One of the positions that the new Syracuse coaching staff made a priority right away in wrapping up the 2016 class is defensive end. They pursued and flipped three-star Kendall Coleman and are far from done.
Looking to add up to three more defensive ends to the roster, Syracuse has a big official visit weekend with two of their top targets traveling to Central New York.
Jaquwan Nelson is a long, athletic, quick edge rusher who already has a frame that is physically ready to play division one football. With some uncertainty at the position entering next season, that is desparately needed. The ability to play right away would figure to be attractive to Nelson. This one seems to be a Syracuse vs Kentucky battle, and the Orange will have their shot to make an impression this weekend.
Make no mistake about it. Syracuse loves Nelson and thinks he would be a perfect fit for their defense. They view him as a difference maker. Someone who could terrorize ACC quarterbacks for four years. His lead recruiter is assistant Nick Monroe, who has been recruiting him very hard since taking the job at Syracuse.
Also visiting is former Illinois commit Joshua Black. He decommitted earlier this week and is excited about his visit to Syracuse. Black has been intrigued by the Orange for a while, despite being pledged to the in-state Illini. Now that he has moved on, his recruitment is even more open, which is good for Syracuse.
They have visited Black at his school, done an in-home visit and are now poised to show off their facilities and campus. Black is another prospect, like Nelson, who has the frame to be physically ready to contribute right away. Syracuse has honed in on Black since taking over and was one of the first prospects they contacted. Expect them to make a push this weekend.
Just because two prospects are on campus this weekend does not mean the weekend of the 29th should be forgotten. Emerging athlete Josh White and former Bowling Green commit Drew Beesley are visiting at that time. White is a recent offeree out of Georgia, while Beesley has been a target throughout.
With Coleman and Holloway already committed, is there room for all four? Doubtful. But there could be as many as three slots available depending on how things play out. These next two weekends will shape the 2016 class, including the defensive end position. It starts this weekend, where the Orange will try to add two talented prospects to their program.