August 12, 2008

JUCO quarterback gets first offer

Early in the recruiting process Syracuse lost out on quarterbacks Tom Savage and Aaron Murray. After searching all over the country the Orange have hopefully found their next quarterback in the form of JUCO standout Garrett Barnas, 6-foot-1, 205 pounds out of Harper J.C. in Palatine, Illinois.

"Coach Jackson reached out to me Sunday night and we had a 20-minute conversation about "all things football" - how the team was looking and just how my first practice went at Harper."

It was Coach Derrick Jackson that gave him the good new about the offer to Syracuse and he talked about how that moment felt for him.

"As I heard those words my hands got cold and a feeling of pure joy just came over me. I was so excited and close to speechless! He told me Coach Robinson, Browning, Earley - all of them were in full agreement that I can help their program and bring unique abilities."

As the conversation with Jackson ended the Orange defensive coordinator told the newly offered quarterback to give Syracuse Head Coach Greg Robinson a call on Monday night. Last night both player and coach talked.

"He [Greg Robinson] reiterated how they're looking for a certain profile of student/athlete and he said I fit that profile nicely. He said, "Garrett, I would like to offer you a scholarship for three years. You have a lot to offer Syracuse football and I see you making a tremendous contribution to the team." We talked about how the three years could be used scholastically to finish my bachelor's degree and, if things came together, I could get a jump start during the third year on my master's."

While the two talked Robinson said that it was the versatility of the young prospect that led to the offer and those factors should help him pick his position if he decides on Syracuse.

"Coach Robinson was clear in saying that my size, speed, athleticism and decision-making are key strengths to running an offense and that I would be able to compete for the position of my choice over the three year period. The staff all had a chance to weigh-in and each sees me with the skills to play on either side of the ball. My versatility, I think, played a major part in their decision to offer."

"They want to do more and they think my presence opens up more possibilities. That's all positive from my perspective."

At the end of their conversation Robinson added more compliments and told Barnas to stay in touch with the Orange coaches.

"Coach Robinson finished up by saying, "Garrett, you are a great athlete and you can contribute to the team tremendously. I'd love to have you a part of this program." He asked me to stay in touch and I promised him I would give their generous (and attractive) offer every consideration and would be back to them with a decision as soon as I can."

Receiving this offer was a great accomplishment for Barnas and he is excited to that he now has the chance to play college football.

"I have been waiting a long time and I am looking forward to the next level."

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