Recruiting Weekend Primer

CuseNation.com previews a critical official weekend for the Syracuse football Orange.

The dead period is over on Thursday, the spring semester has begun and the Syracuse football players and staff are back on campus. That sets up for a huge official visit weekend coming up. Here is a look at who will be on campus.

Player: Jake Pickard
Class: 2015
Position: Defensive End
Rating: 3-star
Positional Rank: #74 DE
Height/Weight: 6-foot-6/232 lbs.
School: Millburn Senior High School (Millburn, N.J.)
Status: Committed to Wisconsin
Notes: With the coaching staff change over at Wisconsin, Pickard is taking a look at Syracuse once again. He has a strong relationship with Orange assistant Bobby Acosta. This is Syracuse’s last chance to make an impression on the talented Garden State product.

Player: Najee Clayton
Class: 2015
Position: Defensive Back/Wide Receiver
Rating: 3-star
Positional Rank: #101 WR
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2/200 lbs.
School: Paramus Catholic High School (Paramus, N.J.)
Status: Uncommitted
Notes: Syracuse likes Clayton as a defensive back rather than a receiver. His senior tape really impressed the coaching staff and the Orange are expected to make a push during his visit. The only other official visit he has scheduled is to Rutgers next week. Pittsburgh and Penn State have also spoken to him recently. All four visited Clayton at his school when the dead period ended.

Player: Nate Howard
Class: 2015
Position: Defensive End
Rating: 3-star
Positional Rank: #114 DE
Height/Weight: 6-foot-5/225 lbs.
School: Ladue Horton Watkins High School (Ladue, Mo.)
Status: Committed to Wisconson
Notes: Another Badger commit checking out the Orange, Howard has admitted recently that his recruitment is open due to the Wisconsin coaching change. Syracuse has been in regular contact, but this one may be a little more difficult due to distance from Howard’s home.

Player: Keivonnis Davis
Class: 2015
Position: Defensive End
Rating: 3-star
Positional Rank: #137 DE
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3/220 lbs.
School: Miami Central High School (Miami, Fla.)
Status: Committed to Syracuse
Notes: Davis is verbally committed to Syracuse, but will officially visit Oregon State on the 23rd. This weekend will be his time on campus, and gives the Orange a chance to solidify his commitment. His visit is as important as the other uncommitted players.

Player: Dontae Strickland
Class: 2015
Position: Running Back
Rating: 3-star
Positional Rank:#73 RB
Height/Weight: 6-foot-0/180 lbs.
School: South Brunswick High School (Monmouth Junction, N.J.)
Status: Committed to Syracuse
Notes: Strickland’s official visit is important this weekend because both Pickard and Clayton are also taking theirs. All three are New Jersey products and this gives Strickland a chance to help the Orange recruit both.

Player: Daivon Ellison
Class: 2015
Position: Cornerback
Rating: 2-star
Positional Rank:NR
Height/Weight: 5-foot-9/180 lbs.
School: Don Bosco Preparatory School (Ramsey, N.J.)
Status: Committed to Syracuse
Notes: Similar to Strickland, Ellison helps Syracuse’s efforts to land the other New Jersey prospects visiting this weekend. All four Garden State prospects are expected to travel together, as are their families.

Player: Tyrone Perkins
Class: 2015
Position: Running Back
Rating: 3-star
Positional Rank:#140 RB
Height/Weight: 6-foot-0/190 lbs.
School: Friends Academy (Locust Valley, N.Y.)
Status: Committed to Syracuse
Notes: Perkins has been on campus before and remains a solid verbal pledge. Still, it’s always important to make an impression while your commits are on campus. Perkins is recovering from a torn ACL and PCL, but the Orange have stayed true to their commitment to him as he has to them.

Player: Andrew Spence
Class: 2015
Position: Cornerback
Rating: 3-star
Positional Rank:#112 CB
Height/Weight: 6-foot-1.5/190 lbs.
School: Coral Gables Senior High School (Coral Gables, Fla.)
Status: Committed to Syracuse
Notes: Spence was one of several to commit to Syracuse early. This is a chance for the Orange to solidify his verbal pledge. Spence is a bigger defensive back with versatility to play corner or safety. He could be a steal in the class.


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