Off the back of the worst season since 2008, the Orange look to rebound with a huge official visit weekend that will set the tone in closing what the staff hopes to be another great class. The Dome should be rocking, as the students are back and a good crowd should be expected as the basketball team takes on St. John's. The weather won't be that bad either, as temperatures in the 40s are predicted on the hill.
The IPF is also looking great, per Eric White's tweet from the other day...
Everything is in place for a successful weekend, so hopefully the staff can solidify verbals and get some commits as well. Let's breakdown who's visiting, and how important their visit is.
- Dana Levine, DE, Hallandale HS - By far the most important visit from a committed prospect this weekend. Levine committed to George McDonald without even visiting the campus, and he's been quiet regarding his recruitment on social media. This is a big chance to make sure that Syracuse is where he wants to be for the next 4 years, as he's a kid with a ton of potential.
- Keivonnis Davis, DE, Miami Central HS - Davis is another kid who committed to the Orange without visiting, and over some other big BCS offers. We need to wow him to keep the big dogs from coming in late and stealing him away, as he's another great DE prospect and it's a huge position of need for us.
- Marquise Blair, S, Wooster HS - Blair is still a kid with some academic question marks, but has been solid to Cuse since he committed, this will be another kid who could be very good for us if he makes it to campus.
- Evan Adams, OL, Norwalk HS - Adams is one of my favorite prospects in the class. He loved SU on his unofficial and said it felt like home, and that's why he committed back in June.
- Trey Dunkelberger, TE, Pierce CC - The JUCO commit couldn't even wait to make it on campus to commit and pledged last week.
- Steven Clark, DT, Brindlee Mountain HS - Clark's a kid that has a very underrated tape and I think is in the mold of guys like Kayton Samuels and Jalen Harvey, two kids that didn't get a lot of looks but can definitely play. Be on commitment alert for Clark during his visit, as he de-committed from South Alabama when the Orange offered.
- Jazzee Stocker, S, Coatesville Area HS - Stocker's a player that the Orange have been on since the beginning. He's a very good prospect and it's pretty much between Syracuse and Pitt. Pitt has a kid ranked a bit higher on their board, so if Stocker doesn't want to wait around, he could pledge to SU. I wouldn't expect it to come this weekend, but you never know, we do really well once we get kids on campus.
- Doyle Grimes, LB, South Dade HS - Grimes was a kid that never visited SU but had committed to McDonald earlier in the season. He switched his pledge to Marshall, but the Orange are trying to win him back and he should feel at home with the Florida kids on campus. There's a chance he switches back after his visit.
- Matt Keller, LS, Penn Manor HS - Keller is the top long snapper in the country. Since most schools don't offer specialists, the Orange are in the driver's seat on this one. I could easily see a commitment on this visit, and expect the coaches to put on the full court press here as we need a long snapper bad.
- Qaadir Sheppard, DE, Iona Prep - Sheppard has been an interesting case for the Orange, as we've been off and on with our interest throughout the cycle. However, there's definitely a need for defensive end and it's always good to get prospects from NY to play for the Orange. Hopefully he pulls the trigger on his trip, as spots are filling up and he might start losing options, but this might be another one that takes longer than expected.
- Amir Ealey, DE, Coatesville Area HS - Ealey is a teammate of Stocker, so hopefully the Orange can use that to their advantage. He's been pretty quiet through his recruitment but Syracuse has been steadily there, and I think if we land one Coatesville product, we'll land both of them. It might be one or the other between him and Sheppard though.
- Jon Crawford, S, Largo HS - Crawford will be visiting with his teammate Donovan Hale. He has other visits set up as well, and I don't see a commitment as likely in this case. He'll probably be a kid that takes all his visits before moving forward. Not sure if the staff would take both him and Stocker though.
- Donovan Hale, QB, Largo HS - I really don't know if we'd still take Hale. After Dungey committed, I don't think we're looking for 7 QBs, and I don't think we want him as an athlete. It will be interesting to hear his reaction after the trip.
- Tyree St. Louis, OT, IMG Academy - This is a very surprising visitor. St. Louis is a Miami commit. However, the fact that he's visiting Syracuse means he definitely has a little interest, and the Orange have a former teammate in Denzel Ward to try and convince him that SU might be the school for him. I wouldn't expect a flip, however.
- Calvin Steyn, OT, Saddleback College - Steyn is a JUCO without an offer from SU. We'll see what happens here but very unlikely we see him here next season unless something goes horribly wrong with our current commits.
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The staff has always excelled on closing kids once they get on campus. I could see as many as five commits coming out of this visiting group when all is said and done. I'll be doing my best to get updates out throughout the weekend on twitter, and will have a wrap-up thread here on Monday. We all love good news, hopefully we get a bunch this weekend.