Recruiting Q&A

The latest subscriber recruiting question and answer piece is jam packed with insider recruiting information. (Photo: Safety prospect Marquise Blair)

One of the best features on is when we do a recruiting question and answer with our subscribers. You submit your questions and we answer them! Tons of recruiting information below.

Q: Any idea what happened with Barnaby Banning? Seemed high on the Cuse at one time then just disappeared.

A: Banning is still very high on Syracuse. The question is, is the interest reciprocated? The situation with Banning has nothing to do with the Orange not liking Banning. It's simply a matter of having five spots for the offensive line in this class and landing targets they had higher on their board.

With only one spot left, an interior offensive line prospect is more likely. Andrejas Duerig is the top guy and he visits soon. Syracuse could get back involved if they miss on a few others.

Q: What's your take on the defensive backfield recruits for 2015? Thinking we're fading on Kelly. Thoughts on the S from Largo? Hudson said he's taking an official up here. Also, impact Prater and Dawson reclassification on who we take?

A: Syracuse has done well to land two corners so far. At least one more corner is nearly a definite, with Daivon Ellison as the top target. D'Andre Smart is there as well, but it's unclear if Syracuse will take another cornerback. Two, maybe three safeties will also be added in this class. The top targets are Marquise Blair, Daiquan Kelly and Jazzee Stocker.

Syracuse is in a very good spot with Blair. He visit this coming weekend. I don't think Syracuse is fading for Kelly as much as everyone thinks. The two sides are in constant communication, and he insists he is still very high on the Orange. The key will be to get him back on campus for another visit. They could be working towards that as we speak.

Stocker is harder to read and his recruitment will likely take longer. But Syracuse is definitely still in the mix. Regarding the safety from Largo, Jonathan Crawford, his former teammate and Syracuse signee Cordell Hudson is working on him. I don't think he ends up at Syracuse, but an official would help. Nothing is set up yet but the staff has been in communication just not to the extend of the others.

I don't believe the Dawson and Prater situations impact my statements above.

Q: When it's all said and done who will be the highest rated recruit in the 2015 class (doesn't have to be committed yet)?

A: When all is said and done, it would be Stocker if Syracuse were to land him. I don't think they will, so I will say defensive tackle Jamal Milan will be the guy. Troy Henderson, Kyle Pugh, Dontae Strickland and Daiquan Kelly will also be in the mix.

Q: Where do we stand with Marquise Blair? He is quietly one of my favorites.

A: Syracuse is in a very good spot. He has not declared an official leader, but I consider the Orange out front. He visits this coming weekend, and a decision could come soon after. I expect him to be one of Syracuse's safeties in this class.

Q: So far we have 9 commits for this recruiting class, with 3 RBs, 3 OTs, 2 CBs, and 1 DE. Regional breakdown is 5 recruits from FL, 2 from NY, 1 from NJ, and 1 from IL. With a projected recruiting class of 23-25 total, what do you anticipate will be the desired positional breakdown of the remaining recruits? Any prediction on how this will breakdown regionally by state as well?

A: To show how crazy recruiting can be, this question was written on June 9th. By June 11th, Syracuse had two more members of its class. It now is up to 11 players with 3 RBs, 4 OLs, 2 CBs and 2 DLs. My final positional breakdown is as follows:

Three running backs, five offensive linemen, one tight end, three defensive ends, two defensive tackles, four linebackers, four cornerbacks, two safeties and one kicker. As far as breakdown by state, my prediction there is: Eight from Florida, four from NY, four from NJ, four from IL, two from CT, two from OH, one from GA.

Q: We've made well over 100 offers to potential recruits. If you had to pick 3 or 4 sleepers that aren't listed on our Recruiting Hot Board, who would you pick?

A: This is a great question. Rashod Berry from Ohio is someone to monitor. At a key position of need though he will be touch to get. Linebackers like Chris Hart or Emilio Gibbs maybe as backup options. Safeties Brandon Feamster and Chris Fredrick. Maybe even a Justin Hunter at offensive tackle down the road if needed.

Q: Any updates on some of the NY kids like Deonte Roberts, Dionte Flemming, Tim Bowers, Qaadir Sheppard?

A: Roberts, Flemming and Bowers are all backup options. I don't believe any end up being offered. Sheppard is the top target of those groups. He is high on Syracuse, but also has Boston College and Rutgers among his top three. Syracuse has to get him back on campus.

Q: Mike, I count 35 prospects left on our most recent Recruiting Hot Board that are either "Hot" or "Warm". 26 of these are on the defensive side of the ball. Seems like the rest of our class will be tilted toward Defense. We need to land 16 more recruits to complete a 25 man class. With 10 of these prospects being LBs and 5 being DLs, I would be interested in how many of each you think we take and who you think our top choices are for each of these positions.

A: Excellent observation here. I believe Syracuse takes four linebackers, three more defensive linemen and three more defensive backs. That's 10 defensive players of the 15 remaining slots with the Orange currently sitting at 11 verbals.

Linebacker: The top targets are Mohamed Barry, Kyle Pugh, Doyle Grimes and Jordan Fox. Behind them are Troy Henderson, Shyheim Cullen, Sawyer Dawson and Brett Zanotto.

Defensive Line: The top targets are Qaadir Sheppard, Austrian Robinson, Jamal Milan, Wes Annan and Jake Pickard. Behind them are David Ryslik, Rashod Berry, Shareef Miller and Nick Dawson.

Secondary: The top targets are Daivon Ellison, Davante Davis, D'Andre Smart, Marquise Blair, Daiquan Kelly and Jazzee Stocker. Behind them are Jeremiah Dinson, Denzel Ward, Johnny Petrishen, Brandon Feamster, C.J. Maybin and Christopher Fredrick.

Q: What led to Chandler Jones the II being removed from the list?

A: I just don't think he's a realistic option for Syracuse anymore. It doesn't sound like he still has interest in the Orange. I think he ends up at Louisville.

Q: Is Edouard expected to have any chance to unseat Hunt. What percentage would you place on him succeeding? 5%?

A: It will be very, very difficult for anyone to unseat Terrel Hunt. I think he's firmly sitting on the starting spot. Austin Wilson probably has the best chance this season, but I don't see anyone coming close. As far as Alin Edouard, it's very tough for a true freshman to come in and overtake a returning starter at quarterback who has been productive in only a couple of months. I give it less than a one percent chance.

Q: One of my friends and I have a theory about NY-NJ guys versus Florida guys. We feel that a 2 star in Florida is equal to a High 3 low 4 star in NY and NJ because of the competition they play against. Just wondering your thoughts.

A: Very interesting question. I don't think that's necessarily the case. There are players in both of those categories who have worked out. Certainly level of competition should be taken into account to some extent, but there are so many factors in evaluation a prospect that I think that theory is far too generalized. It's not a terrible theory though, and from a macro viewpoint probably has some truth to it."

Q: Anything on Wheatley Jr?

A: He is the top player in the state, and as such, Syracuse has continued to recruit him. That said, they are not on his list of places to visit and I'm not sure the Orange ever get him on campus. They are firmly on the outside looking in.

Q: Where's Sawyer Dawson in the pecking order? I like his tape.

A: Dawson is a good player and is definitely on the radar. However, he appears to be a backup option at this point. More will be known when he visits this coming weekend. If they miss on Barry and like him better than Henderson, there could be movement there. Otherwise, he could be someone they go after down the road.

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