Syracuse football’s coaching overhaul likely put a dent in the Class of 2022 as a whole. Then again, the defensive side of the ball was left relatively unscathed with Tony White sticking around as defensive coordinator. So, SU can still recruit for system in the 3-3-5 base set. Without further-ado, meet the defensive commits from 2022.
The most pleasant surprise of the recruiting class is by far Denis Jaquez. The three-star edge rusher unexpectedly signed on the Orange dotted line over major programs like Texas A&M, Wake Forest, Liberty, Maryland, and Northwestern. All signs were leaning towards Evanston heading into early signing day.
This is a big break for SU. Jaquez hails from Richland, NJ and to lose him to a team like Northwestern would have really stung. The Orange need to own the tri-state area. At 6’4, 238 lbs he comes in with a good frame and a lot of room to grow. With a little work in the weight room, he could be just what White needs to continue the brief lineage of strong edge rushers in the front six.
The three-star utility athlete comes in with high expectations. He’s likely going to be used as a safety. Foster comes in at 6’2, 175 with really good speed. This seems like a good fit for White in the secondary since the system is designed to put players like Foster in a position to make plays.
Foster was choosing between a wide variety of other programs, including three other ACC teams (Virginia, Wake Forest, and Boston College.)
Foster’s first visit to the Hill was without his parents. It was then when he discovered his love for the coaches and the program. So, his commitment is no surprise but the Warren, OH native is set to be a big part of the class.
Syracuse’s Florida pipeline continues. The three star linebacker piggy-backed his high school team to the state playoffs, but he might be the leader at middle linebacker that the Orange are set to lose with the expected departure of Mikel Jones to the NFL.
Florida State swooped in with a late offer, but a recruiting push by Nick Monroe at the end seemed to convince Mason to go Orange. Other programs that were bidding on Mason were Indiana, Georgia Tech, Liberty, Louisville, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, UCF, and West Virginia. Clearly, this is an example of the recruiting pitch being simple. The question for Mason became do you want to play right away or wait and hope to play down the line. This is one of the benefits of being a struggling program. Mason could have gone anywhere, but he will be bidding for immediate playing time in the second level.
No fanbase should know that secondary depth is crucial, and that is what the three-star corner Jeremiah Wilson provides the program. Wilson is another Florida product who had national interest between Arizona, Iowa State, and Washington State.
Wilson has some experience playing safety but his quick hips and speed should make him an ACC cornerback with the ability to play on an island. The primary recruiter was Tony White himself, so the defensive guru must see something in Wilson and his high upside. At 5’11, 175 he does not have the size that Deuce Chestnut or Garrett Williams have, so playing right away might be out of the question. But that might help his development even more.
Bassette fits the 3-3-5 well as an interior defensive lineman, he said so himself. The 6’2, 270 lb three-star was no surprise signing for Syracuse. He committed in March, and never visited another school. There were plenty of other programs that seem to have warranted visits. Cincinnati, Iowa State, Pittsburgh, Liberty, Vanderbilt, Washington State, and Texas A&M are all appealing to most players. Apparently, they never caught the eye of Bassette.
Another defensive back never hurt anybody. But Peterson might not blend in as just any other defensive back. At 6’1, 180 lbs with a lot of length, his high level basketball skills are likely to translate well on the gridiron. Other notable offers included Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State, and Georgia Tech.
Peterson has a lot more reach than fellow 2022 corner Jeremiah Wilson, so if there’s a depth chart battle between the two, expect Peterson’s athleticism to carry him.
Cornell Perry was the first commit all the way back in February. The three-star defensive back earned first team all-Michigan honors, and had a rolodex of MAC schools on his tail like Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan and Toledo.
Perry will likely fit in well as a safety. His biggest strength is probably stopping the run, so if he puts more weight on there’s a chance he jumps up to the second level as a middle linebacker.