Syracuse commit Isaiah McDuffie named USA Today Defensive Player of the Year in New York

Class of 2017 Syracuse commit Isaiah McDuffie received an honor for a strong junior season.

Buffalo (N.Y.) Bennett High outside linebacker Isaiah McDuffie was recognized on Wednesday by USA TODAY High School Sports. They named him New York State's defensive player of the year.

"Also an outstanding running back, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior dominated from his linebacker position, recording 91 total tackles and five sacks. McDuffie also forced four fumbles, recovered two and nabbed two interceptions," USA TODAY said in the article. 

McDuffie was surprised and honored by the recognition. 

"It's a great honor," McDuffie told "I'm very humbled by it but the overall goal is to get better."

The Empire State product committed to Syracuse back in July, but that has not stopped other schools from coming after him. As a class of 2017 prospect, there is still a long ways to go in his recruitment. McDuffie said he recently picked up offers from Maryland and Wake Forest

Maryland makes sense, considering their new defensive coordinator is Scott Shafer, the former Orange head coach to whom McDuffie committed over the summer. He added that he remains fully committed to Syracuse at this time, and SU is where he wants to go. 

He has heard from the new coaching staff, speaking with linebackers coach Tom Kaufman. Kaufman told him the new staff returns to Central New York in early January, and will be speaking with him more in depth at that time. That includes speaking with new head coach Dino Babers

Highlights from McDuffie's junior season can be seen at the top of the page. 

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