It's always important to hold down your home state in recruiting. Syracuse has been making strides in recent years of reestablishing the Orange as a viable option within New York State. However, they have continued to miss out on top prospects. In the first in our new "State of Recruiting" series, we take a look at where things stand in New York for 2014.
Naesean Howard: The local running back was the first member of Syracuse's 2014 class when he committed during an unofficial visit. A talented, three star athlete, Howard could play running back or defensive back for the Orange. He has continually called Syracuse his dream school, and is a very solid commit. Don't expect any wavering from Howard.
Chad Mavety: The four star JUCO offensive tackle has offers from many of college football's elite. Syracuse remains in the mix, however, as they are pursuing him as hard as any prospect on their board. Mavety claimed that he always saw himself in a Syracuse uniform growing up. But he also wants to play for a national championship. He will ultimately have to decide between his heart and his head. This battle could come down to Syracuse and Alabama.
The Next Best Thing
Thomas Holley: The four star defensive lineman also has an impressive offer list. However, he seems to have a desire to stay close to home in the northeast. Syracuse has been aggressive in their pursuit of Holley, despite the Orange not being mentioned when he gives recruiting updates. Getting Holley on campus will be critical, but Penn State may be tough to beat.
Third's (Not) a Charm
Curtis Samuel: Syracuse has gone as hard after Samuel as any they are recruiting. However, he has been unresponsive to the Orange. A source says Ohio State appears to be the favorite here. Urban Meyer has apparently told Samuel that he is the best player in the country. While Samuel may not quite be that, he is an athletic freak that can play just about anywhere on the football field. Syracuse is on the outside looking in here.
The Rest of the Offerees
Qadree Ollison: The running back out of Buffalo has blown up over the spring. He is now up to a dozen offers, including Wisconsin. Ollison visited the Syracuse campus for the first time recently, and liked what he saw. The Orange should be involved with this to the end, but the Badgers are a threat.
Jalen Williams: Williams is an intriguing prospect at a position of need for the Orange. A three star safety, Williams has been receiving interest from several northeast schools. It's hard to tell where Syracuse stands with Williams, as they have not stayed in regular contact. However, he will likely visit over the summer.
Travis Lock: The JUCO running back is a teammate of Mavety. The two consider themselves friends and have said it would be nice to play at the next level together. However, that will not play a factor in either's decision. Lock will not focus on his recruitment until after his season, so don't expect a decision anytime soon.
Cory Johnson: Another JUCO prospect in New York, Syracuse recently offered the talented defensive tackle. Wayne Williams calls Johnson "a player." Johnson seems very interested in the Orange, but has other schools pursuing him as well. They include Arizona State, Miami, Kentucky, North Carolina State, and Temple where he committed out of high school. A visit will be critical here.
Prospects Yet to be Offered
Justin Noye: Noye is a three star athlete who is being looked at by Syracuse as a defensive back. The Orange coaches want to see him run some drills, including back peddling, before an offer is extended. However, an offer is expected at some point. Ultimately, expect Noye to choose between Syracuse and Rutgers unless a big name school gets involved. Penn State and Stanford have expressed preliminary interest.
Joseph Gause: A relative of Quentin Gause, Joseph is a wide receiver who is long and lean. He only holds one offer (Old Dominion) for the time being. However, he could become important over the summer if the Orange miss out on other targets. Gause certainly has the athletic bloodlines to be a major conference prospect.
David Cinti: A center who has received preliminary interest from Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Rutgers, Cinti still does not have any offers. The Orange are not in heavy pursuit, and likely won't recruit him unless they need a last minute backup plan.
Jaquan McCullough: McCullough is being looked at as a wide receiver. He has impressed at a few camps, but still does not hold an offer. He will be camping with the Orange in June, where he will have an opportunity to make an impression on the Syracuse coaches.
Godspower Ogide: An athletic freak, Ogide stands at 6-foot-9 as a defensive end. He has only been playing football for a couple of years, and has a high ceiling. However, he is still waiting for his first offer. Interest should pick up as his season begins and more film on him is available.
Myles Nicholas: The camp schedule will be critical for Nicholas if he hopes to grab a major conference offer. He will be camping with Syracuse in June. Nicholas is an athletic linebacker who makes plays in the backfield. He does hold two offers, from Old Dominion and Buffalo. Syracuse would be the favorite if they offer.
B.J. White: When Chuck Bullough visited prospects in the Rochester area, he came away impressed by White. Expect White to camp with Syracuse over the summer. An offer could come down the road for the athletic defensive end who is also hearing from Rutgers and Pittsburgh among others.
Kemani Howard: The athletic corner has recently entered Syracuse's radar. He will also camp with the Orange over the summer, where an offer could be extended with a solid performance.
Poncho Barnwell: Barnwell's status is a bit confusing. He was a commit to the old staff as part of the 2012 class. The new staff has been in touch, but it is unclear if he still has an offer. Should one emerge, expect Barnwell to stay with the Orange. The new staff could wait until the fall when more film on Poncho will be available.