19 Syracuse football players grew up in Florida, which braces for Hurricane Irma

Jessica Sheldon | Staff Photographer

Senior wide receiver Steve Ishmael is one of 19 Syracuse football players who grew up in Florida, which faces an impending hurricane.

As Hurricane Irma sweeps across the Bahamas and Cuba, Syracuse football players with ties to the state of Florida expressed concern for friends and family in the area. Irma, a deadly storm threatening to ravage Florida with destruction not seen in a generation, is responsible for at least 20 deaths in the Caribbean.

Of the 105 Syracuse football players rostered, 19 grew up in Florida and 20, including the 19 natives, attended high school in state, most both, including senior wide receiver Steve Ishmael, freshman running back Markenzy Pierre and junior tight end Ravian Pierce.

“It’s a little situation going on out at home right now, with the Hurricane,” said Pierce, a native of Plantation, Florida. “They are trying to prepare for all of that.”

Syracuse will make visits later in the season to Florida State and Miami. The Seminoles postponed their home game Saturday and Miami’s game has been canceled due to the impending storm. 

Hundreds of thousands of people across Florida fled their homes this week via evacuation routes to escape Irma’s wrath. The National Hurricane Center said Irma will approach South Florida by Sunday morning, with heavy rain and high winds. 

“Irma is likely to make landfall in Florida as a dangerous major hurricane, and will bring life-threatening wind impacts to much of the state regardless of the exact track of the center,” the National Hurricane Center said Friday.

The center said that Irma remained “extremely dangerous,” with winds up to 150 miles per hour. The Florida Keys are at risk of “life-threatening inundation.”

The center also said that Irma was expected “to remain a powerful Category 4 hurricane as it approaches Florida.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Irma would be “way bigger than Andrew,” referring to the most destructive hurricane to hit the state.

Syracuse players from Florida:

Ravian Pierce, junior TE, Plantation

Antwan Cordy, redshirt junior DB, Homestead

Steve Ishmael, senior WR, Miami

Juwan Dowels, redshirt senior DB, Sunrise

Devon Clarke, redshirt freshman DB, Kissimmee

Rex Culpepper, redshirt freshman QB, Tampa

Scoop Bradshaw, sophomore DB, Tampa

Cordell Hudson, redshirt junior DB, Largo

Markenzy Pierre, freshman RB, Orlando

Nadarius Fagan, freshman LB, Goulds

Sterling Hofrichter, redshirt sophomore P/K, Valrico

Kenneth Ruff, sophomore DL, Lauderhill

Samuel Clausman, redshirt sophomore OL, Pembroke Pines

Colin Byrne, redshirt sophomore OL, Coral Springs

Sean Avant, redshirt senior WR, Miramar

Adly Enoicy, redshirt junior WR, Delray Beach

Sharod Johnson, freshman WR, Miami

Aaron Hackett, freshman TE, Venice

McKinley Williams, sophomore DL, Miramar


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