Syracuse has picked up their second commitment from the class of 2017. Buffalo (N.Y.) Bennett High athlete Isaiah McDuffie pulled the trigger on Monday a source told CuseNation.com. He joins three-star wide receiver Daewood Davis as early pickups for the Orange.
”I just felt like it was the right place for me,” McDuffie said. “I really love the coaches. I like the linebacker coach (Clark Lea) and I like the head coach (Scott Shafer) a lot. They make it feel like a family atmosphere. And I like the defensive coordinator (Chuck Bullough).”
Bullough is McDuffie’s primary recruiter as he is responsible for Western New York. Syracuse fell in love with McDuffie during a camp this summer and immediately made him a priority. His athleticism and positional versatility are big reasons why the Orange wanted him.
”They’re looking at me as an outside linebacker or safety,” McDuffie said. “They said I’m versatile basically.”
Also important was Syracuse’s proximity to his home in Buffalo. He wants to be able to play in front of friends and family while helping build up the big in-state school.
”That was very important,” McDuffie said. “That was the decision I wanted to stay close to home.”
McDuffie chose Syracuse over offers from Buffalo, Connecticut, Penn State and Washington, he said. Washington is not a school that traditionally recruits in New York. They offered when they saw him during the Sound Mind Sound Body camp in Detroit this summer.
Being a class of 2017 prospect, it is still very early in the cycle. That begs the logical question of interest from other schools and potential visits. According to Isaiah’s father and high school head coach, Steve McDuffie, the focus going forward is on Syracuse and getting better.
”We’re at the point where we’re pretty much settled down and focused on Syracuse University,” Steve McDuffie said. “We’re very happy, like he said, he with the coaching staff. We’re happy with the head coach, the defensive coordinator and the linebackers coach. We really feel that the linebackers coach is one of the best linebacker coaches in the country. That’s pretty much where we’re at.
”Right now Isaiah’s focus is to pretty much become, because he was a first team all-state player this year as a sophomore, his focus is becoming an All-American. Helping to lead Syracuse to an ACC Championship.”