One of the first things the Syracuse staff has done when Scott Shafer took over is hit up the Midwest. They have made that region a big priority in recruiting. Prater is the latest example of those efforts.
Prater becomes the fifth member of the 2014 class to commit to Syracuse, after the new staff grabbed two players from the state at the end of the 2013 cycle. The Orange continue to be a player in the area and develop relationships with area coaches.
The pipeline to Illinois and the Midwest will continue to a recruiting focus for Syracuse in the future.
Syracuse made defensive backs a priority in this class. They already had two corners committed in Lamar Dawson and Cordell Hudson to go along with two safeties in Naesean Howard and Rodney Williams. However, Dawson's size and skill set could suggest a move to safety down the road.
Prater brings a bigger defensive back along with Dawson, as Howard, Williams and Hudson are all under six feet tall. Prater is also another versatile defensive back who can play both corner and safety.
The Orange wanted another safety and got their man. They will still look to add one more cornerback, but appear to be done at safety with Prater's pledge.
Where Does Syracuse Go From Here?
The Orange are still looking to add several more players to the 2014 class. Defensive and offensive tackle are the top positions of need going forward. Zeek Rodney (defensive tackle) and Denzel Ward (offensive tackle) are the top targets.
Prater is a nice get for Syracuse. They jumped back into his recruitment late and were able to flip the three star prospect. He is at a position of need and have athleticism and versatility. The Orange continue to hit the Illinois pipeline hard, and it is paying major dividends.