Syracuse's hiring of tight ends Bobby Acosta was partially done for a recruiting impact. That was to help the Orange get back into New Jersey, where Syracuse has historically recruited very well.
The Greg Robinson era changed that (combined with the end of the Paul Pasqualoni era), as he ruined the relationships that the program had established over prior decades. Acosta has strong ties to New Jersey and has already made an impact.
Strickland sends a message that Syracuse is back in the state. It sends a message that they are serious in their efforts in New Jersey as they landed one of the more sought after prospects.
Running back was a key priority in the 2015 class. They have now landed three such prospects with Strickland being the latest. He is a three-star prospect with balance who can contribute in the passing game as well.
Ervin Philips will come in from the 2014 class, but there is still a big need for talent that can contribute right away. Strickland gives the Orange just that.
Syracuse now has three talented running backs this cycle, two from their home state of New York and one from nearby New Jersey. The Orange identified running back as a need, and worked to fill it early with priority targets.
Where Does Syracuse Go From Here?
Wrapping up the last two offensive line spots is critical as well. Evan Adams appears close to committing after his visit last week went very well. A visit to Maryland is upcoming, and Adams is expected to pledge Orange at the conclusion of the trip.
That leaves one offensive line slot open. Andrejas Duerig, of Mount Carmel High School in Chicago, is visiting on June 17th. He says that Syracuse has been one of his top schools throughout the process. He appears to be the other top target.
Players like Billy Atterbury, Chandler Jones, George Asafo-Adjei, Christian Strachan and William Gordon also remain as possibilities. Look for the Orange to target interior offensive line prospects, or at least those that can play any offensive line position.
The rest of June will be a key time period with several priority targets still set to visit. On Sunday, Jordan Fox and Micah Dew-Treadway will be on campus. Later in the month, linebackers Sawyer Dawson, Mohamed Barry and Shyheim Cullen will take visits as will defensive tackles David Ryslik and Wes Annan.
June has started well for Syracuse, but it's only just beginning. It could be one of the more active months in recent memory.
Dontae Strickland was once considered a Rutgers lean. Grabbing a prospect from their home state is critical for Syracuse's efforts in the state. Strickland is a big get for the Orange.