This past offseason, Syracuse head coach Dino Babers hired a new defensive coordinator – Tony White, from Arizona State. White is known for his 3-3-5 defense, which plays five defensive backs. In modern college, football, it makes sense to have as many defensive backs on the field.
While White’s hire will change the look of the Orange defense, it is Nick Monroe who is responsible for the secondary’s success. SU Safeties/Nickelbacks coach is responsible for crafting players like Andre Cisco and Trill Williams into two of the best players on the roster.
Besides coaching Cisco, Williams, and Ifeatu Melifonwu, Monroe recruited all of them. He was the primary recruiter on Cisco and Williams, and is currently the primary recruiter for Duce Chestnut, SU’s top rated recruit. Monroe is also serving as the secondary recruiter to Malcolm Folk, a three-star safety commit from Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.
Coming out of high school, Williams was the highest rated of the three on the roster. In an interview with Fizz Radio after signing with the Orange, Williams mentioned how influential Monroe was in his recruitment.
“After (high school) football games we would talk about the game,” Williams said. “I’d send him clips of my games and he’d tell me what I did wrong instead of what I did right. That made me correct it, and I look up to him. He’s a great guy, my family loves him, my mom loves him, my dad loves him, even my little sister loves him. He’s a great recruiter and I’m glad I’m going to be with him for the next three to four years.”
As Williams enters his junior season, he has intercepted three passes, defended five passes and forced three fumbles, including this one to end the 2019 season on a high note.
Throughout Babers’ tenure, Monroe has become the most consistent assistant coach, whether through recruiting or coaching. Without Monroe, Cisco may be an All-American at a different school, and the 2021 recruiting class may be looking elsewhere.