Syracuse picked up a huge commitment on Friday in defensive end Jonathan Kingsley. Kingsley is still learning the game of football, as last season was his first playing the sport, but is an athletic marvel with tremendous upside. He was pursued by several college football powers, but ultimately picked the Orange because of the family feel surrounding the program.
"I have a really close relationship with the coaches," Kingsley said. "I felt at home there. So I said, 'why not Syracuse?'"
Kingsley has visited Syracuse twice previously. Once over the summer and once for their game against South Florida. He says he enjoyed both visits, largely because he was able to further develop his relationship with the staff.
The visit for the USF game was not an official visit, however. He plans on taking that trip sometime after his season is over, potentially in January. The good news for Syracuse is that Kingsley says he is done with the process and is not planning any other officials.
During his visits, Kingsley was able to check out the campus, football facilities and many other aspects of the school and football program. He left impressed.
"(The visits were) pretty good," Kingsley said. "I love the facilities."
Kingsley keeps in regular contact with Syracuse director of high school relations, with whom he has developed a strong relationship. That bond has helped the Orange's recruitment of him.
Syracuse is in need of defensive ends who are explosive and fan rush the passer. They did well snagging defensive ends that fit that mold in 2016 and are doing that again in 2017. Kingsley is the latest example. His self-scouting report states just that.
"I'm a relentless player with a great motor," he said. "I'm a natural pass rusher and can definitely play the run. I believe I can be impactful on the defensive line."