Syracuse has a new football coaching staff in place and they have certainly hit the road with a fury over the past week. New targets, decommitments, new offers and much more. Here is the latest from all of the action.
Recruiting News & Notes
- Commitment No. 1
Syracuse added the first commitment in the Dino Babers era in Airon Servais, an offensive tackle prospect from Wisconsin. He has size, length and athleticism. He plays center in high school, giving him the versatility to slide inside if needed.
Credit co-offensive coordinators Mike Lynch and Sean Lewis, who spearheaded the recruitment here. Servais was someone the new staff targeted right away and made a push to land the commitment. Their efforts paid off with his pledge.
It also shows they are making offensive line a priority. More on that later.
- Two Decommitments, Third Looming?
Two Peach State prospects who committed to Syracuse's old staff decided to reopen their recruitment. Safety Will Harper and athlete Darius Stubbs indicated they never heard from the new staff, which suggests there was not a propr fit.
On top of that, Monquavion Brinson is going to take official visits elsewhere. He has been contacted by the new staff, but it seems he could be looking for a better fit.
- Official Visit Weekend
Syracuse will host four commits this weekend for official visits. They include early enrollees Moe Neal and Rex Culpepper along with three-star safety Scoop Bradshaw and defensive end Jamal Holloway. This is a chance for the new staff to make an impression and solidify their pledges.
- Not Recruiting Scared
This new staff is showing a lot of confidence on the recruiting trail. They offered four star and Scout 300 offensive tackle Sean Foster, a former Minnesota pledge, when they visited him on Wednesday. Foster says he is "very" interested in Syracuse, but did not commit to taking an official. Those discussions remain ongoing.
Syracuse also extended several offers to 2017 prospects, including some of the top rated players in the class. Scout 100 wide receiver Jaylen Harris was offered, as was three-star center Sam Gerak, defensive end Jacub Panasiuk, cornerback Trajan Bandy, linebacker Guy Thomas, athlete Christopher Henderson and three-star tight end Jake Marwede.
Several of those prospects have some big time offers. This new staff believes they can go toe-to-toe with the big boys.
Syracuse has conducted several in-home visits this week, including with commits Sam Heckel and Jamal Holloway. Those visits solidifed their commitments.
Also visited was Illinois defensive end commit Joshua Black and four-star running back Kentrail Moran. Black said he has a very close relationship with co-offensive coordinator Sean Lewis, and the visit went very well. He set his official visit for the weekend of January 22nd and was able to learn a lot about Syracuse during the in-home. Black said he can't wait to learn more.
Moran's official visit the weekend of January 22nd has been confirmed. His meeting with Lewis went very well. He is very much in the mix to end up at Syracuse. Interesting that two Illinois commits will take official visits to Syracuse the same weekend.
- Wide Receiver Focus
We were expecting the new Syracuse staff to target wide receivers in the 2016 class, and that has proven to be accurate. Syracuse has reached out to former Rutgers pledge Ahmed Bah and both sides will continue to develop a relationship. It is possible an official visit gets scheduled.
Kelvin Harmon decommitted from South Carolina on Thursday, and seems to be wide open. He told CuseNation.com that he would consider Syracuse should they reach out. We believe that will happen sometime soon. Keep an eye on Harmon and a potential official visit in January.
- Still Waiting
Syracuse commits Taylor Riggins, Dymelle Parker and Brandon Ginnetti have not heard from the new staff as of Thursday night. That is quite telling. If all three end up moving on, that opens three slots to fill, which could add even more intrigue for the rest of the cycle.
- Syracuse will remain active in Florida
Secondary coach Nick Monroe has spent a lot of time in Florida this week looking for and meeting with potential targets. He also stopped by the school of 2017 wide receiver commit Daewood Davis. That was the start of a relationship with the new staff in an attempt to solidify his commitment.
Expecting several new targets to jump onto the radar throughout the rest of the cycle.
- Looking for a New Quarterback
Syracuse reached out to Boston College commit Anthony Brown and recently had some of their coaches start following four-star and Maryland pledge Dwayne Haskins. While something happening with Haskins is not realistic at this point, it shows they are looking to add a quarterback to the class.
Brown indicated to CuseNation.com that he is 100% with BC will no longer look at Syracuse. With Haskins a tough flip to say the least, Kentucky commit Gunnar Hoak is someone to watch. The Orange like him and have spoken to him.
What does this mean for the status of Lindsey Scott? He says he has been contacted and was told to "sit tight" by the new staff. That could mean Syracuse will keep him if they can't find another option. It could also mean they want a third quarterback this class becuase they are worried about depth at the position on the current roster.
- Keep an Eye on Linebackers
The new staff could look to upgrade the depth at the linebacker position. Don't be surprised if you see Syracuse target some linebackers going forward. Official visits that get lined up in January will be telling, and new targets at inside and outside linebacker will likely emerge.
Syracuse is already working on three star inside linebacker David Reese, a former Michigan commitment. He has an official visit to Texas this weekend. If he does not commit, an official to Syracuse could be scheduled very soon.
- Big Splash
There is buzz around this coaching staff right now. The hope, the past offensive success, the winning tradition from Babers and a fan base hungry for a winning product. There is also buzz among recruits with Babers' reputation as an offensive mind.
Can the new coaching staff capitalize that and make a big splash on the recruiting front? If they are able to do that, it would only cement their standing with the fan base despite it being early in the tenure without a game being played. Let's see how things play out between now and National Signing Day.
- OL Overhaul
The new staff is clearly focused on creating offensive line depth. They already brought in another commitment, honored the scholarships of the three o-linemen who committed to the previous staff and are after more. Four-star Sean Foster is on the radar and they offered three-star Tre'Vour Simms, who is committed to Illinois.
Don't be surprised if you see the new staff bring in two or three more linemen to add depth that they feel fits their system.
- The Butler Did It
Syracuse has been in communication with three-star safety Tony Butler, a former high school teammate of freshman linebacker Troy Henderson. They stopped by his school to try to get him to consider the Orange once again. Butler tells CuseNation.com that the visit went well and he has a previous relationship with the staff from their time at Bowling Green.
Butler said he is unsure if he will take an official visit at this point, but don't expect Syracuse to back off. They will try to schedule something for January. That said, they are on the outside looking in for his services right now.