Syracuse football has had their share of buzz in the 2017 recruiting cycle. Tommy DeVito gained a lot of notoriety by making the Elite 11 and The Opening finals. Syracuse landed a Canadian linebacker who was previously unknown. They also added some high quality talent with players like Kadeem Trotter, Allen Stritzinger, Josh Palmer and others.
But the recent addition of Nadarius Fagan may be the most impressive recruiting win to date for the Dino Babers staff.
Not only is Fagan a big time talent at linebacker, but Syracuse had to go through some SEC powers and another elite program in order to add him to their class. Those schools would be Alabama, LSU and USC, who had all extended offers.
In fact, LSU got the last visit, and Syracuse was still able to beat out the Tigers. Maybe even more impressive was that heading into the visit, LSU seemed to be the favorite. But the Orange, led by lead recruiter Nick Monroe, made up ground and passed the Tigers even without getting an additional visit.
This recruiting win has huge ramifications. It shows that the Dino Babers staff can recruit head-to-head with some of the best programs in college football and win. Combine the Fagan win with holding off Georgia for Jaquwan Nelson last cycle, and it is clear Babers staff can really recruit.
A win like this also helps perception.
The DeVito buzz was huge because it got people talking about Syracuse football. Not only regionally among the fan base, but nationally.
Dino Babers recently "stole the show" at ACC Media Days according to ESPN. More buzz for the program and the direction in which it is heading. A recruiting win like Fagan continues to help that momentum.
Fagan's commitment is important because he adds a lot of talent and South Florida swag to the Syracuse roster. While he may have a big impact on the field once he arrives on campus, Fagan may have just as big of an impact off the field in recruiting momentum.
Going forward, when the Syracuse coaches talk to a priority target, they can point to an Elite 11 quarterback and an Alabama and LSU offeree on their commitment list as evidence that they are turning the program around.
The coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for this win. Not only head coach Dino Babers and Fagan's primary recruiter Nick Monroe, but linebackers coach Tom Kaufman, defensive coordinator Brian Ward and the rest of the staff who helped Syracuse land this prized recruit.