Syracuse is set for National Signing Day and is ready to wrap up one of the more drama filled recruiting cycles in recent memory for the Orange.
With less than 24 hours until ink can be put to paper, there is still a few items to work out. Here is what to watch for as Recruiting Christmas approaches.
Nelson took an official visit to Georgia over the weekend and there have been conflicting information as to whether or not he was actually offered. Regardless, the Bulldogs made a push and now Nelson has a decision to make. Syracuse has not gone away though, remaining in communication with the player that could be viewed as the gem of the class. Nelson could play from day one with Syracuse's lack of defensive end depth, but Nelson has not made any public statements since returning from Athens.
Georgia seems to be waiting on five-star Brian Burns, who took a visit to Florida State over the weekend. If the Bulldogs land him, they likely do not have room for Nelson. This is what happens when you get good players. Other schools want them and may try to poach. This is a situation to watch on Wednesday.
Cooper seemed to be done. A source informed Scout last week that he had decided to stick with Arizona and his recruitment was complete. He then took a surprising official to Arizona State over the weekend, and now seems to be deciding between those two schools and Syracuse. Cooper confirmed he is still considering Syracuse and has a National Letter of Intent from SU just as he does with the other schools involved.
Cooper also confirmed that Syracuse commit Sean Riley has been recruiting him hard. Remember, Riley flipped from Arizona to Syracuse after the Wildcats asked him to greyshirt. The most likely scenario is that Cooper sticks with Arizona, but it is not a done deal. Dino Babers' offense has always been intriguing to Cooper, but is that along with Riley enough to get him to sign?
He makes his final decision at 4:30pm Eastern.
The new Syracuse staff has done a remarkable job at turning over the talent on the commitment list. Gone are around a dozen prospects that committed to the old staff. Added have been 17 players from all over the country. That move pushed Syracuse up over 20 spots in the recruiting rankings. Given the late start they got with the coaching change, that is quite impressive.
In the midst of adding talent to the commitment list, Syracuse played the flipping game. They snagged players who were previously committed to Arizona (Sean Riley), Bowling Green (Evan Foster, Andrew Armstrong), Cincinnati (Liam O'Sullivan), Illinois (Josh Black, Tim Walton), Miami (Jaquwan Nelson), Virginia (Kenneth Ruff) and Western Michigan (Kendall Coleman, Jo-El Shaw) among others. They utilized their relationships and made strong moves to land quality talent. Only Nelson is a question mark to sign as noted above.
Of the 17 new players added to the class, 11 are defensive players. Yes the new staff added offensive linemen and offensive playmakers, but it was clear they felt a need to upgrade the defensive talent. They did so at all three levels with four defensive linemen, four linebackers and three defensive backs.
CuseNation.com will have a live National Signing Day blog that will be updated constantly as letters are faxed in. We will have details on each prospect and relive each recruitment. In addition, Scout will have a live National Signing Day show streaming live throughout the day. We will have a link on our homepage for that. It will include Syracuse coverage and a live appearance by head coach Dino Babers around 1:30pm eastern.
Speaking of coach Babers, his press conference will take place at 4:00pm. Our twitter account will have live updates from the press conference. The press conference will be live on television on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel.
In fact, Time Warner Cable Sports Channel will have a Signing Day Special program airing from 4-5:30pm Eastern. The show will feature CuseNation.com publisher Mike McAllister for a couple of segments to discuss the class. He will be joined by the voice of the Orange, Matt Park, for his segments. The rest of the show will feature analysis from a panel of experts and former players as well as a one-on-one interview with coach Babers.