Meet Syracuse Football's 2017 Class

Live updates as recruits fax their National Letters of Intent to Syracuse to officially become a part of the program as well as content and features on each player.

Signing day is here! Stay right here as Syracuse football's recruiting class becomes official. Scroll down to see the Orange's haul. It will be updated as letters are received, so continue to hit the refresh button. Each player has analysis, highlights and more under each entry. Merry (recruiting) Christmas!

Class of 2017 Orange Signees

http://www.scout.com/player/164041-mykelti-williams?s=185

February 1, 2017 6:57pm

    Other Notable Offers: Cincinnati, Purdue
    Position for Syracuse: Safety

    Recruitment Recap: Mykelti Williams' name popped up in the fall as a name to watch for Syracuse. He received an offer, but things were rather quiet with the former Notre Dame signee from that point forward. He took an official visit to Purdue the weekend of the 13th and Syracuse the weekend of the 27th. Rather than staying close to home, Williams opted for Syracuse and announced his decision on National Signing Day.  

    Scouting Report: Good all-around football player with intelligence and feel for the game. Puts himself in good position to make plays and shows the ability to play deep safety, as well as man to man and in the box. He does not possess elite size/speed numbers, but is more than adequate in those departments and supplements that with what's above his neck and his heart.  

    LINKS:
    Commitment Story
    Commitment Impact
    Highlights 


    http://www.scout.com/player/203149-jonathan-kingsley?s=185

    February 1, 2017 9:58am

      Other Notable Offers: Duke, Florida State, Louisville, NC State, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
      Position for Syracuse: Defensive End

      Recruitment Recap: Kingsley's recruitment was a unique one. He was originally a class of 2019 prospect until it was discovered that papers filled out by his guardians, after coming to the United States, were doen so fraudulently. They had lied about his age, among other things. Kingsley then reclassified to 2017, where he should be been all along. Prior to the reclassification, Kinglsey had offers from everyone. But with concern over the situation and whether or not he would be eligible, many went in other directions. Not Syracuse. They continued to pursue, and that led to a commitment in late September.  

      Scouting Report: Kingsley has everything you're looking for in a defensive end. He is athletic, has burst off the edge, has a long frame with room to add weight and has natural pass rushing skills. The upside for Kingsley is through the roof. With some refining of technique and time in the strength and conditioning program, Kingsley has the potential to be a force along the Syracuse defensive line.  

      LINKS:
      Commitment Story
      Evaluation
      Highlights 


      http://www.scout.com/player/205879-curtis-harper?s=185

      February 1, 2017 9:51am

        Other Notable Offers: Boston College, UConn, Iowa State, Maryland, Minnesota, Temple, Wake Forest, Western Michigan
        Position for Syracuse: Defensive Tackle

        Recruitment Recap: Harper picked up a bunch of power five offers, and took some visits before closing in on a decision at the end of the summer. Syracuse was only looking for one or two defensive tackles this cycle, and recruited the Keystone State product hard. He visited early in the summer, and the strong relationships he developed with the Orange staff proved paramount. Harper committed in early August and shut down his recruitment.  

        Scouting Report: Harper has good strength and athleticism. He gets off the ball quickly and shows good agility, with good instincts and he changes directions well. Harper shows good anticipation and does a nice job of putting himself in position to make plays. Like all prospects, there are areas where he needs to improve. He is extremely raw. The main issue is his technique. He plays too high at times. He also needs to work on using his hands and developing some moves. Harper has a lot of natural ability, so the keys for him will be to get college coaching and continue to get as many reps as possible over time. 

        LINKS:
        Commitment Story
        Evaluation
        Highlights 


        http://www.scout.com/player/205566-ifeatu-melifonwu?s=185

        February 1, 2017 9:46am

          Other Notable Offers: Boston College, UConn, Michigan
          Position for Syracuse: Cornerback

          Recruitment Recap: Melifonwu comes from good bloodlines, as his brother is set to attend the NFL combine this year as a rising safety prospect. Ifeatu committed to Syracuse over the summer, and largely shut his recruitment down. Michigan, however, came calling late and were able to get him on campus for an official visit. Michigan's defensive coordinator, Don Brown, recruited Ifeatu's brother at UConn. That relationship led to some tense moments as the Wolverines attempted the late flip. Despite an offer and strong interest, Melifonwu turned down the opportunity to play at Michigan and chose to stick with Syracuse, with whom he had developed strong relationships with defensive coordinator Brian Ward and defensive backs coach Nick Monroe.  

          Scouting Report: Melifonwu has good size for a defensive back and runs well. He has athleticism, strong instincts and good cover skills. He impressed the Orange in person during an on campus camp with his back pedal and how physical he is in coverage. He can play as a boundary corner, in the slot or even as a safety.  

          LINKS:
          Commitment Story
          Highlights 


          http://www.scout.com/player/198406-markenzy-pierre?s=185

          February 1, 2017 9:38am

            Other Notable Offers: Memphis, Purdue, Western Kentucky
            Position for Syracuse: Running Back

            Recruitment Recap: Pierre lacked power five offers when Syracuse got involved. He committed to Western Kentucky in July and had remained loyal. But Syracuse needed another back in this class and extended an offer in October. Shortly thereafter, Pierre committed despite not visiting. When former WKU coach Brian Brohm took the job at Purdue, he was able to get Pierre on campus for an official. Despite some flirtations, Pierre's official to Syracuse the week after wrapped things up for good.  

            Scouting Report: Pierre is a power back who fits the mold of what Dino Babers wants in his running backs. He runs downhill, is not afraid to run over a defender and is adept at lowering his shoulder to continue running through contact. Pierre has solid footwork to allow him to get through smaller holes and also make a defender miss in the open field at times. While he does not possess elite speed, Pierre can make a big play when given the opportunity. 

            LINKS:
            Commitment Story
            Evaluation
            Highlights 


            http://www.scout.com/player/175554-brandon-berry?s=185

            February 1, 2017 9:27am

              Other Notable Offers: Colorado State, Minnesota, Toledo
              Position for Syracuse: Defensive End

              Recruitment Recap: Syracuse wanted to find a defensive end who could contribute right away in the 2017 cycle. Berry was a junior college prospect who they identified as someone who fits that mold. The Orange offered and set up an official for January. Berry largely shut down his recruitment after that, feeling like Syracuse was the right spot for him. During an in-home visit leading up to his official visit, Berry announced his commitment to the Orange.  

              Scouting Report: Berry is a pure pass rusher with a knack for getting into the backfield. He was 6th in the junior college ranks last season with 12.5 sacks. He has a long wingspan that allows him to gain leverage on opposing offensive tackles. Combine that with quickness off of the edge, and Berry should be able to make an impact right away for the Orange.  

              LINKS:
              Commitment Story
              Commitment Impact
              Highlights 


              http://www.scout.com/player/210114-russell-thompson-bishop&s=185

              February 1, 2017 9:12am

                Other Notable Offers: Boston College, UConn, Temple
                Position for Syracuse: Wide Receiver

                Recruitment Recap: Thompson-Bishop impressed Syracuse during an on campus camp with his running ability and athleticism. Syracuse offered and received a commitment almost immediately despite in-state UConn and regional program Boston College having extended offers. Thompson-Bishop shut down his recruitment afterhis decision. 

                Scouting Report: Thompson-Bishop is long and has the ability to sit down in space against zone defenses. He is a possession type of receiver who can use his size against smaller defensive backs. He needs to improve his acceleration, particularly after the catch, but he has good top-end speed. He tracks the ball well and usually does a good job of extending his arms and catching the ball away from his body, but there are times he lets the ball get into his body. He needs to get stronger to be able to get off jams, and better acceleration will allow him to get out of his breaks quicker and to gain separation. 

                LINKS:
                Commitment Story
                Replacing Amba
                Highlights 


                http://www.scout.com/player/201020-zach-morton?s=185

                February 1, 2017 8:47am

                  Other Notable Offers: Cincinnati, Iowa State, Pittsburgh, Western Michigan
                  Position for Syracuse: Defensive End

                  Recruitment Recap: Morton surprised with a May commitment out of Midwest power Cass Tech. Despite some overtures from other programs, including rival Pittsburgh, Morton never waivered. Syracuse was his only official visit, and he remained loyal to his original pledge.  

                  Scouting Report: Linebacker who is transitioning to defensive end. Has shown pass rushing ability. Quick off the ball, athletic, able to bend the corner or win with quick inside counter moves. Has a solid frame and should be able to get big enough to play end in college. Has to still get stronger and show he can anchor against the run as a defensive lineman, but there's no question he can get to the quarterback and has the athletic skills in pursuit to be a high level weakside end in college. 

                  LINKS:
                  Commitment Story & Highlights
                  The Opening Columbus Top Defensive Performances 
                  The Opening Chicago Top Defensive Performances 
                  Coach Speak: Zach Morton 
                  Commitment Analysis 


                  http://www.scout.com/player/201886-chris-elmore?s=185

                  February 1, 2017 8:14am

                    Other Notable Offers: Central Michigan, Western Michigan
                    Position for Syracuse: H-Back/Defensive Tackle

                    Recruitment Recap: Despite being a really good football player, the power offers did not come for Elmore. He committed to Western Michigan early in the cycle, and his recruitment was quiet from that point on. Despite interest and an offer from Syracuse, Elmore kept his word on his original pledge. Then head coach PJ Fleck left WMU to head to Minnesota, and the Orange quickly scheduled an official visit for the weekend of January 20th. Elmore committed during the trip.  

                    Scouting Report: Former linebacker and current fullback who brings physicality and explosive power to the position. Gets off the ball quickly, penetrates and spends a lot of time in the backfield. Is a powerful hitter when he gets to the ball carrier and is the same as a lead blocker, something he can still do in jumbo packages. Relatively new to the position, so still refining technique and hand usage. Fits ideally as a three-tech. Won't likely ever have the size to tie up blocks and eat up space, but can be a disruptive penetrator who can pursue. 

                    LINKS:
                    Commitment Story
                    Commitment Impact
                    Highlights 


                    http://www.scout.com/player/210006-tyrell-richards?s=185

                    February 1, 2017 8:00am

                      Other Notable Offers: Pittsburgh, Stanford
                      Position for Syracuse: Linebacker

                      Recruitment Recap: Richards is a Canadian prospect who Syracuse first discovered at a summer satellite camp. He then attended a camp on the SU campus, and further impressed the Orange coaches. They offered and he quickly committed. Despite some subsequent attention from Pittsburgh and Stanford, Richards never reconsidered his original decision. 

                      Scouting Report: Richards is a talented linebacker who could play any of the three positions. He runs well sideline to sideline, has excellent tackling technique and is solid in coverage. Richards never gives up on a play, routinely chasing down ball carriers from the other side of the field. Underrated about Richards' game is his hitting ability. The three-star linebacker packs a punch when he arrives at an opposing player.  

                      LINKS:
                      Commitment Story
                      Richards Discusses Offseason Improvement 
                      Highlights 


                      http://www.scout.com/player/207975-cam-jordan?s=185

                      February 1, 2017 7:52am

                        Other Notable Offers: Boston College, UConn, Temple, Wake Forest
                        Position for Syracuse: Wide Receiver

                        Recruitment Recap: Jordan was on the Syracuse radar for quite some time. He picked up an early offer, but stillw ent through the summer camp season. After visiting Syracuse towards the end of June, he felt he had found his future home. Just to be on the safe side, Jordan slept on it for one night. He woke up the day after his summer trip and committed to Syracuse.  

                        Scouting Report: Jordan has exceptional straight-line speed for a player of his size. He is a long strider who can get behind the defense if they are playing up on him. He needs to work on his hip flexibility so he can be more fluid into and out of breaks. He does not accelerate as well out of breaks as he does off the line of scrimmage. He is a red-zone threat because of his length. He tracks the ball well but he needs to improve on catching it at its highest point so he can maximize his size. He is a hard worker and he has the frame to be a very good run blocker on the edge. 

                        LINKS:
                        Commitment Story
                        Highlights 


                        http://www.scout.com/player/210072-nykeim-johnson?s=185

                        February 1, 2017 7:42am

                          Other Notable Offers: Army, Hawaii, Navy, Virginia
                          Position for Syracuse: Slot Receiver

                          Recruitment Recap: Johnson arrived at a summer Syracuse camp as someone already on the staff's radar. But after his performance, an offer was extended. Shortly thereafter, Johnson was Orange. The speedy wide receiver shut down his recruitment after his decision. 

                          Scouting Report: Johnson may not be the biggest receiver, but he can flat out run. A burner in the truest sense of the word. With his elite speed, Johnson is a dangerous playmaker with the ball in his hands. He can take a bubble to the house or run by corners on go routes. Johnson can also impact special teams as a punt or kickoff returner.  

                          LINKS:
                          Commitment Story
                          Johnson Brings Extreme Speed to Syracuse 
                          Highlights 


                          http://www.scout.com/player/195358-allen-stritzinger?s=185

                          February 1, 2017 7:34am

                            Other Notable Offers: Cincinnati, Michigan, Toledo, Western Michigan
                            Position for Syracuse: Running Back

                            Recruitment Recap: Stritzinger is a former Scout 300 running back who slipped a bit in the rankings. He grabbed an offer from in-state Michigan, but the Wolverines wanted him to play cornerback, where he impressed during multiple camps. Syracuse, however, wanted him as a running back. The Orange were the only power five school who did, and that led to Stritzinger's commitment.  

                            Scouting Report: Slasher who has good vision, cutback ability and a kid who runs tough and grinds out extra yardage after contact. Not necessarily built like a power back since he's a little taller and leaner, but he runs with determination and breaks arm tackles. Has shown ability to break longer runs but can still improve acceleration. Good pass catcher out of the backfield and still not out of the question that he could play defensive back in college. 

                            LINKS:
                            Commitment Story
                            Highlights 


                            http://www.scout.com/player/199540-aaron-hackett?s=185

                            February 1, 2017 7:32am

                              Other Notable Offers: Cincinnati, UConn, Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, Minnesota, South Florida, UCF, Wake Forest, Western Michigan
                              Position for Syracuse: Tight End

                              Recruitment Recap: Hackett was a popular prospect early in the 2017 recruiting cycle. He racked up a bunch of offers and took several visits. But during the summer, he started to narrow his focus. Syracuse was a school that was intriguing. They had available immediate playing time, strong academics and a new coach. Hackett's high school tight end coach, Beckett Wales, also gave him unique insight on the Orange being a former player. Ultimately, Hackett committed in July and never waivered.  

                              Scouting Report: Hackett is a well-rounded tight end prospect that's more than willing to get his nose dirty in the trenches, where he's a tenacious blocker. Hackett is also a reliable target in the passing game that flashes good concentration when working in congested areas. He's an intriguing option in the red zone that's shown good body control as well. Overall speed and elusiveness after the catch are areas of improvement. 

                              LINKS:
                              Commitment Story
                              Coach Speak: Aaron Hackett
                              Highlights 


                              http://www.scout.com/player/199418-kadeem-trotter?s=185

                              February 1, 2017 7:31am

                                Other Notable Offers: Boston College, Iowa State, Toledo
                                Position for Syracuse: Linebacker

                                Recruitment Recap: Trotter became a key target for the Orange, and was one of the standouts at an on campus camp over the summer. Trotter visited Syracuse, Boston College and Iowa State before making his decision  

                                Scouting Report: Long kid who has played up on the line of scrimmage a lot, and will likely grow into a full time linebacker in college. Has been asked to play outside as a defensive back at times though, and has shown he can do that. Versatile, solid all around football player. Will just need to get stronger and adjust to being a full time backer. Solid tackler, but not an explosive hitter.  

                                LINKS:
                                Commitment Story
                                Coach Speak: Kadeem Trotter
                                Highlights 


                                http://www.scout.com/player/203386-eric-coley?s=185

                                February 1, 2017 7:29am

                                  Other Notable Offers: Boston College, Rutgers
                                  Position for Syracuse: Defensive Back

                                  Recruitment Recap: Coley is the son of Syracuse defensive line coach Vinson Reynolds. Once he took the job, the Orange become a strong favorite for the versatile athlete. He committed over the summer and shut down his recruitment.  

                                  Scouting Report: Good all around athlete who can change directions and has good acceleration. Raw in terms of technique because he has played quarterback and has developed at other positions yet, but has the baseline skill set to project as a slot or defensive back in college. 

                                  LINKS:
                                  Commitment Story
                                  Highlights & Evaluation 


                                  http://www.scout.com/player/206403-dakota-davis?s=185

                                  February 1, 2017 7:28am

                                    Other Notable Offers: UConn
                                    Position for Syracuse: Guard/Center

                                    Recruitment Recap: Davis visited Syracuse back in February of 2016, and was high on the Orange ever since. An offer did not come right away, however. Over the summer, Syracuse extended the offer after months of patience from both sides. Davis took only one day to sit on the offer before committing. 

                                    Scouting Report: Davis is physical and strong. He engages a defensive lineman and the rep is over. He gets off the ball quickly but he needs to work on his knee bend so he can have better balance and win the leverage battle. In the running game, he is a straight ahead blocker. He is a guard who may be able to play center if he becomes more flexibile. He needs to continue to improve his footwork. In pass protection, he has the strength for his initial punch to be effective, but he needs to work on lateral movement and kick-stepping back. 

                                    LINKS:
                                    Commitment Story
                                    Highlights 


                                    http://www.scout.com/player/206669-sharod-johnson?s=185

                                    February 1, 2017 7:26am

                                      Other Notable Offers: Illinois, NC State, Purdue, Temple, UCF
                                      Position for Syracuse: Slot Receiver

                                      Recruitment Recap: Sharod Johnson was a relative unknown going into the summer, but he caught Syracuse's attention. They were able to secure a commitment from him early as a result. Johnson transferred to Florida powerhouse Booker T. Washington High for his senior year, and attracted the attention of other programs, including NC State and UCF. Neither seriously threatened, however, and Syracuse received his only official visit.  

                                      Scouting Report: Johnson is a pure slot receiver who is quick in and out of his breaks. A dangerous playmaker in the open field, Johnson runs crisp routes and has strong hands. Once he has the ball in his hands, Johnson is slippery and shifty, making him difficult for opposing defenders to bring down. His skill set allows him to make plays on bubble or tunnel screens, or even stretch the field in the vertical passing game. 

                                      LINKS:
                                      Commitment Story
                                      Highlights 


                                      http://www.scout.com/player/206204-tommy-devito?s=185

                                      February 1, 2017 7:21am

                                        Other Notable Offers: Boston College, Maryland, Mississippi, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Washington State
                                        Position for Syracuse: Quarterback

                                        Recruitment Recap: Syracuse received an early commitment from DeVito back in April. Since then, he won The Opening NY/NJ regional MVP, was named to the Elite 11, made The Opening Finals, named to the all 7-on-7 team at The Opening Finals and made the Under Armour All American Game. Those impressive accolades led to offers from Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Washington State. He declined each opportunity and stuck with the Orange.  

                                        Scouting Report: DeVito developed into a Power 5 quarterback during his junior season. He is comfortable in the pocket and he is patient. He is able to get through progressions and he keeps his eyes down the field, and as he gains more experience, he will be a tad quicker in making throws to the his second and third options. DeVito has a good feel in the pocket and moves his feet well as feels pressure. He can tuck the ball and run, but that is not his forte. His arm strength is good, and he is accurate in throwing intermediate and deep passes. He can throw the 15-yard out with zip.  

                                        LINKS:
                                        Commitment Story
                                        DeVito Elite 11 Highlights 
                                        The Opening Finals Evaluation 
                                        Highlights 


                                        http://www.scout.com/player/210994-patrick-davis?s=185

                                        January 5, 2017

                                          Other Notable Offers: Buffalo, North Dakota State
                                          Position for Syracuse: Guard/Center

                                          Recruitment Recap: Davis attended an on campus Syracuse camp in June. He impressed the Orange coaches, and an offer was extended. Davis came back to the Syracuse campus in August for a more formal visit. Shortly after the visit, he decided Syracuse was his future home. Davis took an official visit in December and has already enrolled in the school.  

                                          Scouting Report: Davis has a nice frame at 6-foot-5, 290-pounds. He brings versatility to the Orange with the ability to play anywhere along the offensive line. He played tackle in high school, but may project more as an interior lineman. He is a mauler and plays with a mean streak. When he engages, he drives through opposing defensive players. Davis uses his hands well. Areas to improve are his kickout in pass protection and footwork.  

                                          LINKS:
                                          Commitment Story
                                          Building Versatility 
                                          Highlights 


                                          http://www.scout.com/player/200462-nadarius-fagan?s=185

                                          December 27, 2016

                                            Other Notable Offers: Alabama, Louisville, LSU, Nebraska, USC
                                            Position for Syracuse: Linebacker

                                            Recruitment Recap: Fagan had offers from most of the big boys. Syracuse assistant Nick Monroe was able to develop a strong relationship, which helped the Orange get a visit over the summer. Fagan seemed to be closing in on a decision, but a trip to LSU loomed. The talented linebacker returned from LSU with only one place on his mind. That was Syracuse. He commited, took only one official (Syracuse in November) and has already enrolled in the program. 

                                            Scouting Report: Fagan is a defensive prospect who loves to hit. He is a kid that flies around the field and plays fast to the ball. His biggest strength is his aggression. He locates the ball and attacks. When he gets there, he strikes the opponent. He loves to get downhill and go after the ball carrier. As a linebacker, he has played inside and outside. He could play either on the next level as well and him being a big safety that plays in the box is not out of the question. He can work on his reads, his drops in coverage, and taking better angles to the football. He is a tough football player who sells out on the football field. 

                                            LINKS:
                                            Commitment Story & Highlights
                                            Fagan a Huge Recruiting Win for Syracuse 


                                            http://www.scout.com/player/172716-ravian-pierce?s=185

                                            December 15, 2016

                                              Other Notable Offers: Florida, LSU, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, South Florida
                                              Position for Syracuse: Tight End

                                              Recruitment Recap: A junior college prospect, Pierce remained committed to Mississippi State for much of the 2017 cycle. He signed with the Bulldogs out of high school after all. Pierce, however, decommitted from MSU and looked at all of his options. Due to a previously established relationship with Nick Monroe, Pierce considered Syracuse. The Orange made a move and seemed to be in a good spot. Pierce's first official visit was to Oklahoma State. After that trip, the Cowboys seemed to have a leg up. Then Syracuse got their shot with an official, and moved back into the lead. Mississippi State continued to push hard for him to commit back to them, but even a late official visit was not enough. Pierce signed with Syracuse in December. . 

                                              Scouting Report: Pierce is everything you want in a new age tight end. He is a quality blocker, has a perfect frame, excellent speed for his position and can be used in a variety of ways. Pierce can line up as a traditional tight end, in the slot or even out wide. He is too big for defensive backs and too fast for linebackers. Pierce is a matchup nightmare for opponents. He can stretch the middle of the field and be a major weapon in the red zone. Simply put, Pierce is an elite talent who gives Syracuse an added dimension to the offense.  

                                              LINKS:
                                              Commitment Story
                                              Pierce Discusses Orange Pledge 
                                              Highlights 
                                              Evaluation


                                              http://www.scout.com/player/203500-ryan-guthrie?s=185

                                              December 14, 2016

                                                Other Notable Offers: Bowling Green, Georgia Southern, Marshall, Tulane
                                                Position for Syracuse: Linebacker

                                                Recruitment Recap: Guthrie was committed to Tulane, but Syracuse started expressing interest. Looking for a junior college linebacker, Syracuse hosted both Guthrie and four-star Delshawn Phillips for official visits. When it was clear Phillips would sign with Illinois, Syracuse immediately offered Guthrie and received a commitment.  

                                                Scouting Report: Guthrie is a smart, sure tackling linebacker. He can rush the passer, drop back in coverage and make plays against the run. The most impressive thing about Guthrie is his closing speed. When he sees a play, he reacts and gets in the proper position very quickly. He is a solid all-around linebacker who has a chance to crack the starting lineup right away. 

                                                LINKS:
                                                Commitment Story
                                                Highlights 
                                                Evaluation



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