Joshua Black was one of the new staff's top targets when taking the job at Syracuse. At that time, he was committed to in-state Illinois, but the Orange intrigued the three-star defensive end. After an in-home visit and setting up an official, the message was clear. Syracuse and Black had serious mutual interest.
Black decommitted from Illinois the week leading up to his official visit to Syracuse, and he decided to make the Orange his new home to continue his football career. Black committed just one day after the visit. He hails from Harlem High School in Machesney Park, Illinois.
"I felt like family all along," Black told CuseNation.com. "I've known the coaching staff since I was offered by Bowling Green in the summer and they haven't stopped contacting me since. They are not like the coaches that only contacted me when I decommitted, they were always showing effort and I appreciated that.
"Besides the awesome facilities and great team chemistry, I will also be receiving a world class education. You can't beat that."
Syracuse has a huge need at defensive end with the loss of Ron Thompson to the NFL and Qaadir Sheppard and Amir Ealey's availability during the beginning portions of next season in question. Bringing in players who are talented, have upside and are ready to contribute right away if needed was critical.
Black helps Syracuse do just that with a frame already pushing 6-foot-3, 251-pounds. Allen Trieu, Scout's National Recruiting Analyst, thinks Black is a quality player with a lot of attributes to like.
"Good athlete who can bend and get off the ball quickly," Trieu said. "Plays with good pad level and leverage and gives top effort. Explosive kid who is powerful despite not necessarily a big kid for the position. Has played more offense than defense and must continue to work on his technique on the defensive side of the ball. Body type right now gives him a chance to play strongside end or move inside potentially. Good overall upside."