Last week, Mike McAllister from Scout.com released his commitment calculator for the Syracuse Orange, discussing the top recruiting targets and his opinion about the likelihood that those recruits end up signing with Syracuse. Here, I discuss who I think are the top priorities for the Orange and the factors that will affect whether they sign with Syracuse.
Kentrail Moran, RB, O'Fallon High School, O'Fallon, Illinois
The previous coaching staff had been recruiting Moran pretty hard during this entire recruiting cycle, and the new staff picked up right where they left off. Moran committed to Illinois back in March and remains verbally committed there, but will be visiting Syracuse in January with fellow Illinois commit on January 22. Last week, Moran had this to say via Twitter:
DomeDudes! #Alpha— KentrailMoran (@Wooda_Moran24) December 14, 2015
Needless to say I like Syracuse's chances of landing Moran. I'll say 70% chance that he flips in January.
Joshua Black, DE, Harlem High School, Machesney, Illinois
Defensive end may Syracuse's most desperate need with Donnie Simmons graduating, Luke Arciniega opting to end his football career, Ron Thompson considering to enter the NFL Draft, and the indefinite suspension of Qaadir Sheppard and Amir Ealey. The new coaching staff immediately made Joshua Black a priority with an in-home visit. Black committed to Illinois back in June, but will be visiting Syracuse in January. Black has a relationship with this staff from their time at Bowling Green and has shown significant interest in the Orange. 60% chance.
Alaric Jackson, OT, Renaissance High School, Detroit, Michigan
Upon taking over the reigns, the new coaching staff sought out a certain type of offensive tackle recruit: tall, long and lean. Tre'Vour Simms, Sean Foster, Alaric Jackson are all 6'5" or taller but under 300 lbs. Since Syracuse offered, Simms has already flipped his commitment from Illinois to Missouri, so its unlikely Syracuse lands Simms. Jackson has offers from most of the Big Ten and with Iowa State and Iowa as seemingly the front runners. If Jackson visits Syracuse, his chances of committing will get better. 40% chance.
Sean Foster, OT, Carmel Catholic High School, Mundelein, Illinois
Foster was offered by the previous coaching staff, but not pursued much. That changed when Coach Babers was hired. Foster is a 4-star recruit and will be playing in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl. Foster has interest in schools such Nebraska, N.C. State, Cal, and Purdue in addition to Syracuse. He has an official visit scheduled to Iowa State on January 23rd. It's unclear if Foster has much interest in the Orange. 10% chance.
Alonge Brooks, WR, Riverside Community College, Riverside, California
Brooks is a lanky wide receiver at six foot three inches tall and plays in an offense similar to the one that Coach Babers will install at Syracuse. Brooks has expressed significant interest in joining the Orange and will have an in-home visit with Coach Babers in January. If Syracuse offers a scholarship, it is likely Brooks commits. Another wide receiver target, Neru N'Shaka, just committed to Toledo, so Syracuse may offer Brooks soon. 75% chance.
Sam Brodner, RB, Glenbard West High School, Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Brodner is a 5'10", 215 lbs. running back who is rated three stars and was recently named the Gatorade Player of the Year after amassing almost 2000 yards and 40 rushing touchdowns and leading his team to an undefeated season and the Illinois 7A State Championship. Brodner was previously committed to Vanderbilt but re-opened his recruiting last week and immediately received a Syracuse offer. Brodner will visit Syracuse in January. Iowa and Iowa State are the other two schools recruiting him the hardest. Presumably, Syracuse will only take either Moran or Brodner, but not both. 50% chance.
Andrew Armstrong, OLB, Cardinal Mooney, Youngstown, Ohio
Armstrong was previously committed to Bowling Green and re-opened his recruiting so that he could receive a Syracuse offer. Armstrong also has Wake Forest & Cincinnati in his top three. He will be visiting Syracuse, as well as the other schools, in January. Armstrong's previous relationship with Syracuse's new staff gives the Orange a leg up. 65% chance.