Wilson was attracted to early on, making his decision to stay an easy one.
Another quarterback recruit headed to Syracuse felt a little differently on the matter. Zach Allen, who had also verbally committed to Syracuse from Texas, decommitted after hearing Marrone had left.
That move may work out for the best for Wilson, as the battle for the starting spot is wide open now. Nobody on the Syracuse roster has a lot of snaps under his belt. Wilson said going in, he’s excited about the chance to get to compete for a starting spot early on.
“It’s an opportunity I’m definitely looking forward to,” Wilson said. “It’ll definitely be a big jump for me going from playing high school ball to competing in the ACC, but it’s a great opportunity.”
Matt Brockman knows what it’s going to take to be successful when he goes to play Division I football at West Chester University next season.
The former Trinity star will be entering his first season with the Golden Rams expecting to be redshirted his freshman season. But he’s perfectly OK with that. That will give him plenty of time to get himself ready for the competition at hand.
“My first season I want to bulk up for sure and try to get as big physically as I can,” said Brockman, who will be playing defensive end for the Rams. “I want to be able to compete in my next four years there.”
From there, the sky’s the limit for Brockman, who said he’s hoping in the end to set some records during his four seasons on the field.
“I just want to be the best I can be there,” he said.
One and done
Former Trinity quarterback Patrick Dill will be trading in his Milford Academy uniform for the blue and red of Duquesne’s.
During a season at the prep school, Dill threw for 999 yards on 70-of-140 passing in just eight games. With one season of post-high school ball under his belt, Dill signed his letter of intent to play for the Dukes this coming season.
The sure thing
The worst kept secret when it came to area football recruiting was Adam Breneman’s decision to enroll at Penn State.
The former Cedar Cliff tight end announced his commitment to the Nittany Lions last March and enrolled in January. He, along with quarterback Christian Hackenberg, are is the cornerstone of Penn State’s 2013 class, the first one recruited by head coach Bill O’Brien.
Here’s a look at area football commitments that have been confirmed to The Sentinel:
Adam Breneman (Cedar Cliff), Penn State
Jeremy Salmon (Cumberland Valley), Maine
Austin Wilson (East Pennsboro), Syracuse
Chase Shulda (East Pennsboro), Lock Haven
Sam Marlin (Mechanicsburg), Fordham
Jake Trump (Mechanicsburg), Delaware
Cary Hess (Shippensburg), Bucknell
Matt Brockman (Trinity), West Chester