Recruiting Reset: Defensive Back

CuseNation.com gives the latest on where Syracuse stand at recruiting defensive backs in the 2015 class. Full breakdown and insider information inside.

Syracuse had an impressive haul at defensive back in the 2014 class. That doesn’t mean the Orange would ignore safety and corner this cycle.

Recruiting Plan

Syracuse came into the cycle looking to take three or four safeties and two or three cornerbacks. The Orange have done well landing commitments early from several priority targets.

The Commits

Syracuse picked up their two cornerbacks before June. Gerald Robinson was the third member of the class. He committed without visiting, but is taking his first trip on July 28th. He helped Syracuse recruit linebacker commit Doyle Grimes.

Andrew Spence committed just days after Davante Davis decommitted. Spence is a bigger corner at nearly 6-foot-2 with the speed to stay with receivers on the outside.

The safety haul for the Orange may be the most impressive of any position in the class. Three-star Marquise Blair was the first safety to pull the trigger. He has the chance to become a four-star with a big senior season. He committed to Syracuse in late June after visiting the campus. He has work to do academically, but his talent is unquestioned.

Daiquan Kelly was one of the biggest recruiting wins for Syracuse. It signaled their renewed presence in New Jersey was not just talk but was receiving tangible results. He plans to still take his official visits for now, but remains fully committed to the Orange.

Top Targets

The top target left on Syracuse’s board is two-star Daivon Ellison. He visited Syracuse in June and is good friends with commit Dontae Strickland. His plan early on was to announce his decision on his mom’s birthday (August 11th). That plan still seems to be in effect. There is only one defensive back slot left, and Ellison would fill that nicely. Ellison has the versatility to play corner or safety.

Names to Keep an Eye On

If Ellison decides to go elsewhere, several names could jump into the mix. D’Andre Smart, Jeremiah Dinson, Antonyo Sotolongo and C.J. Maybin would all be on the radar. Each is from Florida and was high on Syracuse at one time. The Orange getting back involved could lead to snagging one of those prospects.

Dinson may be the most difficult as he has other BCS programs pursuing him. Maybin and Smart might commit to Syracuse on the spot if they pushed for a pledge. Sotolongo is harder to get a read on, but might give the Orange a look if they got back involved.

Dream Scenario

Syracuse lands Ellison to round out another strong defensive back haul filled with aggressive, physical and talented players with upside. The Orange move to focus on other positions and are done in the defensive backfield.

Realistic Positive Scenario

Ellison chooses to go elsewhere and Syracuse turns their attention to D’Andre Smart and Jeremiah Dinson. The first to pull the trigger would get the spot. Either one would be considered a strong get for Syracuse after missing on a priority target.

Realistic Negative Scenario

Syracuse misses on Ellison, Smart and Dinson. They turn their attention to C.J. Maybin who pulls the trigger after being pushed by the Orange. Maybin is a bigger safety at 6-foot-4, fitting right in with the rest of the players at the position.

Nightmare Scenario

Syracuse misses on Ellison, Smart, Dinson, Sotolongo and Maybin. Syracuse moves on and doesn’t look to another defensive back this class, closing out with five players. While this may not be completely nightmarish, it would be a bit of a disappointment to end the defensive back haul without grabbing one more player considering how things looked at one time.

Final Thoughts

Syracuse is in a good spot with Ellison and are confident in their ability to land the versatile prospect. The situation is far from dire, as there are several other players who would love to jump aboard if given the opportunity. Regardless of how the last slot is filled, the Orange have done well in the defensive backfield during this cycle.


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