Highly touted freshmen fill spotlight at Syracuse media day

first_img Published on January 6, 2014 at 6:55 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse John Desko rattled off three names like a 10-year-old kid opening a new pack of baseball cards.“Jordan Evans. Scott Firman. Parker Ferrigan.”The Syracuse head coach — entering his 16th season with the Orange — gave each name its own unique inflection. He was equal parts direct and enthusiastic, and underscored the short list with raised eyebrows.Then Desko explained his excitement moments later.“I think this is the best freshman class we’ve had in a while.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDuring Desko’s press conference at the start of lacrosse media day on Monday, Syracuse’s freshman class was continually woven into the conversation. Headlined by Evans — the No. 1 recruit in the nation — and rounded out by Firman, Ferrigan and 12 other freshmen, the Orange’s newest batch of players has impressed leading up to the season.Wading into the college landscape, the freshmen have worked hard and built on pre-existing relationships to catch the attention of their new coaches and teammates.“To hear Coach say that, it’s an honor with a program with a history like this,” Firman said. “The classes ahead of us, the sophomores, juniors and seniors, have a lot of talented players so I think it says a lot about the freshmen we have and how hard we work.”After discussing Syracuse’s move to the Atlantic Coast Conference and how the team will address its problems at the faceoff X, Evans was the first freshman that Desko discussed.A heralded recruit from Jamesville-Dewitt High School in nearby DeWitt, N.Y., Evans will wear the coveted No. 22, most recently worn by JoJo Marasco last season. In four high school seasons, he led the Rams to an 80-6 record and back-to-back New York Class B state championships in 2010 and 2011.But putting No. 22 and his high school accolades aside, he said Monday that all the freshmen are starting in the same position.“We have a really talented group coming in,” Evans said. “Just because I am going to wear a certain number doesn’t mean I’m ahead. We’re all working together to get on the field every day.”Firman, Evans’ high school teammate, was the next to come up. Evans and Firman played together even before high school, and both said that having the other has eased the transition into college.Desko praised Firman, who is listed as a long-stick midfielder, on the progress he has made defensively and likened Firman to his childhood friend Evans.“For all the success that Jordan Evans has had in the attack and in the midfield so far, Scott Firman has been equally successful defensively,” Desko said. “He’s really impressed me.”Then when Desko assessed SU’s goalkeeper situation regarding senior Dominic Lamolinara and junior Bobby Wardwell, he threw Ferrigan’s name into the mix.Ferrigan is a 5-foot-10 goalie, from C.W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville, N.Y., and Inside Lacrosse lists him as the No. 3 goalie in the freshman class, and the No. 39 overall prospect.Desko didn’t name a starting goalie at the press conference and hinted that Lamolinara and Wardwell are in competition. Ferrigan may not be the Orange’s netminder of the near future, but is preparing as if he is.“I’m just trying to do anything to help the team,” Ferrigan said. “I’m trying to learn all I can as quickly as I can, the guys around me are really talented.”As is typically the case, the exciting freshman class is surrounded by a lot of “ifs” and “buts”. Desko said that Evans is learning two positions — attack and midfield — and that takes time. Firman shamelessly admitted that arriving at Syracuse showed him how much he has to learn about the game. So did Ferrigan.They all said college is faster. That’s been tiring at times. That they have a lot of studying to.But senior captain Billy Ward, who was in the same position three years ago, has the utmost confidence that they’ll all live up to Desko’s lofty proclamation.“I remember when I first came and you’re playing on this turf with All-Americans and you wonder if you belong,” Ward said. “All of us older guys have been there.“But this group came in right away and have been asking questions and really working their butts off. They’re going to be special.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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