Syracuse displays (recruiting) fireworks on July 4th weekend

It may have been a holiday weekend, but Syracuse landed four recruits between the basketball and football programs. Details inside.

Fourth of July weekend is supposed to be a time to relax. A time where people are off of work, spending time with family, enjoying cookouts, fireworks and adult beverages. For Syracuse football and basketball recruiting, however, they made it about giving their collective fan bases another reason to celebrate.

It started Friday afternoon with Taurean Thompson committing and ended on Sunday with Kadeem Trotter announcing his pledge. Recap and analysis below.

Other Offers: Arizona, Connecticut, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Michigan State, NC State, Seton Hall, Xavier
Recruitment Recap: Thompson took all five official visits, including one in early June to Michigan State. Syracuse was thought to lead for much of his recruitment, but the late official to the Spartans put them in a spot to steal the New Jersey native. When a decision did not come immediately after that trip, Syracuse gained momentum again. Some experts though Seton Hall was trending late, but the Orange were able to stay patient and land the prized four-star big on July 1st. 
Analysis: This is a huge recruiting for Syracuse. The addition of a versatile player like Thompson, who can play power forward or center, gives Syracuse one of the most talented and deep front courts in college basketball next season. Thompson's upside is through the roof. He is an athletic big who runs the floor well and is a natural shot blocker.

Other Offers: Army, FAU, Georgia Southern, Marshall, Maryland, Memphis, Miami (OH), South Florida, Southern Miss, Western Kentucky
Recruitment Recap: Syracuse has been after Johnson for some time. They love his game and his potential. SU made his top nine in mid-June, and continued to recruit him as hard as anyone. That led to a commitment on July 2nd despite not receiving an on-campus visit yet. That will happen sometime after the dead period. 
Analysis (via Corey Bender): "Johnson is a head hunter that really closes on the football and provides a big thud when making initial contact. He's vicious and plays with that edge. Johnson is light on his feet and changes direction with ease as well. Height will never be on this linebacker's side, but it's difficult to find many linebackers in the state of Florida that can provide that punch to the ball carrier. His emotion and energy are things to like as well."

Other Offers: Boston College, UConn
Recruitment Recap: Melifonwu was someone on Syracuse's radar, but really became a priority when they saw him run and go through drills in person. Once he performed well in front of the Orange staff, he vaulted to the top of their defensive backs board. Syracuse was able to make an impression during his on campus visit, and he pulled the trigger on July 2nd. 
Analysis: If you like versatility, Melifonwu is your guy. He plays wide receiver in high school but will play on the defensive side of the ball for Syracuse. He has the potential to play free safety, boundary corner or in the slot as a defensive back. He has length, quickness, and enough speed to get the job done. He is skilled enough to bulk up and play linebacker if needed as well.

Other Offers: Akron, Ball State, Boston College, Bowling Green, Iowa State, Kent State, Miami (OH), Ohio, Toledo
Recruitment Recap: Syracuse has been the top school for Trotter since they offered. They were his first power five offer, and he never forgot that. During a camp in June that doubled as an unofficial visit, Trotter was the top linebacker and left with an even wider gap between the Orange and other schools. He considered committing then, but wanted to make sure it was the right decision. After an offer from Iowa State, he was ready to make his decision, and Syracuse was the selection. 
Analysis: Trotter will play outside linebacker for Syracuse and has all of the tools you like. He has length, cover skills of a defensive back, quickness and athleticism. He has the chance to be special. 

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