What a week for Syracuse football recruiting! Just a day after the Orange got a reaffirmed commitment from defensive tackle Steven Clark, Syracuse received a HUGE win today. Three-star New Jersey defensive end Jake Pickard -- once committed to Wisconsin -- has selected the Orange over Michigan this evening. When he sort-of reopened his recruiting process following the Badgers' coaching change, it was thought that SU would have a decent chance of winning his services, though a late push from Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines put that in doubt. The Syracuse staff was able to put on the full-court press, however, and bring Pickard into the fold.
Honored to announce my Commitment to Syracuse University!! pic.twitter.com/dG7BPMiYhJ— Jake Pickard (@JakePickard2015) January 30, 2015
After losing Keivonnis Davis to Oregon State (again, how?!), Pickard's add definitely helps SU at the defensive end spot. The 6'5" end is quick, athletic and should fit right into the blitz-heavy niche the Orange have carved out for its defensive linemen in recent seasons.
Beyond the obvious advantages here -- getting a talent like Pickard on board -- it also helps right the perception ship, which admittedly might have looked wobbly a few days ago. Fighting off names like Florida, Michigan and Ole Miss for recruits is quite the feat for a school like Syracuse, and it could be a great sign of things to come in the days (National Signing Day is next week) and years to come. There's also the matter of grabbing a major New Jersey recruit, which also helps matters as well. Of Rivals' top 35 recruits in the state, this would be the Orange's third add.
So welcome to the family, Jake! Looking forward to seeing you succeed in Orange in the seasons to come!