Football Recruiting

2017 preferred walk-on fullback Connor Koch decommits from Syracuse: ‘I want to make the right decision for me’

Class of 2017 preferred walk-on fullback Connor Koch announced via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon that he has decommited from Syracuse.

“There are so many great schools out there, and Syracuse is one of them,” Koch said. “But why not try to earn a scholarship elsewhere and make (college) easier on my family?”

The Woodberry Forest (Virginia) School senior had committed on May 27. It is rare to receive a preferred walk-on commitment nine months before National Signing Day. But Syracuse coaches Mike Hart and Reno Ferri visited Koch at his high school on May 25 and, two days later, the fullback picked SU, the first school to offer him at fullback. Koch also liked the family connection: One set of grandparents and his great-grandfather had been a part of the Orange. But after three weeks of his commitment, he started to wonder if committing as a preferred walk-on eight months before he had to, with his whole senior season to play, was the best decision.

“I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision for me as a football player and as a man.”

Koch is not ranked by any major recruiting sites. The 6-foot-3, 248-pound Koch runs the 40-yard dash in 4.86 seconds, per his Hudl.com profile.

A month later, he picked up the phone on a Wednesday afternoon and called Hart to talk over his decision. The coach understood, Koch said, but wanted the player to travel to Syracuse at some point to tour campus. Koch has not been to Syracuse since he attended a football game as a child.

“It’s hard to explain in 140 characters (on Twitter),” Koch said. “But this is no discredit to any of the staff at Syracuse. Everyone I know says great things about it. It was strictly a personal decision and it’s still one of my top schools.”

After Syracuse offered the natural inside linebacker at fullback, he began going to camps at the position. Schools began noticing him at workouts with Texas Christian, Southern Methodist, Rice and other Texas schools. He also has family in the Lone Star State and wants to explore playing there. He will also camp at Texas A&M.

The Orange roster currently does not have a fullback on it. There are four true running backs listed: redshirt senior George Morris, sophomores Jordan Fredericks and Dontae Strickland and freshman Moe Neal.

Koch becomes the third player to decommit from Syracuse’s 2017 class after Buffalo, New York native Isaiah McDuffie left the class on May 25. Koch is the second offensive player to decommit, joining wide receiver Daewood Davis. The Class of 2017 is down to five players.

Track the entire Class of 2017 here.

Here are Koch’s junior year highlights, via Hudl:

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