Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007

Boatman turns Orange

Good Counsel lineman commits to Syracuse

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Wrestling with perhaps the biggest decision of his young life, Good Counsel senior Cory Boatman entered his recent visit to Syracuse University with an open mind regarding his future college plans.

But after hearing the possibility of playing as a true freshman, the complicated recruiting process suddenly became much clearer for the multi-talented defensive end, who committed to Syracuse on Dec. 9.

Boatman, a Silver Spring resident, chose the Big East school over North Carolina, Cincinnati, Miami of Ohio and Rutgers, among others.

‘‘I could get playing time right away if I put in the work,” said Boatman, an All-Gazette first-team selection the last two years and a two-way starter for the Falcons (10-2). ‘‘I have a chance of maybe starting. They had a lot of graduations and they’re a very young team. I could come in behind Jameel McClain.”

McClain recently finished his career in the seventh spot on the Syracuse record list for tackles by a down lineman (177) and tied for 11th on the career tackles for a loss list. Boatman (6-foot, 257 pounds) said he is being recruited to play either defensive end or outside linebacker.

Besides the chance to play right away, Boatman said he likes the way third-year coach Greg Robinson is rebuilding the Syracuse program that has fallen on tough times in recent years, including a 2-10 overall mark and a 1-6 record in Big East play this past season.

The future looks brighter as six members of the team’s freshmen class, however, were named to the Big East all-freshman team.

It doesn’t hurt that Robinson is a defensive-oriented coach, who coached former Bullis and current Tampa Bay defensive back Tanard Jackson and former Georgetown Prep wideout Rice Moss. Robinson, who is 10-0 in college bowl and Super Bowl games as an assistant, served stints with the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs in the National Football League and collegiately with the University of Texas.

‘‘He’s taking the program in the right direction and I want to be a part of it,” Boatman said. ‘‘I’m excited to play.”

Boatman anchored the Good Counsel defensive line, producing 60 total tackles and 4.5 sacks to help lead the Falcons back to the WCAC final, where it dropped a 12-7 decision to DeMatha this fall.

He also served as a battering ram tight end⁄H-back for running backs Caleb Porzel (955 yards, 16 touchdowns) and Jelani Jenkins (782 yards, 16 touchdowns), while hauling in four passes for 43 yards.