Pierce chose the Orange over offers from Mississippi State, Florida, Oklahoma State, LSU, Oregon, South Florida, Central Florida, and Southern Miss. He signed with Mississippi State out of Plantation (Fla.) high school as a Scout 300, four-star prospect. He remained committed after having to go the junior college route. However, last month he decommitted from the Bulldogs.
Pierce officially visited Syracuse the weekend of November 18th. He took an official to Oklahoma State the weekend prior. His other officials visits included LSU, Central Florida and Mississippi State.The Ducks and Gators tried to make late pushes as well.
Even with multiple powerhouses involved, the Orange were able to prevail in this recruiting battle. It represents arguably the biggest recruiting win since Dino Babers has taken over given the other programs involved. Each of those schools wanted Pierce, and each pursued with vigor down the stretch of his recruitment.
Syracuse's relationship with Pierce, attractive offensive system and starting spot immediately available were what won the talented tight end over in the end. Credit head coach Dino Babers, assistants Nick Monroe, Sean Lewis and Reno Ferri as well as the rest of the staff for landing Pierce.
Monroe was Pierce's primary recruiter for SU. He had an established relationship with Pierce that helped get Syracuse's foot in the door and why the Orange were able to be a strong force within his recruitment before ultimately landing him.
On the Southwest Mississippi Community College website, Pierce is listed at 6-foot-4, 230-pounds. As a freshman for SWCC, Pierce led the team in receptions (27) and was second in both receiving yards (307) and touchdowns (3) in eight games. This past season, Pierce led the team in all three categories.
In nine games in 2016, Pierce had 50 catches for 426 yards and two touchdowns. He had at least five catches in seven of those nine games. His best performance of the season came against Pearl River on October 6th, where he had seven catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.
Syracuse will hope to get similar, or better, production from the extremely athletic Pierce. Syracuse loses Josh Parris, Cam MacPherson and Trey Dunkelberger (transfer) from this year's roster. That leaves only Kendall Moore and walk-on Kyle Kleinberg returning.
Pierce joins Aaron Hackett as tight ends committed to Syracuse this cycle. Pierce will enroll in January as a junior college transfer.
Out of high school, Pierce had a power-packed offer list that included Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Ole Miss and others.