The biggest official visit weekend of the 2016 class is here and Syracuse is set to host 12 prospects. Here is the full visitor list according to CuseNation.com sources. As a reminder, as our subscribers have known, Desmond Fitzpatrick, Jerron Rollins and Kentrail Moran will not be making the trip.
Surprise, surprise! Another insider nugget our subscribers were privvy to is the addition of three-star Illinois linebacker commit Tim Walton to the list. Walton is out of Cass Tech in Detroit. He committed to the Illini in August over MAC and AAC offers. The Orange are now involved and are hoping to flip the strong, athletic linebacker. Syracuse loves Walton and are expected to make a push this weekend.
Another linebacker prospect who will be on campus is Rashad Smith, who is currently committed to Florida Atlantic. Syracuse views Smiths as a linebacker and believes he has all of the physical tools to be a big time defensive playmaker. This is Syracuse's chance to make an impression. They have been recruiting him hard for a while and will continue that this weekend.
Three-star running back Jo-El Shaw is set to visit this weekend as well. A running back from Pittsburgh, he has the hometown Panthers also in pursuit. A former Western Michigan commit, Shaw has a strong relationship with Orange running backs coach Mike Hart. While Syracuse has a chance to make an impression this weekend, Shaw is not expected to make a decision until National Signing Day.
Three-star Devin Butler is listed as a safety prospect in our database, but Syracuse likes him at wide receiver. With a 6-foot-3 frame and good ball skills, Syracuse feels he is a perfect compliment to their other receiver commit, Sean Riley. Butler is a former Maryland commit who is still considering the in-state Terps as well as Temple. Butler is also an accomplished track athlete and wants to run track in college. He is still considering focusing strictly on track in college or heading to a school that also allows him to participate in both sports.
Jaquwan Nelson is one of four defensive linemen who will be on campus. The former Miami commit was recently offered by Georgia, and Kentucky has been recruiting him hard for some time. Nelson, however, has a good relationship with Syracuse assistant Nick Monroe and is intrigued by the possibilty of playing early given the current depth chart. Syracuse will go all out with Nelson this weekend. He is a big priority for them.
Fellow defensive end Joshua Black is a former Illinois commit who has always had a lot of interest in Syracuse. He was one of the first prospects the new staff targeted, and this weekend could seal the deal. The Orange love Black's size and athleticism, and think he could play right away, just like Nelson, if needed.
McKinley Williams is an under the radar defensive tackle with some intriguing skills. He is very athletic and uses his hands well. If things go well this weekend, Syracuse has a real shot to land the high upside prospect.
Safety Evan Foster is a rising prospect late in the cycle. Purdue has been recruiting him hard and Iowa has expressed interest, though the Hawkeyes have not offered. Foster committed to the staff at Bowling Green, and they prioritized him when making the move to Syracuse. Snagging Foster to go along with Devon Clarke last weekend would give the Orange two high upside defensive backs with a lot of size.
Michael Clark is a three-star offensive lineman prospect from Pennsylvania who recently decommitted from Maryland. He has long arms and a lot of upside. Clark does not have an offer yet but hopes one comes during the visit. Clark is a real interesting prospect and one to watch leading up to signing day.
Sam Heckel has been committed to Syracuse for some time and the new staff reaffirmed his status after the coaching change. Heckel will help recruit for the Orange during this visit and get to know his future coaches a bit better. While Heckel is solid, it is always important to solidify the commitment during these visits.
Airon Servais was the first player to commit to Dino Babers' staff at Syracuse. This will be his first trip to Central New York, so it is important to show him that he made the right decision. Servais is an athletic lineman who fits what the Orange wants to do on offense with his ability to move and get to the second level on quick screens.
Kendall Coleman is another Syracuse commit who will be visiting for the first time. Coleman flipped from Western Michigan, thanks in no small part to Mike Hart and Vinson Reynolds. Coleman will also be helping the Orange recruit all weekend.