Syracuse landed a talented junior college linebacker on Wednesday in Ryan Guthrie. Syracuse was Guthrie's only power five offer, but don't let that fool you. He can absolutely play at the power five level. The Orange may have found themselves a hidden gem.
"What jumps out on tape right away when you watch Guthrie is that for his size he closes on the football very quickly," Scout national recruiting analyst Greg Powers said. "I think that reciprocates in his state line."
That state line includes 137 tackles (3rd in the junior college ranks) with 107 of those being solo (1st in the junior college ranks). Guthrie also compiled 25.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He was as productive as any junior college linebacker last season.
It was not just his production that impressed Powers. It was also his ability to always be around the football and make plays in traffic that caused Powers to bump Guthrie to a three-star prospect.
"He's around the football often and once he arrives at the ball carrier, he is a sound tackler," Powers said. "He looks like the type of guy who could also shed blocks or get off of blocks to make plays in the muck."
Guthrie also shows a high football IQ, recognizing the play early and reacting accordingly. He shows the ability to take the proper angle on tackles, chase down ball carriers from the other side of the field, and shoot the gap to get into the backfield in both pass rushing and run stopping situations.
Guthrie projects as an outside backer in Syracuse's Tampa-2 system. With his ability to play in coverage as well as stuff the run and pressure the quarterback, he seems like a perfect fit. And, he allows the Orange to slide Parris Bennett inside in 3-4 looks at times as well.
There is no question that Guthrie's highlights are impressive and he immediately makes Syracuse's linebacking group deeper and more talented. He should compete for a starting spot right away.