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Recruiting Spotlight: Tight End

Breaking down Syracuse's recruiting efforts at tight end in the 2018 class including top targets, predictions and more.

2017 Signees: 2 (Ravian Pierce, Aaron Hackett
2017 Seniors: 0
2018 Slots Available: 2-3
2018 Offers Extended: 13




Jeremy Ruckert is one of the top tight ends in the entire 2018 class. He has visited Syracuse and is an in-state prospect. Despite that, he is focused on some big time programs and the Orange are on the far outside here.

Luke Ford says he is excited about picking up an offer from Syracuse and has high interest in them. He plans to try to visit this spring or summer. Lately, Ford has become a hot prospect, picking up offers from Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and others.

Judge Culpepper is the younger brother of Syracuse quarterback Rex Culpepper. He plans to visit this spring, and that family connection should keep the Orange in it throughout. That said, if Florida really wants him and makes a big push, they may be the favorites. His father played for the Gators in the early 90s.

Matt Alaimo is a Garden State prospect who picked up an offer from Syracuse during their junior day in February. He remains high on the Orange radar. Do not be surprised if a return visit this spring or summer is in the works. 


With a name like that, how could Elijah McAllister not be a top target? McAllister has ACC, Big-10 and SEC offers to date. Tennessee may be the early favorite.

Lee Payton is a talented tight end up from Michigan who has mainly non power five type offers, but does hold two from the power five ranks. They include Syracuse and Florida. Expect the Orange to try to get him on campus this spring.

A California product, Parks Gissinger has size, athleticism and runs very well. He already holds offers from the ACC, Big-10 and SEC. Given the distance from home, a visit is important for the Orange to have a shot.

One of the top tight ends in Florida, Zach Sheffer has offers from Auburn, Louisville, Michigan, LSU, Ohio State and several others. Syracuse will have to use their Florida connections for this one, but a visit would give them a shot. 


Some prospects without an offer that Syracuse fans should keep an eye on this cycle.

Ian Renninger attended Syracuse camp last summer and is expected to return this year. He has a great frame at 6-foot-6, 230-pounds.

An in-state tight end, Messiah Swinson holds offers from Boston College and West Virginia. He could be a camp offeree this summer with a strong performance. He stands at 6-foot-7, but is a bit on the skinny side. Still, he moves well and is an intriguing prospect. 


Syracuse already has one tight end committed in Gabe Horan. The three-star local product was the Orange's first in 2018. SU will add one more this cycle, and we will go with Matt Alaimo to join Horan. 

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