Three-star Jay Rose decided to stay home and picked the in-state Connecticut Huskies over the Syracuse Orange.
Syracuse has made Connecticut a key pipeline state in recent cycles. They have landed players such as Ervin Philips, Evan Adams and Anthony Giudice in the last two cycles alone. They were looking for more in 2016, with Rose being one of their top targets in the state.
Rose decided to stay home, meaning Syracuse lost a recruiting battle they really wanted to win. Obviously, that is never a good thing. But this should not have long-term implications within the state. UConn, even for top in-state talent, will not start routinely land recruits that Syracuse wants going forward.
Syracuse is still a more attractive option, especially given their ACC affiliation, in the current landscape of college football. So while losing Rose certainly hurts, it is not a death blow by any means. The Orange will recover just fine in the region.
The loss of Rose hurts Syracuse's ability to bring in two priority quarterback targets from early in the cycle. Syracuse now has to look elsewhere for their second quarterback.
The initial thought is Syracuse would ramp up their pursuit of SMU commit David Moore. However, the Orange are definitely going to do their due diligence and look at other prospects. While Moore is definitely someone to watch, it is not a sure thing that Syracuse pushes hard for a flip.
Going forward, here are a few names to watch. Tyler Johnston (Ala.), DeMarcus Williams (Ala.), Lindsey Scott (La.), Shamir White (N.J.), Bladrick Veal (La.), Raekwon Bush (La.) and Sharif LeGree (N.Y.).
CuseNation.com sources indicate Syracuse has already reached out to Tyler Johnston and Lindsey Scott. So keep a close eye on both of them. Scott, in fact, said he spoke with Syracuse assistant Tim Lester about their offensive system and how he would fit.
"I do have interest," Scott said. "I was excited to reach out to them."
Scott added distance from home, as he is from Louisiana, is not a factor. He says an official visit is "very possible" if the Orange continues to pursue.
Shamir White visited Syracuse during the spring game and has maintained his interest, but has not heard from the coaching staff in recent weeks. That could change if they like his performance during the early portion of his senior season.
A darkhorse is four-star Xavier Gaines out of Florida. He had some big offers early, but many of those schools have had their slots fill up. Syracuse might be able to get involved here.
Another darkhorse is Nathan Rourke, also out of Alabama. According to our John Garcia Jr., Rourke transferred to Edgewood High out of Canada during the summer, but did not hit the camp circuit. Because of his late arrival, a lot of schools already had their quarterback slots filled. Garcia believes he is talented enough to be a division one quarterback.
Rourke is a bit under the radar, but someone who could emerge.
Make no mistake, Syracuse will look to add a second quarterback this class. Those mentioned above are a few examples of players they could get involved with as the cycle progresses.
Where Does Syracuse Go From Here?
Don’t expect there to be a lot of activity in the near future. Most of the official visits will likely be after the season. The coaching staff likes to do that in order to spend more time with players and their families. The most activity will be surrounding scheduling those official visits rather than a bunch of decisions on the horizon.
The top targets going forward include tight end Darel Middleton as noted above, four-star running back Kentrail Moran, three-star tight end Sam Letton, offensive tackle Lucas Niang (who Syracuse recently contacted), defensive end Amir Watts, safety Eric Burrell, cornerback Cycoby Burch and they will continue to look for a defensive tackle to fill out the class.
Letton indicated he remains in constant communication with the Syracuse coaches, but they have yet to set up an official visit. He wants to take one and remains very interseted in the Orange. He cites a strong relationship with tight ends coach Jake Moreland.
Middleton is a former Arizona State commit who was offered by Syracuse recently. He says he is open to the Orange and wants to visit, though nothing has been scheduled yet.
Rose is a loss for Syracuse, no question about it. But there is a long ways to go before signing day and plenty of talented options for the Orange. While it is never a positive to lose a priority target from a pipeline state, it is far from crippling. Syracuse will bounce back and still has an opportunity to bolster their quarterback depth with a quality prospect.