Florida was specifically mentioned as an area the new staff would continue to target. Assistant Nick Monroe has ties to the area and recruited it very well for Bowling Green during his time there. He has taken those efforts to a new level by landing one of the top players in the state at his position.
Monroe made a big impression on Ruff, and that bodes well for his efforts in the Sunshine State going forward. Ruff has an impressive offer list and is a known quantity in the state. That makes an impression and creates a buzz with fellow Floridian recruits in 2016, 2017 and beyond.
It signals that Syracuse is still a legitimate option for talented players who can have a big impact on the roster. Players that fit the new system on both sides of the ball.
Not only that, it shows that Monroe has the connections to make an impact in recruiting and has the ability to close on a targeted prospect. All good signs for the Orange as they move forward.
Dillard High also is home to some other talented players, including Scout 300 defensive tackle Jonathan Ford. Expect Syracuse to recruit him hard with Ruff helping their cause.
We know Zaire Franklin is the middle linebacker for the next two seasons. The depth behind him, however, is lacking. Bringing in a player like Ruff, who already has the size to play in the ACC, adds talent with a lot of upside. If Ruff is redshirted for a season, he would play the backup role as a redshirt freshman with the potential of taking over the starting gig for the subsequent three years.
Ruff is someone that the new staff believes can do that. Start for multiple years and be a very productive player at this level. That's why snagging Ruff is such a big win. He is the prototypical physical, downhill, run stopping middle linebacker.
Given the lack of roster depth, it was likely that Syracuse going to add at least one inside linebacker this class. Ruff gives them one of the top ones available.
Where Does Syracuse Go From Here?
With the dead period starting in the immediate future, several of the Syracuse coaches will focus on Bowling Green's bowl game. They will, however, continue to have contact with Syracuse commits and recruiting targets. The first weekend of the dead period has the potential to be a big one for Syracuse recruiting.
Beyond that, expect Syracuse to try to schedule official visits with Sean Foster and several other top targets for mid to late January.
Ruff is a big get for Syracuse. He has the prototypical size coming out of high school, is highly regarded in his state and has a lot of talent. This is a huge recruiting win for the new Syracuse staff. Credit goes to Nick Monroe and Chris Beatty.