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Sunday, June 26, 2016: Three NY prospects make football commitments

   Editor's note: This blog was updated Sunday at 8:05 p.m. to correct the status of racewalk runner-up A.J. Gruttadauro.

   Leading off today: New York's Division I football prospects have been firming up their college plans at a brisk pace in the past week, with Syracuse University snaring two of the three rising seniors who've made recent decisions.

   Syracuse.com reported Sunday that Half Hollow Hills West receiver Cameron Jordan, third-team all-state last fall in Class AA, had picked Syracuse and first-year head coach Dino Babers. As a 6-foot-4 junior with 4.51 speed in the 40, Jordan caught 29 passes for a gaudy 854 yards in 2015.

   The news about Jordan broke one day after 6-foot-1 Fayetteville-Manlius defensive back/receiver Eric Coley also selected the Orange. If Coley's name isn't familiar it's because a recent transfer from the Kalamazoo, Mich., area. He's the son of SU defensive line coach Vinson Reynolds, hired away from Western Michigan by Babers.

   He was an all-area player last fall as a junior in Michigan.

   Coley's decision allowed SU to salvage a split for the week on Central New York talent after 6-1 Syracuse CBA receiver Noah Jordan-Williams opted for Boston College. Williams was fifth-team all-state in Class A last fall.

   Watson triumphs: Rush-Henrietta junior Sammy Watson continued her stellar track and field season with a victory Saturday in the 800 meters during the USATF Junior Championships in Clovis, Calif., on Saturday.

   Watson (2:02.91) and runner-up Aaliyah Miller (2:02.96), a Baylor recruit from Texas, both qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials next weekend in Eugene, Ore., despite blistering heat on the track but will pass up that meet to focus on the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, beginning July 19. Ruby Stauber, an LSU recruit, was third in 2:03.43.

   Watson was unfazed by an opening 60-second lap by Rachel Pocratsky of Virginia Tech. She crept into the lead in the final 100 meters as Pocratsky faded to fifth and then fought off Miller at the tape.

   Watson, the World Youth Champion last summer, will arrive at the World Juniors two years younger than most of the field but likely with one of the top U20 times in the world this season.

    • A.J. Gruttadauro (Brockport) placed second in the boys 10-kilometer racewalk. But lacking an international quaifying time he will not be part of the U.S. team heading to Poland.

   Baseball showcase: Players began arriving in Rochester on Sunday for the 2016 New York Games, Prep Baseball Report's invitation-only showcase events scheduled for June 27-29.

   Scouts from three MLB franchises and coaches from more than 70 colleges attended the 2015 event for 190 players. PBR officials say more than 20 of those players received Division I offers.

   Players are selected by their regional coach through tryouts, previous PBR New York events and recommendations from high school coaches.

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  •    Summer reading: I hope to use the next few blogs to work my way through some stories I've been saving up these past few weeks. First on the list is a piece on high school recruiting rules from The Journal News.

       The story notes that the Catholic High School Athletic Association eased its transfer rules in 2014 by allowing underclass-men from non-member schools to retain their full eligibility and not have to sit out a year before playing for their new school.

       The premise of the story -- events like offseason 7-on-7 football tourna-ments let CHSAA programs promote their schools to players from public schools participating in the same event -- is interesting and not inaccurate ... for as far as it goes.

       However, a point that would have added valuable context to the concerns of NYSPHSAA coaches was not discussed. Namely, CHSAA made its rules change two years ago because its schools were routinely losing athletes to a different set of public schools -- the PSAL. Though New York City's governing body has rules prohibiting in-season transfers of any sort (though even that has been debatable at times), they allow the same sort of movement during the summer that has NYSPHSAA school districts unhappy.

       I don't for a moment think that two wrongs make a right, but it does put the otherwise very interesting story into a slightly different context and makes one wonder if the Federation (NYSPHSAA, CHSAA, PSAL and AIS) or the state education department could ever be capable of brokering a deal that satisfies everyone.


      
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