What can Syracuse do to take that next step in the 2017 recruiting cycle? Continue to recruit the solid players that they snagged in 2016, but sprinkle in a few big fish. Head coach Dino Babers has indicated that the Orange want to get players in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. But the Midwest and Florida will also be keys.
Here is a quick look at some themes and players to watch.
If Syracuse is going to make an impact in the 2017 class in New York State, it may have to do so by landing one of two elite prospects. The state has two four-stars in offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson and defensive tackle Romello Martin. Expect Syracuse to target each and go after them hard.
Other Empire State products to watch include quarterback Jack Coan, wide receiver Noah Jordan-Williams and defensive end Ethan Wiederkehr. Also, Syracuse already has one player committed in 2017 in linebacker Isaiah McDuffie, who the new staff really likes and will work hard to keep in the fold.
In New Jersey, there are several elite prospects including offensive tackle Micah Clark, defensive tackle Fred Hansard, linebacker Drew Singleton and offensive tackle Carter Warren. Expect the Orange to target each, though they will be hard to snag. Especially Clark and Hansard.
Also keep an eye on athlete Markquese Bell, athlete Jahmin Muse, linebacker Louis Acceus, defensive end Devin Miller, quarterback Jonathan Lewis, quarterback Tommy Wyatt, defensive tackle Corey Bolds and offensive tackle Ben Petrula.
In Pennsylvania, more elite talent awaits. There are several four-star prospects, including some Syracuse has offered. Rather than name them all, here are a few to watch. Four-star defensive end Damion Barber, four-star defensive end Donovan Jeter, wide receiver Cameron Easton, offensive tackle eric washington, wide receiver Darian Street and wide receiver Mark Webb.
Syracuse will target the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas hard, led by assistant Reno Ferri. A few players to watch in this region include offerees defensive end TyJuan Garbutt, defensive end Yetur Matos, defensive end Luiji Vilain, linebacker Tyshon Fogg, linebacker Ayinde Eley, elite cornerback Jonathan Sutherland, safety Damani Neal, elite running back Khalan Laborn and quarterback Kasim Hill.
Sunshine State of Mind
Syracuse already has 38 offers into talent-rich Florida. Here are a few players to watch. Four-star athlete Anthony White Jr., three-star safety Billy Gibson Jr., three-star wide receiver Whop Philyor, three-star defensive tackle Lamonte McDougle, three-star wide receiver Michael Harley Jr., three-star safety Naytron Culpepper and three-star wide receiver Joshua Palmer among many others.
The Orange currently has Daewood Davis, a three-star wide receiver, committed. The new staff is very high on Davis and will work to keep him committed.
Syracuse has about a dozen offers out to the Midwest already, but that number should increase. A few names to watch here include three-star cornerback Donovan Johnson, three-star guard Jordan Reid and quarterback Rodney Hall. All three are teammates at Cass Tech.
Talented tight end Jake Marwede is also one to watch.
Expect Syracuse to look towards both lines once again as Babers has indicated he believes strongly in recruiting in the trenches to build your team. Also, wide receiver will be a focus once again. Syracuse already has 13 offers out to wide receivers.
Quarterback is the other position to watch as they will likely look to add two prospects in 2017. After missing out on a second in 2016, they will go hard after some this cycle.