You ask and we answer! Your questions on Syracuse recruiting are answered below.
Q: Are we looking into any JUCO guys? Love what guys like Darius Kelly and the diesel (Deon Goggins) have given us.
A: With the few amount of slots left and the talented high school target still available, Syracuse has not looked into the JUCO ranks in this class. Nor do I expect them to. This staff has put a premium on grabbing high school talent rather than finding players who can only contribute for two seasons.
Q: Who will be our first 2016 commit?
A: I will guess Sonny Abramson, the quarterback out of New Jersey. Syracuse covets his ability as a signal caller, and he has indicated an early commitment is possible if he finds the right fit.
Q: Who will be the next commit and when?
A: Since this question was asked, Syracuse has added both Tyler Cross and Doyle Grimes. So I won’t take the easy way out and say I would have said one of them. But I’ll say Alex Parkinson sometime in July.
Q: Are the two DTs from last year’s class going to have to play this year? How many of the true freshmen corners will have to play and who are they? Shouldn’t we be bringing in three or four DTs this class because the numbers are really low?
A: They won’t have to play because Syracuse will plan on using some defensive ends on the inside to improve depth. Isaiah Johnson and Micah Robinson are the two prime candidates. Those two joining Eric Crume, Marcus Coleman, Ryan Sloan and Wayne Williams should give Syracuse enough players on the inside. That said, if the Orange decide they want to add one more to the rotation, Jaylen Harvey is my choice for most ready to contribute this season.
As far as corners, yes Syracuse will have to play at least one as the dime corner it looks like. But don’t be surprised if Wayne Morgan gets snaps at corner and safety this season. I like Juwan Dowels as the most likely freshman to contribute, but Antwan Cordy would be next in line.
Syracuse already has two defensive tackles this class, and are still after Jamal Milan. I don’t see four coming in 2015, but Milan would make three. That seems like the right amount given the numbers, as you said.
Q: How many do we take this class and who are your predictions to fill those slots?
A: The more I think about it, the more I think 27 players is possible this class with the potential for a couple of early enrollee options (Doyle Grimes and Christopher Fredrick). That would leave seven slots available. My choices to fill them are Alex Parkinson, Daivon Ellison, Qaadir Sheppard, Jamal Milan, Jake Pickard, Kyle Pugh and someone not on the radar at the moment. Likely a linebacker. I think Troy Henderson chooses Nebraska.
Q: Who is still in play no matter how high or low chances are with them?
A: The following prospects are still being recruited by Syracuse: Alex Parkinson, Daivon Ellison, Qaadir Sheppard, Jamal Milan, Jake Pickard, Kyle Pugh, Troy Henderson, Austrian Robinson, Anthony McKee, Jordan Fox, G.G. Robinson, West Lindor, Kenny Carter, D’Andre Smart.
Q: If you know who the mystery commit is, can you say if we will know who it is before training camp opens for the season in early August?
A: Now if I gave a time frame wouldn’t that give a big hint as to who it is? Not to be a pain, but I’ll refrain for now. Once the mystery/silent commit announces, I will let you know that’s who it was.
Q: Are we seriously looking at any more QBs?
A: Not in the 2015 class. Syracuse doesn’t have room and they snagged two each in the previous two classes. Look for the Orange to get back on the quarterback bandwagon in the 2016 cycle with up to two pledges. Three potentially but that is doubtful.
Q: Any other names at RB besides Washington for 2016?
A: The big fish is Garden State 5-star Kareem Walker. He may be a pipedream but I don’t expect Bobby Acosta to back off. Four-star Kentrail Moran from Illinois is also on the radar. Three-stars Moe Neal and Tyler Thompson have also been offered. There are two New York prospects who haven’t been offered yet but could down the road in Terrell Ford and Timothy Poindexter.
Q: Outside of the one spot for our WR/TE hybrid, it seems like the rest of our recruits will mostly be on the defensive side of the ball. Would be interested in your projections.
A: If Syracuse takes six or seven more players, that leaves five or six for the defensive side of the ball. You are correct in your evaluation of how the rest of the class will be filled. My projections are Daivon Ellison, Jamal Milan, Qaadir Sheppard, Jake Pickard, Kyle Pugh and a linebacker to be named later.
Q: Could we get a summary of current 2016 offers and top recruiting candidates currently on the radar?
A: You can find a list of offers HERE. As far as top candidates, there are a few that come to mind. Quarterback Sonny Abramson, running back Robert Washington, wide receiver Brad Hawkins, defensive tackle Bo Peek, linebackers Jamie Jones and Koby Quansah, and cornerbacks Patrice Rene and Antone Williams.
Q: Could Pickard be the Y position recruit instead of Parkinson?
A: No Pickard is being looked at as an athlete. While they won’t throw out the idea of him playing on offense, the staff is primarily looking at him as a defensive prospect. I expect Pickard to play defensive end if he chooses the Orange.
Q: Is the silent verbal Ellison?
A: Nice try! You know I can’t answer that yet. But once the silent verbal announces, I will be sure to let you guys know that’s who it was.
Q: With a 8 win season or better this year, what type of leap do you see in recruiting next year?
A: Winning always helps in recruiting. An eight win season would further the momentum that the program has. It would keep the higher ranked prospects in 2015 and help them with a quality start in 2016. I think recruiting would continue its upward tick. Syracuse had the 73rd ranked class in 2013, up to 53 in 2014 and looked to break to the top 50 in 2015. A class in the low 40’s in 2016 is a realistic goal.
Q: The IPF was originally a $17 million project, down to $13 million. Do you know what happened there?
A: I haven’t heard any specific information but there are a couple prevailing theories. Either one they did not have as much funding as originally anticipated, or two they were able to find some cost cutting measures during the planning phase. I wouldn’t worry too much about it as it should still be a big time facility.
Q: How much influence do high school coaches have on recruits?
A: Too much in my opinion. I have always though that college decisions should be the choice of the prospect and his family. Coaches, however, sometimes have a lot of influence over players and can push them in certain directions or delay their decisions. While they should be there as a guide, as someone with experience within the process, sometimes they have too much influence over players. In short, they can have a lot depending on the situation.
Q: This class is filling up fast. Do you think it’s possible we go past 25 if a couple big targets want to sign on late and we are full? I mean someone like Davonte Davis.
A: I think this is a very strong possibility. A guy like Davis, Syracuse will always have room for. With Treevon Prater and K.J. Williams situations, it’s entirely possible Syracuse takes more than 25 with a couple of early enrollees which can be deferred back to 2014. Two of those so far include Doyle Grimes and Christopher Fredrick. Fredrick is not a sure thing, but is a logical candidate according to his coach. A class of 27 is a realistic possibility.