October 10, 2008
Pugh talks commitment
Holland (PA) Council Rock South offensive lineman Justin Pugh recently gave a verbal commitment to play football for the Syracuse Orange. CuseConfidentiel caught up with Pugh to find out more about his commitment to the Orange.
Pugh, 6-foot-5. 285 pounds made his commitment at the end of August, but he had already taken many visits to the Syracuse campus, so he was well aware of what they had to offer. For Pugh though everything really took off when he attended an Orange junior day during the basketball season.
"I went up for the basketball game last May against Marquette and I got to talk with players, coaches, and the facilities were real nice. I came up for an unofficial visit and hung out with the players and the fit was right."
With a couple visits under his belt it was the second to last trip for Pugh that sealed the deal.
"When I came up for camp and just being on the field with the coaches and players and just seeing the guys made me feel like I was part of the team. Everything just fit at that point."
Now after being a commitment for a couple weeks Pugh went back to Syracuse to watch the Penn State game. The Orange might have not come out on top that day, but the new commit was pumped after what he saw.
"I am just looking forward to playing in the "Dome". I was there for the Penn State game and even though they lost on that first drive when they caused that fumble you could just hear 50,000 people just going crazy. It is all inside so the sound has nowhere to go. I just can't wait to get to campus and walk into that stadium."
In high school Pugh is playing both offense and defense, at Syracuse where will he end up?
"I am not really sure they want me to play offensive line or defensive line. I think they might be leaning towards offensive line, but I am not positive."
Offensive line is where he has played most of his football career, so Pugh would not mind if he stayed there once he reaches the next level.
"It does not really matter, but I have been playing offensive line since I was a freshman, so I guess I like it there. I have very quick feet and I know how to get into position and my footwork helps me out a lot with my speed."
At the start of the 2008 season Syracuse has not been playing well and that could lead to a coaching change in the near future. A coaching change does not mean that Pugh would change his commitment, but the current staff is a big reason why he picked the Orange.
"The coaches were a big part of my commitment and I would have to see he would replace him. Right now I am just going in thinking that Greg Robinson will be my coach."
During these down times Pugh knows that a program like Syracuse can not stay down to long.
"Syracuse is one of the most historic programs in college football and they have had some of the best players play there. I just think a program like Syracuse that is down right now can stay down for long because of their history."
No other offers have made it to the Pugh household, but in the future that could change.
"Some schools that I think I might get offers from are Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Temple, and some smaller schools like Akron, Villanova, Richmond, New Hampshire, and Albany."
For the Syracuse fans Pugh is the kind of player that knows about the past of the Orange and he will work his hardest to see that they are back to where they belong.
"I just want to make and impact and try to help turn this team around and try to get them a winning record and to be one of the top teams in the Big East," Pugh said. "I am a hard noise player. I leave it all out on the field and I do not like to lose. I just play my heart out I just don't like to see my teammates down, I don't like to be down."
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