One of the perks to having a premium membership to CuseNation.com is having direct access to the industry's leading recruiting insiders. Below are a series of questions submitted by our members on which they would like some insider insight. Here is the latest from the world of Syracuse recruiting.
Q: We have offered eight wide receivers out of NJ. Where do we stand with these guys and what are our chances with each?
Great question. Wide receiver is one of, if not the, top positions for Syracuse in the 2016 class. They could take as many as four. The eight who have been offered out of New Jersey, which is loaded at the position this cycle, are Brad Hawkins, Gene Coleman, Donald Stewart, K.J. Gray, Hasise Dubois, Kelvin Harmon, Kolton Huber and Sadiq Palmer.
Obviously Palmer has already committed so things are good there. Huber has always had Syracuse among his top choices and that continues to be the case. Harmon has Rutgers as his top school, but remains interested in Syracuse and wants to visit. DuBois is also very interested but needs to visit first before we get a good feel for where he stands. Gray put the Orange among his top options after his spring game visit. Stewart has recently said that Northwestern is recruiting him the hardest, but does communicate with Syracuse on a daily basis. Coleman likes Syracuse but you just get the feeling he is looking harder at other programs. Hawkins is a pipe dream and will end up elsewhere.
Ultimately, I believe Syracuse will end up with four receivers. Palmer is obviously one of them, but I think they also snag Huber, one of Stewart or Gray or DuBoise and then someone not currently on the radar.
Q: Besides wide receivers in NJ, who do we have the best chances with in the state?
The two names that jump to mind are Anthony Brown (3-star quarterback) and Tyler Thompson (3-star running back). Syracuse is in a very good position for both. Brown is good friends with new Orange pledge Sadiq Palmer, so that only helps where Syracuse stands. Remember, he said he considered committing during his spring game visit.
Thompson still has Syracuse as his leader. There could potentially be movement there towards the end of the summer. Regardless of the Robert Washington situation, I don’t think it impacts where Thompson stands. Simply because Thompson is viewed as an h-back type that can also play receiver out of the slot as opposed to Washington who is viewed as a traditional back.
A couple other names in the state include offensive linemen Will Fries and Liam Smith. Smith seems to be favoring other schools and I think Syracuse is on the outside looking in. Fries likes Syracuse a lot, but also seems to be favoring Penn State considering he has visited there four times.
Jamal Holloway, a 3-star defensive end, is another interesting name to monitor. He tried to make the trip for the spring game but could not make it. I would not be surprised if Syracuse made a push there.
Q: Interested in where we stand with the following recruits: Brotzki, Jones, Quansah, Wright, Rene and Mack.
QB Jack Brotzki: Local kid that goes to CBA whose father is in the athletic department, Syracuse is still his only offer. That could change with some strong camp performances and senior season. He looks the part, has a nice throwing motion and powerful arm. Brown is the top target, but Syracuse could take two quarterbacks this cycle potentially and Brotzki would be at the top of the list.
OLB Jamir Jones: Syracuse is still one of his top options, but I expect him to blow up this summer. Should start getting a lot of offers. I think Syracuse stays involved but he ends up going elsewhere much like his brother.
OLB Koby Quansah: He visited last year but has not been back. He is currently planning a visit either before the spring is out or over the summer. In a text message Sunday night, he said he remains very high and very interested in Syracuse. He is starting to blow up and the Orange have their work cut out for them, but they are definitely in the mix.
WR Isaiah Wright: Syracuse was in on him early, but he recently told Scout’s Sam Hellman that he is focused on three schools in Rutgers, Boston College and Ohio State. He would likely visit with Quansah, which would give Syracuse a chance to get back in it. But for right now, they are trailing.
CB Patrice Rene: One of the most talented players in the class, Syracuse was an early favorite. But just as everyone thought, he blew up and now has offers from a plethora of schools. Syracuse is very much on the outside here.
WR Taysir Mack: Syracuse remains in constant communication with one of the top players in the state. He wants to visit but nothing has been set up yet. It’s hard to get a feel for this recruitment, but you get the sense that Syracuse is on the outside looking in once again.
Q: Who are the top RB prospects after Robert Washington & Tyler Thompson and how many will we take this class?
Syracuse has put a lot of eggs into both baskets. Ultimately, I think they take two running backs this cycle. One that is a traditional type like Washington, and one that is more of an h-back type like Thompson is viewed by the staff. The top targets other than those two that have offers are Khaleke Hudson and Tyliek Raynor, but I don’t think Syracuse ever gets seriously involved with either. If they miss on either Washington or Thompson or both, my guess is they evaluate other targets not currently on the radar and look there.
Q: Who are the top safety targets?
Devon Clarke is clearly one of them because Syracuse is remaining in constant communication. Despite being committed to Oregon State, you get the feeling that the Orange are actually the favorites here. He is definitely one to watch. I could see Syracuse taking two safeties this cycle, so who else could they look at? Eric Briscoe and Will Harper are two with offers. Briscoe is from Washington though, and that may be hard to swing.
An interesting name is four-star Kenney Lyke from Illinois. Ultimately I don’t think he picks Syracuse, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he visits. Also, three-star Stefan Claiborne. He is currently committed to Western Michigan and does not have a Syracuse offer, but the Orange could decide to make a push. The other interesting name is three-star Phil Campbell, the former teammate of signee Dontae Strickland. He also does not have an offer but visited for the spring game.
Q: Can you name five or six guys who you consider most likely to commit?
Here are five guys, listed in alphabetical order, that I think Syracuse is in the best place with right now. Anthony Brown, Kolton Huber, Zachary Kastenhuber, Tyler Thompson, Robert Washington. Things are always subject to change, but I get the feeling those are the guys most likely to commit.
Q: Which school is the front runner for Harry Giles at this point?
He has a list of eight schools right now. They include Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Kansas, Syracuse, Ohio State and UNLV. Because of the scholarship numbers, I think it will be tough for the Orange to stay seriously involved. Ultimately, I think Kentucky, Duke and UNC are the top options.
Q: The 2016 class will be full with Moyer and one more recruit. If another spot opened up, who will be the priority?
Giles would be at the top of that list, but Syracuse will likely be out of the running there by the time they find out another spot is available. So if we consider he is not a realistic option, Syracuse will keep their eye on center Sedee Keita, guard Markelle Fultz, guard Howard Washington, center Eddie Ekiyor and center Joe Hampton.
Q: Any update on DaJuan Coleman’s healthy and summer routine?
Coleman practiced for the last three to four months of the season. He also said towards the end of January that he felt he was close to 100%. The offseason will consist of running, getting back into basketball shape and working on strengthening his knees to prevent another injury. Is Syracuse concerned? They should be. If Coleman cannot give Syracuse a full season, there is absolutely no depth at center.
Q: Besides Trevon Duval, who do you consider as top priorities for the 2017 class?
Matt Coleman is a name to watch as another guard if things do not go well with Duval. Jordan Tucker, a four-star wing in the Empire State, is also someone Syracuse is high on. Fellow wing Melo Eggleston does not have an offer, but remains very high on the Orange. A few center prospects to keep an eye on are five star Mohamed Bamba, four-star Matur Maker, four-star Dajour Dickens, and four-star Nicholas Richards. None have offers, but are in areas Syracuse recruits very well and center will be a key position in that cycle.
Q: Are we still recruiting Florida hard in football?
It’s quite clear the same premium is not being placed on Florida as it was in the past when George McDonald was involved. New Jersey seems to have taken over as that top pipeline state. But that doesn’t mean Syracuse is ignoring the state. Bobby Acosta is now responsible for a portion of it along with offensive coordinator Tim Lester. Acosta now has McDonald’s old stomping rounds in the Miami area. Syracuse has still offered several players in the Sunshine State and will look to get some on campus over the summer. Some names to keep an eye on include safety Devon Clarke, defensive tackle Josh Keeler and defensive end Zander Zimmer.
Q: Are we recruiting Maryland?
Not very hard it seems. Syracuse does have offers out to two players in the state in quarterback Dwayne Haskins and defensive end Keith Simms. Both have a plethora of options and neither may be realistic options at this point. Don’t expect Maryland to become a critical pipeline state anytime soon, but Syracuse may dabble from time to time.
Q: What is the current state of the Restore 44 process and will it be available in the next week?
Clearly this is in reference to the pending Robert Washington decision on April 25th. The lack of an athletic director in place significantly hinders the ability to reinstate number 44 as a useable jersey. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that it becomes available before Washington decides. That said, I do ultimately believe it will be reinstated once a new athletic director is in place, well before Washington would arrive should he commit to and sign with Syracuse. At that point, it would be up to a decision between the coaching staff, athletic director and board of trustees to decide if they are willing to give it to Washington out of high school or make him earn it before allowing him to wear it on the field.
Q: Can you give an update on the AD situation? When should one be in place?
I expect a new athletic director will be in place by the start of the new fiscal year, which is July 1st. As far as what they are looking for, I believe someone who can help build up the football program as well as keep the Olympic sports (and basketball and lacrosse) successful while also balancing the budget and keeping needless spending under control will be the biggest attributes Syracuse is looking for.