Three star Crete (Ill.) Crete-Monee defensive end committed to Syracuse on Tuesday, giving the Orange their 16th member of the 2014 class.
When Scott Shafer hired his staff, they seemingly all had ties to the Midwest. Chris Slayton is another example of those ties bearing fruit in recruiting. The Orange have also landed Aaron Roberts, Lamar Dawson, Parris Bennett and Colton Moskal from the region.
Not only is Syracuse making a nice pipeline to Illinois, but they are landing some of the more talented prospects in the state and luring them away from area schools. Slayton is a huge win on that front with many big names that recruit the area well involved, such as Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Nebraska.
Defensive line is a big priority for the 2014 class. When the Orange missed out on Thomas Holley, they shifted their focus to other prospects to bolster their defensive front. At the top of the list is the long, athletic Slayton who brings a lot of raw skill and upside to Syracuse.
Slayton gives the Orange the defensive end they wanted badly, and prevents them from reaching on less talented prospects or hitting up the junior college ranks.
The 6-foot-5 end has the perfect body for a division one defensive end, and the raw skills to be a strong player for Syracuse over the next few years. Defensive line coach Tim Daoust has a reputation of getting the most of his players and has a lot to work with in Chris Slayton.
Where Does Syracuse Go From Here?
Syracuse will not look to add at least one more defensive lineman to the class, focusing on defensive tackle. Zeek Rodney is the top target, but others like Western Michigan commit Kenny Finley are on the radar as well.
The Orange will also look to finish up the class with more offensive help at tackle and receiver, while still adding defensive help at linebacker and cornerback.
Demetrius Johnson and Jonathan Thomas are the top linebacker targets, while Steve Ishmael is the priority at wide receiver. Denzel Ward is the biggest offensive tackle on the wish list. All three are slated to official in January.
The two weeks after the dead period will be a critical time for the Orange, with many of their top targets on campus.
Chris Slayton is a huge get for Syracuse. They won a big recruiting battle with programs considered more relevant on the national landscape and added a talented prospect at a position of need. He has the ability to become a good one, and Orange fans should be excited about this recruiting win.