Syracuse got their man in four-star running back Robert Washington on Saturday. It was a big recruiting win, no doubt. CuseNation.com, with that in mind, decided to go back and look at the 10 best recruiting wins for the Orange since Scout came into existence in the early 2000’s.
The list is based on the recruiting win itself, how highly ranked the player was and what schools Syracuse beat to land the player. How productive the prospect may or may not have been, or whether or not they actually made it to The Hill, had no bearing on the list.
Without further adieu, here are the top ten recruiting wins for Syracuse since 2002.
10. Chris Slayton (2014)
The three-star prospect had a very impressive offer list including SEC and Big-10 powers. Michigan State, Ole Miss, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin were among the most notable. He committed to the Orange in December during the 2014 recruiting cycle.
9. Denzel Ward (2014)
Ward’s elite size made him one of the most sought after offensive linemen in the 2014 class. He chose Syracuse over offers from Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, UCLA and Wisconsin among others. Ward was a Purdue commit at one time, but decided to open things up after adding several new offers. He took multiple officials, including one to Oklahoma, before deciding on the Orange.
8. Max Beaulieu (2010)
Beaulieu was one of the first big recruiting wins for Doug Marrone. Syracuse landed him as part of the 2010 class as a three-star defensive end. He also had offers from Arkansas, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin among others. Ultimately, he rarely saw the field once he arrived in Central New York.
7. Alin Edouard (2014)
Edouard was going to be the quarterback of the future at Syracuse. The one time Miami pledge also held offers from Arizona, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Penn State and Tennessee among others. He arrived at Syracuse before discovering an academic issue that has forced him to go the junior college route.
6. Jake Pickard (2015)
One of the most dramatic recruitments in the 2015 cycle, Pickard committed to Wisconsin before opening things back up after they had a coaching change. The Orange continued to recruit him despite that pledge, and that paid dividends later in the cycle. Michigan and Oregon also tried to make a push, but Syracuse was the choice. He also held offers from Louisville and Nebraska in addition to the aforementioned schools.
5. Steve Ishmael (2014)
In the talent rich state of Florida, few players were as sought after as wide receiver Steve Ishmael. The talented prospect took all five official visits before deciding on the Orange right before signing day. There was buzz that he was a silent verbal prior to that, but made his decision known publicly the day before national signing day. He also held offers from Louisville, Miami, Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee and West Virginia among others.
4. Marcus Sales (2008)
A Scout 300 prospect in the 2008 class, the local CBA product chose Syracuse over offers from Louisville, Miami, North Carolina and others. USC and Ole Miss were also in hot pursuit. This was not easy, however. He took official visits to other schools and was genuinely considering his options. Ultimately, he decided to stay home.
3. LaVar Lobdell (2005)
Lobdell still has the distinction as the highest ranked player to sign with Syracuse in Scout history. He was the 17th best wide receiver prospect and a four-star talent. He chose Syracuse over offers from Florida, Miami, NC State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. His career, however, did not live up to the hype.
2. Andrey Baskin (2006)
This was supposed to be the big recruiting win that helped turn the program around under Greg Robinson along with Lobdell in the prior class. Baskin was a four-star prospect out of New Jersey, top 20 at his position, and held offers from Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and Tennessee among others. However, off the field issues prevented him from ever making it to Syracuse.
Washington boasts the single most impressive offer list of any player Syracuse has landed in the Scout era. They include Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, California, Florida, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin and many others. He chose the Orange over five other finalists (Alabama, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, TCU). Our sources indicate that, at a minimum, ‘Bama, Florida, Michigan and TCU would have accepted his pledge among his finalists, but he chose Syracuse over all of them. It was a huge recruiting win that has the Syracuse fan base buzzing. To add more drama to the decision, Bleacher Report, Rivals and 247 Sports all reported he had committed to Florida just before the announcement. He then announced for Syracuse, capping off the recruiting victory.