While Syracuse is working hard to get over their early season struggles on the field, the Orange continue to do work off of it. Two weeks in a row, the day after a loss, Syracuse grabbed a commitment in the 2014 class. That isn't all that has been going on in the world of recruiting, however.
The ACC opener against Clemson was originally thought to be the big official visit weekend where the Orange would bring several of their top targets on campus. Those plans appear to have changed. While Aaron Roberts is still taking his official on that date, there will only be one more uncommitted prospect on campus that weekend.
The question is, who? That is unknown at this time. But there is definitely going to be one more recruit taking his official with Roberts. Could it be running back Tommy Mister, the Iowa State commit who tweeted that Syracuse has been in touch? Or maybe Micquell Cotton, the safety who has been trying to head east and visit the Orange.
Another option is Alin Eduoard, the former Miami quarterback commit who has expressed interest in visiting. Defensive end Chris Slayton is also a logical option. Regardless, it's a wanted target for the staff and one they hope to receive a commitment from that weekend.
The remainder of the official visits will take place after the season. When the staff told Beau Benzschawel to take his at that time, it raise an eyebrow. But that seems to be the strategy with the staff. Bring in their top targets late in the official visit season and show them the Carrier Dome during a basketball game.
Prospects such as Thomas Holley and Steve Ishmael will be among the players Syracuse hopes to have on campus. Don't be surprised if some of the current commits push their officials back to after the season as well, in order to help the Orange recruit their top targets.
Not Done at Running Back?
When Ervin Phillips committed, Ish Witter still appeared to be a primary target. However, that is no longer the case. Witter is now off the radar for the Orange. So does that mean they are done at running back in 2014? Not necessarily.
Phillips is viewed as an h-back who could be a traditional running back if needed. Someone that will be used like Ashton Broyld, where he lines up in the slot and moves all over the formation. He can also line up in the backfield and contribute from there.
The aforementioned Tommy Mister was contacted by Syracuse running backs coach DeAndre Smith yesterday, suggesting that the staff wants to bring in one more prospect. Lamar Dawson, Mister's high school teammate at St. Rita and Syracuse commit, is helping to recruit Mister. Dawson says Mister's interest in the Orange is real. He could be a flip candidate, but flips are always difficult. He appears to be the main target right now.
Syracuse's two most recent commitments, Ervin Phillips and Jamal Custis, occurred as small surprises. Not that they committed to the Orange, but when they occurred. The next commit isn't likely to be as much of a surprise. The primary target here is Aaron Roberts during his official visit on the weekend of October 5th, as well as the mystery visitor mentioned above.
Still Looking for Another Linebacker
Despite having four linebacker commitments in 2014, the Orange appear to be looking to add one more to their haul. Nile Sykes and JaWhaun Bentley are the primary targets. Sykes was contacted by the Syracuse coaching staff on Tuesday. The key will be getting them on campus for an official visit. Both are options for the mystery visitor with Roberts.
Tucker (Ga.) High linebacker Justin Hughes is still on the radar. Linebackers coach Clark Lea called Hughes on Tuesday. The two discussed an official visit as Hughes has a strong desire to see the campus. A date wasn't set and coach Lea said the two would keep in touch.
Other News and Notes
Aaron Roberts, down to Illinois and Syracuse for some time, has said that the Fighting Illini have fallen back and that the Orange lead. Oklahoma has been in touch, suggesting they will be coming to see him play on September 20th where an offer could come at that point. Still, Roberts seems focused on Syracuse and a commitment during his official seems more and more likely.
Micquell Cotton and Alin Edouard have put Syracuse back in the mix. Cotton is now looking to take an official visit as is Eduoard. Edouard was a one-time Miami commit who changed his mind once the Hurricanes looked elsewhere at quarterback.
Boston College commit, defensive end Harold Landry, has been in touch with Syracuse recently. Defensive line coach Tim Daoust called Landry on Tuesday as the Orange continue to try to flip the three star prospect. Coach Daoust will be visiting Landry's school to watch him play during Syracuse's bye week at the end of the month.
Cornerback prospect Antwan Cordy was in touch with defensive backs coach Fred Reed on Tuesday. The conversation was just a check-up. Coach Reed was seeing how Cordy's season was going so far. They did not discuss an official but he remains on the radar.
Could there be a couple prospects on the offensive line we don't know about? There have been rumblings of such developments, but nothing concrete. Something to keep an eye on going forward.