Syracuse National Signing Day Central

Keep it here as Syracuse commits and recruits fax their national letters of intent in, complete with analysis, highlights, links and more!

Signing day is here! All of Syracuse’s national letters of intent for the 2015 class have been received. Scroll down to see the Orange's haul. Each player has analysis, highlights and more under each entry. Merry (recruiting) Christmas!

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2015 Orange Signees

February 4th 10:10am
  • Eric Dungey

School: Lakeridge High School (Lake Oswego, Ore.)
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 190 lbs.
Other Offers: Air Force, Brown, Harvard, Idaho, Montana, Montana State, Navy, Nevada, Northern Colorado, Oregon State, UNLV, Wyoming, Yale

Recruitment Recap: Dungey was without a power five conference offer until Syracuse came with one in mid-November. He took an official visit just days later and committed after returning home. Oregon State came in late, but he passed on the local program in favor of the Orange.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Obviously if Dungey turns into this type of player, Syracuse fans will be very happy. But he reminds me a bit of a poor man’s Marcus Mariota. In terms of his throwing motion and his running style. He will have to work on his mechanics a bit, but there is a lot of athleticism to work with.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 9:30am
  • Sterling Hofrichter

School: Armwood High School (Seffner, Fla.)
Position: Kicker
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 165 lbs.
Other Offers: None

Recruitment Recap: Hofrichter’s only offer was from Syracuse, but he still camped at several schools just to make sure he knew all of his options. Ultimately, the Orange was the right choice and a visit sealed the deal in late June.

Who He Reminds Me Of: A kicker under 6-feet tall with a strong leg and solid accuracy, Hofrichter may be similar player to Ross Krautman coming out of high school. Hofrichter can also punt, which adds versatility to the roster.

LINKS:
Commitment Story


February 4th 9:18am
  • Christopher Fredrick

School: Cedar Grive High School (Ellenwood, Ga.)
Position: Safety
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 180 lbs.
Other Offers: Ball State, Charlotte, Georgia State, Mississippi State, Old Dominion, Stanford

Recruitment Recap: Syracuse was one of the first schools to want Fredrick as a safety, which was a big factor in his recruitment. He committed to Syracuse in June and stayed loyal throughout the cycle. This despite a late offer and push from Stanford.

Who He Reminds Me Of: A natural free safety with athleticism, strength and speed, Fredrick has the potential to be a Donovin Darius type of player for Syracuse. A very solid collegiate player. He will have to add some weight to his frame to get there, but there are a lot of similarities in their games.

LINKS:
Highlights
Scout Spotlight
Commitment Story


February 4th 8:54am
  • Amir Ealey

School: Coatesville Area Senior High School (Coatesville, Pa.)
Position: Defensive End
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 230lbs.
Other Offers: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Maryland, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, UCF, Virginia, West Virginia

Recruitment Recap: Ealey always felt like a guy that would choose a Pittsburgh or Virginia or Maryland. But Syracuse continued to be among the schools recruiting him the hardest and got him on campus for an official visit in December. A few days later, he committed to the Orange and ended his recruitment.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Ealey is athletic, built like a football player and versatile enough to play either side of the ball. That all sounds like a current Syracuse defensive end, Ron Thompson. Thompson came to Syracuse as a four-star tight end prospect before converting to the defensive line. Ealey comes from the same mold as a tight end/defensive end prospect as a gifted athlete. He will play defensive end for the Orange.

LINKS:
Highlights
Scout Spotlight
Commitment Story


February 4th 8:50am
  • Tyrone Perkins

School: Friends Academy (Locust Valley, N.Y.)
Position: Running Back
Height: 6-foot-0
Weight: 190 lbs.
Other Offers: Fordham

Recruitment Recap: Perkins was the first player in the 2015 class to commit to Syracuse. He suffered a senior season ending injury prior to the first game of the year. That likely thwarted any other offers/interest.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Similar to Strickland, Perkins can play both running back or defensive back at the next level. His physical style of running draws comparisons to former Syracuse back Dee Brown.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 8:17am
  • Qaadir Sheppard

School: Iona Preparatory School (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
Position: Defensive End
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 222 lbs.
Other Offers: Boston College, Connecticut, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, UCF, Rutgers

Recruitment Recap: Sheppard originally wanted to make a decision early, but picked up several offers and decided to take his time. Syracuse continued to recruit him, and made the final push during his official visit in December. He pulled the trigger shortly thereafter.

Who He Reminds Me Of: With his speed off the edge and ability to rush the passer, Sheppard flashes similar skills to former Orange defensive lineman Brandon Sharpe. Sheppard, however, is versatile enough to play tight end. He is very athletic and, if he works hard behind the scenes, could be a nice get for Syracuse.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 8:15am
  • Cody Conway

School: Plainfield North High School (Plainfield, Ill.)
Position: Offensive Line
Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 280 lbs.
Other Offers: Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Nevada, Rutgers, Western Michigan

Recruitment Recap: Conway had several regional MAC offers, but Syracuse loved his upside. They offered, pursued and landed a summer commitment after an unofficial visit.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Conway is raw and has to refine technique, but has improved footwork and a ton of upside with his size and athleticism. He has a little more size and length, but plays similar to Justin Pugh at times.

LINKS:
Highlights
Scout Spotlight
Commitment Story


February 4th 8:10am
  • Troy Henderson

School: St. Edward’s School (Lakewood, Ohio)
Position: Outside Linebacker
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 215 lbs.
Other Offers: Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Kent State, Nebraska, Ohio, Rutgers, Toledo, Western Michigan

Recruitment Recap: Henderson was set to decide between Syracuse and Rutgers when Nebraska came in with an offer one day before the scheduled announcement. He was set to visit the Cornhuskers within a couple of weeks, but decided to end his recruitment before that visit, committing to Syracuse on July 15th. Michigan, Vanderbilt and Miami (Fla.) all came in to his school to see him late, but he passed on each opportunity.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Henderson has good sideline to sideline speed, tackles well and can pack a wallop when he arrives at the ball carrier. He plays a lot like Doug Hogue but with better natural instincts.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 8:06am
  • Steven Clark

School: Brindlee Mountain High School (Guntersville, Ala.)
Position: Defensive Tackle
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 290 lbs.
Other Offers: Arkansas State, Florida, Georgia Southern, Memphis, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Troy, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky

Recruitment Recap: Originally committed to South Alabama, Syracuse came in with an offer in November. He took an official visit on December 5th and pulled the trigger less than a week later. Everything seemed status quo until Florida came in with a later offer and Clark visited the SEC program. After several days of deliberation, and interest from Ole Miss, Penn State and an offer from Vanderbilt, Clark decided to stick with his original choice.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Clark may best compare to a Big-10 defensive tackle in Iowa’s Louis Trinca-Pasat. A bit undersized but quick and athletic to cause problems for opposing offenses up the middle. Clark has a lot of work to do to reach that level, but has enough for defensive line coach Tim Daoust to work with.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 8:04am
  • Andrejas Duerig

School: Mount Carmel High School (Chicago, Ill.)
Position: Offensive Line
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 272 lbs.
Other Offers: Austin Peay, Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Illinois State, Toledo, Western Michigan

Recruitment Recap: Duerig was another summer commitment for Syracuse. They were the first power five team to offer and he jumped at the chance to join the ACC.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Duerig will play center for Syracuse and has a lot of upside. Mainly because his intelligence and work ethic will remind some of a recent Orange center Macky MacPherson. Duerig has more size, which will definitely help him at the next level. But he plays with a similar physical style and is technically sound.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 8:03am
  • Kielan Whitner

School: Mountain View High School (Lawrenceville, Ga.)
Position: Safety
Height: 6-foot-0
Weight: 180 lbs.
Other Offers: Air Force, Appalachian State, Army, Georgia State, Harvard, Marshall, Troy, Yale

Recruitment Recap: Whitner committed to Appalachian State in December and seemed content with his decision. Then Syracuse came in with an offer in late January. He took an official visit over the weekend just prior to national signing day, and committed to the Orange when his departing flight landed back home.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Whitner has a lot of the same skills as former Orange defensive back Da’Mon Merkerson. Merkerson spent most of his time at corner, but was long and rangy enough to play safety. Whitner will benefit from focusing strictly on that one position, as Merkerson went through a couple of switches during his career.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 7:57am
  • Colin Byrne

School: St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Position: Offensive Line
Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 295 lbs.
Other Offers: Cincinnati, Indiana

Recruitment Recap: Former Syracuse assistant George McDonald helped Syracuse land Aquinas teammates Colin Byrne and Sam Clausman despite neither visiting the campus. After each took their trip to Central New York, it solidified their decision.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Byrne is a physical lineman who could play guard or tackle. With his size and strength, he looks a little bit like Andrew Tiller as a pass blocker. Tiller was a junior college transfer who played under Doug Marrone at Syracuse.

LINKS:
Highlights
Scout Spotlight
Commitment Story


February 4th 7:55am
  • Kenny Carter

School: Plainfield High School (Plainfield, N.J.)
Position: OL/DL
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 250 lbs.
Other Offers: Temple

Recruitment Recap: Other than an early offer from Temple, the only school that continued to recruit Carter throughout the cycle was Syracuse. He took an official visit the weekend of January 23rd. He wanted to commit on the trip, but patience was needed. After some scenarios with other prospects played out, the Orange informed him there was room in the class and Carter promptly committed.

Who He Reminds Me Of: With his tendency to get into the opposing backfield as a defensive lineman and ability to make tackles for loss, his playing style is similar to former Syracuse star Art Jones. The key for Carter is to add weight to his frame and work on his technique so that his natural athleticism can take over in game situations. He may have the most upside at defensive tackle.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 7:51am
  • Dontae Strickland

School: South Brunswick High School (Monmouth Junction, N.J.)
Position: Running Back
Height: 6-foot-0
Weight: 180 lbs.
Other Offers: Georgia Tech, Indiana, Rutgers, Temple, Virginia, Wake Forest, West Virginia

Recruitment Recap: Strickland was considered one of the better players in New Jersey and had heavy interest from Rutgers early. When Syracuse came in and offered, he really took to assistant Bobby Acosta. The development of that relationship led to a summer commitment. Georgia tried to get a late visit, but never offered and Strickland stuck with Syracuse.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Strickland is a division one athlete at running back and corner. His future with Syracuse, however, is as a runner. Adding even more versatility to his game, Strickland is also a skilled kick and punt returner. As a runner, he looks similar to Walter Reyes, a former Orange star. That slightly upright running style with quick cuts and underrated power.

LINKS:
Highlights
Scout Spotlight
Commitment Story


February 4th 7:49am
  • Tyler Cross

School: Northview High School (Duluth, Ga.)
Position: Defensive Tackle
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 275 lbs.
Other Offers: Georgia State, Memphis, Samford, UCF, Wake Forest

Recruitment Recap: Cross committed to Syracuse over the summer, but still took a couple other official visits. The most concerning was to Wake Forest the weekend before signing day. There were signs a flip was a possibility, but he ultimately decided to stick with Syracuse.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Cross is a superb athlete who gets off the ball quick. He is very disruptive and has a similar playing style to former Syracuse star and current New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story
Cross Was Always Orange


February 4th 7:32am
  • Evan Adams

School: Norwalk High School (Norwalk, Conn.)
Position: Offensive Line
Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 300 lbs.
Other Offers: Connecticut, Maryland

Recruitment Recap: Adams loved his Syracuse visit over the summer so much that he wanted to commit before heading home. However, his family talked him into take a visit to Maryland before deciding. On his way home from visiting the Terps, Adams called Syracuse and committed.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Adams’ athleticism at the offensive tackle position will mirror recent stud left tackle Sean Hickey in some ways. Adams, however, plays with more a mean streak. If he can refine some technique, the sky is the limit for the talented lineman.

LINKS:
Highlights
Scout Spotlight
Commitment Story


February 4th 7:25am
  • Marquise Blair

School: Wooster High School (Wooster, Ohio)
Position: Safety
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 185 lbs.
Other Offers: Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kent State, Marshall, Miami (Ohio), Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Toledo

Recruitment Recap: Blair committed to Syracuse in June and never looked back. His relationship with assistant Clark Lea and head coach Scott Shafer were extremely important. His focus now is getting academically eligible. According to his coach Doug Haas, he continues to be on track to reach that goal.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Syracuse’s lone four-star prospect in the class, Marquise Blair may cause most Orange fans to think of Durell Eskridge. But perhaps the better comparison is a safety that never played for Syracuse. That would be Western Michigan alum and current Miami Dolphin Louis Delmas, at least in terms of playing style. Blair has more size and is a more highly touted prospect coming out of high school, but both love to hit, fly to the football and have excellent instincts.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 7:20am
  • Anthony Giudice

School: Avon Old Farms (Old Farms, Conn.)
Position: Defensive Tackle
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 265 lbs.
Other Offers: New Hampshire

Recruitment Recap: Giudice was an under the radar prospect who Syracuse liked early and earned a verbal pledge. He ended his recruitment at that point.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Giudice is an undersized defensive tackle, which will make most immediately think of Aaron Donald. Giudice is not on that level and may more closely resemble another NFL defensive lineman; Mike Daniels of the Green Bay Packers. Giudice has a long, long way to go to reach that level, but the stories are remarkably similar. A scrawny kid originally from New Jersey who bulked up enough to receive one power five offer. Daniels’ was to Iowa, Giudice to Syracuse.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 7:12am
  • Sam Clausman

School: St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Position: Offensive Line
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 290 lbs.
Other Offers: Florida Atlantic, Florida International

Recruitment Recap: Former Syracuse assistant George McDonald helped Syracuse land Aquinas teammates Colin Byrne and Sam Clausman despite neither visiting the campus. After each took their trip to Central New York, it solidified their decision.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Clausman is another physical lineman who plays with a nasty streak. The Tiller comparison also works here. He moves his feet well and is very athletic.

LINKS:
Highlights
Scout Spotlight
Commitment Story


February 4th 7:09am
  • Shyheim Cullen

School: Lowell High School (Lowell, Mass.)
Position: Outside Linebacker
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 210 lbs.
Other Offers: Massachusetts

Recruitment Recap: Shy Cullen came to Syracuse for a summer camp and was so impressive that the Orange ramped up their pursuit. He committed before heading home.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Cullen’s freakish athleticism draws comparisons to current Syracuse linebacker Jonathan Thomas. He has a similar combination of size, strength, athleticism and work ethic. Don’t be surprised if Cullen is contributing sooner rather than later.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 7:07am
  • Daivon Ellison

School: Don Bosco Prep School (Ramsey, N.J.)
Position: Safety/Cornerback
Height: 5-foot-9
Weight: 180 lbs.
Other Offers: Boston College, Old Dominion, Rutgers

Recruitment Recap: Once Strickland committed to Syracuse, they become the favorite for Ellison. Rutgers and Boston College had wavering interest, and the Orange continued to pursue. He committed in the fall after taking a visit with his entire family.

Who He Reminds Me Of: An undersized, physical defensive back who loves to hit and works hard at his craft. Sounds an awful lot like Shamarko Thomas. If Ellison can become that kind of productive for Syracuse, the Orange will have a good one in the Garden State defensive back. Ellison may even be better in coverage as well.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 7:04am
  • Jake Pickard

School: Millburn Senior High School (Millburn, N.J.)
Position: Defensive End
Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 236 lbs.
Other Offers: Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Louisville, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Rutgers, Virginia, Wisconsin

Recruitment Recap: One of the more dramatic recruitments in the 2015 class, Pickard committed to Wisconsin over the Orange in July. After their coaching staff left for Oregon State, Syracuse put the full court press on the three-star defensive end. After being wooed by Michigan less than two weeks before signing day, he ultimately decided to flip from the Badgers to Syracuse.

Who He Reminds Me Of: With his long arms and ideal frame for the position, Pickard has many thinking of Chandler Jones when they project him to the next level. A superb athlete with an excellent work ethic, Pickard could have a big impact along the Orange defensive line.

LINKS:
Highlights
Scout Spotlight
Commitment Story


February 4th 7:03am
  • Jordan Fredericks

School: Lawrence Senior High School (Cedarhurst, N.Y.)
Position: Running Back
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 196 lbs.
Other Offers: Buffalo, Stony Brook, Temple, Wake Forest

Recruitment Recap: Fredericks was an early pledge for the Orange. Offers from Temple and Wake Forest came later, but he never thought twice about Syracuse.

Who He Reminds Me Of: With his slashing running style and ability to catch out of the backfield, Fredericks flashes Ray Rice type of ability at times. He runs with a low center of gravity, can run between the tackles and has enough speed to get to the outside.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 6:00am
  • Trey Dunkelberger

School: Pierce College (Woodland Hills, Calif.)
Position: Tight End
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 240 lbs.
Other Offers: Akron, Cincinnati, South Florida

Recruitment Recap: Dunkelberger is a junior college transfer who was committed to Akron at one point. But then bigger offers started coming in, including Syracuse. He fell in love with the staff and their plan for him and committed before visiting. Originally from Pennsylvania, staying close to home was also important. Dunkelberger fielded late interest from Texas, USC and others but declined to consider them.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Dunkelberger is a big bodied tight end with good speed for the position. His experience at the junior college level should allow for a seamless transition to Syracuse. He plays similar to an Owen Daniels type of player. Someone who can split out wide, play a traditional tight end and also line up in the backfield as an h-back. Dunkelberger can make plays over the middle and be a threat in the red zone. He is an early enrollee and is already on campus participating in winter workouts.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story


February 4th 6:00am
  • Matt Keller

School: Penn Manor High School (Millersville, Pa.)
Position: Long Snapper
Height: 6-foot-0
Weight: 225 lbs.
Other Offers: None

Recruitment Recap: Keller’s only offer was from Syracuse who was looking to replace the graduated Sam Rodgers. He took a visit in December and committed before heading home.

Who He Reminds Me Of: Keller is considered one of the top long snappers in the 2015 class. With the departure of Sam Rodgers, there is a spot for him to take over right away. While the long snapper is not considered a “sexy” position, it is important to the special teams unit. He should be able to fill in for Rodgers and have similar productivity. Like Dunkelberger, Keller is an early enrollee and is already on campus.

LINKS:
Highlights
Commitment Story



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