One of the big themes of this recruiting cycle was getting some of the best kids in the Northeast -- thereby preventing our rivals from doing so. With his commitment back in December, Qaadir Sheppard is a big part of that strategy. The well-regarded New York prospect now looks to add his name to a long list of notable SU pass rushers.
High School: Iona Preparatory School, New Rochelle, New York
Position: Defensive End
Stats: 6'3'', 222lbs
Main Recruiter: N/A
Commitment Date: December 23rd
Ratings: Scout (3), Rivals (3), ESPN (3), 24/7 (3)
Other Offers: Boston College, Connecticut, UMass, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple, UCF, Virginia
If you know me, you know I pay way too much attention to who Eric White is following on Twitter, as usually this is a good indication of some top recruits. Qaadir was followed and unfollowed by White more times than I could count, but he always had Syracuse in his top 3, so I think in this case it was reading the tea leaves with a microscope. Sheppard had an affinity for the Orange since the beginning, and though he dragged his recruitment through the end of his senior year, I always had a good feeling.
Sheppard is raw at the Defensive End position, but I see a lot more potential in his highlight tape than I saw in a certain Ebenezer Ogundeko's tape a few seasons ago. Every defensive end that we've brought in in the 2015 class serves a purpose, and if they come to camp ready to play, they have an excellent chance of getting on the field very quickly. I think Qaadir is one of those guys that, if he reports to camp in shape and ready to go, could see significant playing time as a freshman.