Recruiting Q&A Part 2

More subscriber submitted questions are answered, with a ton of insider recruiting information.

Q: Do we have any 5-star guys on our radar that we could realistically land?

A: Not really. Syracuse offered some five-stars, but did not go after them very hard. And they quickly put schools like Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, Florida State, etc at the top of their lists.

Q: Why no junior day? Doesn't the staff have time? Don't they believe in the process of junior day?

A: I'm not sure what the reason for no junior day is. I think it all stems to their patient approach. They want their priority targets to visit in smaller groups for a more intimate view of the program. It's not a traditional junior day, but last year the spring game was a big visit weekend. That could be the case this year as well.

Q: Why are we offering most of the recruits late? It seems like we are offering kids that already have 8 or 10 offers. Is SU too slow in the process? How can they speed it up?

A: You guys are going to notice a theme in my answers but it stems back to their patient approach. This staff likes to take their time with the process. They do a lot of film review and evaluations. They rely on their coaching relationships as well.

How can they speed it up? It starts with early evaluations. I think they are doing that to some extent. There are a couple offers out in 2016 and one out in 2017. It is still not the same as with other programs, but this is the strategy of this staff.

Q: Any basketball recruiting information?

A: Thomas Bryant and Moustapha Diagne are the top two targets in 2015. Expect the Orange to make a big push for those two to wrap up that class. Syracuse is in constant communication with both.

The Tyler Ennis situation could cause a bit of a ripple effect. If Ennis leaves this year, Syracuse could look towards another guard for 2014. There are mainly mid-major types available, but the Orange may look for reinforcement.

If they don't find one they want in 2014, Franklin Howard would come back onto the radar in 2015. So keep an eye on his recruitment as well.

Q: Will we take a QB in this class? How many RBs will we take? How many OLs will we take? Is there any emphasis on JUCOS? If so any names? How many kids from New Jersey do we land this year?

A: Syracuse may take a quarterback in this class if they really like one, but they won't force it. Their haul of four in the last two classes has given them plenty of depth there.

Running backs wise, Syracuse wants a few here. Look for somewhere in the 2-4 range depending on who they can land.

Offensive line will be a big priority as you can tell from the offer list. Look for 5-7 offensive linemen in this class.

This staff tends to stay away from JUCOs for the most part. A couple of highly talented players may come on the radar, like Chad Mavety last cycle, but they will go the high school route the vast majority of the time. As of right now, there aren't really any names to keep an eye on. Maybe Donavan Williams, the running back from ASA, Wayne Williams old junior college.

It's hard to give a number for New Jersey, but I'll take a guess. I'll say Syracuse lands three players from Jersey this cycle.

Q: Could late offers be linked to an effort to change our program's perception? Kind of like how the blue blood schools offer late now and it's like all of a sudden the recruit has more to think about?

A: I think that's certainly part of it. Syracuse wants to change the perception of the program to one that elite recruits will consider. This is part of that process. But another big factor is their patient approach (I feel like I've said that before!). They do a lot of film review before sending out offers.

Q: Breakdown of the recruiting territory for each coach? Outside of McDonald, who are our best recruiters?

A: Adam: Ohio, Illinois, Michigan
Lester: Illinois, Florida, Georgia
Acosta: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
Reed: Georgia, New York
Daoust: Pennsylvania, Illinois, Georgia
McDonald: Florida
Lea: Ohio, Illinois, Michigan
Smith: Illinois, Ohio, Michigan

The best recruiters are Lester and Lea that I've seen. Daoust and Smith are solid as well. Time will tell on Adam and Acosta.

Q: What the heck happened with Isaiah Whitehead?

A: Syracuse backed off, as did plenty of high majors. He ended up at Seton Hall, not Kentucky or Florida or another big time program. Something strange must have gone down that caused them all to back off. Just not sure what.

Q: Why doesn't the recruiting strategy include early commitments? Why is Syracuse opposed to holding a junior day?

A: It's not that it doesn't include early commitments, it's that the strategy doesn't lend itself to a lot of them. Last cycle, they received commitments in March from Naesean Howard and A.J. Long. That hasn't happened this cycle, but April could be a big month.

As far as junior day, I've addressed that in previous questions, but it's the same old story. The patient approach and wanting recruits to have a more intimate visit experience has not pushed the staff towards a traditional junior day. I do expect the spring game to be an important recruiting weekend.

Q: Are we putting all our eggs in one basket with this Florida kicker (Sterling Hofrichter)? Or are there other kickers we are interested in?

A: Hofrichter is the primary target. They will likely push for a commitment when he visits in May. They haven't offered any other kicker to this point, nor been recruiting any that we know of.

If Syracuse misses on him, keep an eye on Michael Caggiano as a backup option.

Q: What do you make of recruits saying they receive offers, but then "don't feel the love?" One of the top reasons we see recruits commit anywhere is because the coaches, "showed the most love." Surely, the SU coaches are aware of this. Do you have any idea if they are continuing to refine their methods? It sounds like this year, they have thrown out a bunch of offers, but the lack of follow up is creating a negative first impression that will hurt them in the long run.

A: It stems back to the patient approach. Syracuse coaches do show love to their priority targets but don't want to rush the process. It is what it is, but I agree the lack of follow up hurts the ability to stay in it with some higher ranked targets.

I do expect that approach to change in future cycles. Or at least be modified to help them stay in it for some of those talented prospects.


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