Fleming (NJ) Hunterdon Central outside linebacker Jason Cabinda's commitment to Syracuse is important for the Orange on a few different levels. The initial reaction is that Syracuse was able to snag a player they targeted and actively pursued. That in and of itself is important as the new Syracuse staff tries to make a name for itself on the recruiting trail.
The staff really likes Cabinda. His combination of athleticism and speed gives them a lot to work with at the linebacker position. This is Syracuse's fourth linebacker commitment in 2014, showing the premium the staff put on the position during this recruiting cycle.
At Scott Shafer's signing day press conference in February, he mentioned not being satisfied with the numbers at linebacker on the current roster. That theory has had a big impact on how the Orange are recruiting. The depth at the position should be the best it's had in years.
The Orange will be losing nine linebackers over the next two seasons off their current roster. Grabbing four priority targets at the position is huge for Syracuse going forward.
But Syracuse may not be done at linebacker. Nile Sykes is very high on Syracuse's board, and is still a priority despite having four linebackers already committed. There is also a chance Sykes is viewed as a defensive end by the Orange.
Maybe more importantly, however, is the impact of the other Syracuse commits. A.J. Long started the recruiting Army after he committed to the Orange. Zaire Franklin and Colton Moskal have both joined Long's forces when they pulled the trigger.
All three had been in Cabinda's ear trying to get him to Syracuse. Their efforts proved fruitful on Friday. In fact, Franklin was on campus during the visit to help convince Cabinda that Syracuse was the place for him. Having those three in the mix, along with Cabinda, will only help the Orange going forward.
Also of importance is Syracuse getting back into New Jersey, an area they used to recruit heavily under past regimes. However, many of the relationships they had built over the years were ruined when Greg Robinson took the reigns. Getting back into the talent rich state to grab a priority target is a step forward. Combine that with the commitment of Rodney Williams shows that Syracuse views the state as an important pipeline for the future.
Grabbing Cabinda also shows Syracuse fans they can beat some of their area recruiting rivals. Boston College and Maryland were also in Cabinda's top three (with Temple also in consideration). The Eagles especially have competed with the Orange for prospects, and that figures to only intensify with the new ACC affiliation.
Linebackers continue to be the theme of Syracuse's 2014 class, but it is still early. For now, Orange fans should be encouraged about the future at the position.