Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
The Orange are almost done with months still to go
The Syracuse Orange football program added commit No. 21 on Monday, as Oronde Gadsden II was the latest SU pledge. With so many players already in the fold, there really isn’t a ton left for ‘Cuse to do before wrapping up the class of 2021 — assuming no one leaves, of course.
Before jumping in, here’s the full list of Syracuse’s 2021 commitments:
- Quarterback (1): Justin Lamson
- Running back (1): Josh Hough
- Wide receiver (3) : Kendall Long, Umari Hatcher, Oronde Gadsden
- Tight end (1): Landon Morris
- O-line (5): Austyn Kauhi, Wes Hoeh, Kalan Ellis, Tyler Magnuson, Enrique Cruz
- D-Line (6): Terry Lockett, Hayden Nelson, Jaelin Moss, Derek McDonald, Jatius Geer, Elijah Fuentes
- Linebacker (2): Austin Roon, Malik Matthew
- Secondary (2): Malcolm Folk, Duce Chestnut
Since we last looked at the class just a few weeks ago, Syracuse has added their two priority wide receivers and four-star offensive tackle Enrique Cruz. So they’ve made some great progress, and put together a solid class here that addresses needs and looks pretty balanced.
Theoretically, Dino Babers could add a few more players to this class, though who knows how many slots they’ll have with scholarship weirdness around the pandemic, unexpected departures and any grad or JUCO transfers they decide to pursue. For now, we’ll assume there’s a little room.
There aren’t a ton of options here at the moment, but given the fact that Syracuse lost one running back to transfer this offseason (Garrison Johnson) and could lose two more after Abdul Adams and Jarveon Howard opted out, there’s at least a little more need to bring in another name. If Adams and Howard are both gone next year, that leaves just Jawhar Jordan, Markenzy Pierre, Cooper Lutz and Sean Tucker at the position.
Seems like nothing’s really moved on Hampton, Va.’s Anthony Turner, who has other P5 offers and last appeared to be high on SU. The Orange have offers out to at least 30 running backs, but most of them have already committed elsewhere or are higher on other (bigger programs). Not the end of the world if they don’t make an add here. Could be looking at the transfer market, however.
Another position where it isn’t essential to make another addition, but an interior lineman wouldn’t hurt. Three-star center Gabe Blair (Denton, Tex.) seems like the most sensible addition there, though he also has offers from USC, Colorado, Virginia Tech and others. If Blair’s not the pick, the JUCO or grad transfer route could be an option. It might be even if Blair commits given the current state of the line.
This position was largely closed up, but the Orange were waiting to hear more on legacy four-star tackle George Rooks (Jersey City, N.J.). Unfortunately, the news doesn’t look good, so ‘Cuse is probably done with the line with six players already committed.
Nothing’s really changed here since the last time we checked in. Syracuse missed on some earlier priorities, and while some very good uncommitted players do have offers, they’re unlikely to make enough headway at this stage in the game. Three-star Eric Ford (Bethesda, Md.) is the closet option they have right now, but could be a Virginia lean per 247Sports. Bryce Myers (Bridgewater, N.J.) still really wants an Orange offer, but may not get it if Babers and co. believe they have options with JUCOs or grad transfer.
For a bit, it seemed like three-star cornerback William Wells (West Palm Beach, Fla.) was the main target left out there for Syracuse — and he still might be. But ‘Cuse also seems like they’re pursuing Rutgers commit Alijah Clark, a three-star corner from Camden, N.J. Not sure if there’s room for both Wells and Clark, unless they could maybe see one at safety. Wells remains high on SU and is one of the only remaining obvious choices out there in terms of high school prospects the Orange could land.
Again, quite a bit left to happen this season and into the offseason. Syracuse could lose verbal commits before the early signing period or signing day, and roster shake-ups will give us a better sense of how active they can be with transfers. From this vantage point, you probably want to give transfers a look on the offensive line, at linebacker and maybe even at quarterback too if you have want to push Tommy DeVito a bit. Receiver may be a bigger priority there, however, depending on how Syracuse’s young targets come along in 2020.
Any other recruiting notes you’d like to add? Weigh in below.