When a recruit decides to commits to a school, the head coach is a major factor in that decision. The strength of the relationship with that coach, the system his offense or defense utilizes, and that coach's prestige within the college football word all affect a recruit's decision. On Monday, all fifteen verbal commitment for the Syracuse Orange were without a head coach.
The reaction from the Class of 2016 has been fairly muted. Most seem to have adopted a wait and see approach. With the exception of Rex Culpepper and Brandon Ginnetti, who have signed their financial aid paperwork, the next head coach could withdraw the scholarship offer to each recruit.
Moe Neal, one of the most heralded recruits in this class, has said that he is still committed to Syracuse University, but will wait to hear from the next head coach. However, the vultures are circling, as Neal has already heard from both Boston College and Wake Forest (who was in Neal's top 2 with Syracuse) since Shafer has been dismissed.
Rex Culpepper also still "loves Syracuse", but will wait and see what happens at Syracuse after Shafer's dismissal. Rex's father, Brad Culpepper, indicated that he thought that the quarterback situation at Syracuse was still a good opportunity for Rex to come in and compete for playing time. While Culpepper has signed his financial aid paperwork, and is guaranteed to be have a scholarship, Rex would only attend Syracuse if the next coach wanted Rex, according to the elder Culpepper.
Both Camden defensive end Jamal Holloway & Allentown Pennsylvania offensive tackle Noel Brouse had no comment when asked about their respective commitment to Syracuse. Both indicated that they were focused on trying to win their respective state championships.
Wisconsin offensive tackle Sam Heckel said that he wants to "see SU's new staff" before he makes any decisions with respect to his future, according the The Fizz. Fellow offensive lineman Cam DeGeorge echoed Heckel's sentiment, saying that it is too soon to tell where he stands with Syracuse.
Quarterback Lindsey Scott indicated that he was still committed to Syracuse and took some initiative and started a group chat with several other recruits. The consensus among those recruits was to wait until a new coach was hired before making any decisions, according to Paul Schwedelson of the Daily Orange.
Brandon Ginnetti was scheduled to enroll in January after attending Cheshire Academy this fall. Now, he is not certain where he stands with Syracuse, according to the Fizz. Ginnetti said whether he attends Syracuse will depend upon who the next coach is.
Aquinas Institute linebacker Taylor Riggins was one of the only recruits to re-affirm his commitment regardless of the coaching situation. Riggins said his commitment would still be with the Orange, no matter what, according to the Fizz.
Among those yet to be heard from the 2016 Class are Monquavion Brinson, Dymelle Parker, Sadiq Palmer, Will Harper and Darius Stubbs. Class of 2017 wide receiver Daewood Davis is only recruit to officially re-open his recruitment. He says he is still committed to Syracuse but will also be looking around.
Among the coaches whose name have been talked about thus far several are considered to be good or even great recruiters. Ed Orgeron, while an eccentric personality, is well regarded for his recruiting ability. Mike Sanford and PJ Fleck are considered good young recruiters. Sanford was formerly the recruiting coordinator and is referred to as a "bulldog" on the recruiting trail. P.J. Fleck has had the best recruiting class in the MAC at Western Michigan for three years running. That is not to say that some of the other candidates aren't good recruiters as well, but these three are considered some of the best.