clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Syracuse Orange Football 2015 National Signing Day Discussion & Look Ahead

New, 9 comments

National Signing Day 2015 is in the books. Now, the TNIAAM team digs in to make some wildly inappropriate and uneducated predictions about who will star, who will fizzle and whose Twitterfeed we're regretting following already...

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Five years from now, the Class of 2015 offensive recruit we're going to miss most will be...

Ben Norowski: Dontae Strickland. This kid has all the tools in his locker, and has the potential to get significant carries as a freshman. Not to mention if he succeeds, the Jersey connection will flourish even further. He's the best running back recruit we've landed since Delone Carter.

John Cassillo: While I do like Eric Dungey -- and I discuss him below -- I'm going to go with tight end Trey Dunkelberger. If Tim Lester's offense catches on, and he stays on staff for awhile, Dunkelberger could be a huge beneficiary of a renewed emphasis on the tight end position. He's a big target, and one that could really become a tone-setter for SU's young quarterbacks in the coming years.

Sean Keeley: Based on everything I've read I think I'll lean toward Dontae Strickland. While Syracuse has had good running backs in the last decade, it hasn't had a star. Perhaps he could be that guy, especially with not a lot of depth ahead of him on the roster. He'll be ready to go by junior year.

Brandon Ross: Dontae Strickland. With a roster consisting of little competition it seems like he is a lock to get early playing time. All this also comes among rumors that syracuse discussed giving him the number 44, which gives off how highly the staff thinks of him

Dan Lyons: I've gotta go with Dontae Strickland. He was already an exciting prospect, but now we've had rumors of No. 44 being broken out, and word that Georgia was sniffing around. If any program knows running back talent, it is the Dawgs, so if they think Strickland is worth looking at, we should be very excited to have him as SU fans.

Five years from now, the Class of 2015 defensive recruit we're going to miss most will be...

BN: This one's a bit tougher. I really like a lot of the guys we've brought in, but I think Amir Ealey is that guy. He has the potential to be our next great defensive end. His tape is better than Chandler Jones' when he came here, and he is a freak athlete as well. If he takes advantage of our S&C program the sky is the limit. Honorable mention to Steven Clark and Marquise Blair.

JCJake Pickard. Not just a symbolic recruit in terms of Syracuse's renewed ability to attract New Jersey talent, Pickard is an elite athlete and one who can help us continue to close the gap with the ACC's elite talent. We've churned out some pretty fantastic pass-rushers of late, and Pickard is very likely (in my book) to join that list and be a dynamic factor on this defense for three or four years.

SK: This one's tough cause there's a lot of potential out there. Syracuse seems to do well molding defensive ends so I'm going to look to Jake Pickard. The New Jersey DE got looks from Wisconsin and Michigan for a reason and he's got the size and the ability to be a special player for us.

BR: Jake Pickard. Disregarding the fact that he's probably our highest rated defensive recruit, his towering size combined with 4.7 40 yard speed should make him a standout member of the Orange defensive line

DL: It's hard to not go with Jake Pickard here. Obviously, Wisconsin is a great program that has put out some amazing defensive linemen, but whenever Jim Harbaugh goes after a kid, that is a good sign. Shafer and company deserve a ton of love for getting him signed.

The 2015 recruit flying under the radar who's going to blow away expectations will be...

BN: Evan Adams. Since Adams doesn't have twitter, there isn't the hype around him as much because fans haven't had the chance to see what he's about. This kid will be in the NFL, mark my words (and if he doesn't I'm just going to pull a Chad Ford). He's a physical specimen, and with proper coaching he could easily be a 3 or 4 year starter.

JC: I'm going with Shyheim Cullen, though I'm not sure he really has "low" expectations amongst Syracuse fans -- despite what the star ratings say. The Orange have a knack for turning any linebacker that walks into the door into an absolute monster by the end of his time on campus. Shy's already a gym rat, and that should serve him well throughout his college career with us.

SK: How about Anthony Giudice? Chuck Bullough saw enough in the kid to recruit him himself and he's probably going to need a couple years to grow and get better. But he has the potential to be one of those guys who comes out of nowhere senior year and makes a name for himself.

BR: Kenny Carter. While the staff kind of jumped on his ship a little late in the process and despite a mere two star rating, the reason he will stand out and the main reason he was recruited is because of his immense potential. He has only been lifting for one year and that leaves massive room for him to build out his frame and become an absolute force at whatever position he plays.

DL: Jake Pickard and Marquise Blair are the headliners on this side of the ball, but I really love what Shy Cullen brings to the table. The dude is a physical freak, has worked really hard to get his grades in order, and I'm always intrigued by guys who seem to have all the tools from Northeastern states that don't produce as much football talent. Sometimes, that can mean that players aren't as good as they appear, but other times you can find total stars that flew under the radar.

Of the three/four-star recruits, which one is most likely to fizzle out early?

BN: I really don't like this question and I'm going to choose not to answer it. Everyone deserves a chance and this just sets a player up to be torn down before he gets on campus.

JC: I hate even picking something for this one. But I'm going to have to go with the Hof -- Sterling Hofrichter. We cycle through kickers with alarming frequency at Syracuse and he'll have his hands full to keep his job the whole time he's on campus.

SK: Obviously I'm not rooting against anyone but there's always a handful of guys who just don't live up to the expectations. We've got so many defensive line recruits, it stands to reason that one or two of them won't be making an impact. I'll throw out Tyler Cross, who's a bit undersized. He could just as easily make his mark, though. What do I know?

BRChristopher Frederick drew interest from many schools better than 'Cuse, so the talent is definitely there. But he seems overrated for his mere 170 pound frame. He will have difficulty staying at the safety position and will likely dissolve in the cornerback depth chart.

DL: Acknowledging that I just praised underrated kids from the Northeast, I worked at a school that plays in the same league as Brandon Ginnetti, who will likely get to SU eventually, and the competition isn't great compared to some of the leagues in Florida and Georgia that some of our other kids are coming from. While there are some very talented D1-level players, the rosters are small and there isn't a lot of depth, especially along the lines. He could turn out to be great, but that would be my concern there.

The Class of 2015 recruit whose Twitterfeed you're dreading following for the next four years...

BN: There are a bunch of them in this class I had to turn off retweets for, but none of them are even close to Brisly. I won't be really following them anyways once they're on campus.

JC: I don't follow recruits or current players on purpose (sorry, guys!). But after briefly breezing through the incoming players' social media presences, Amir Ealey and Qaadir Sheppard seem to retweet absolutely everyone about everything. It's unlikely that's more than most of today's 17-year olds, though. So I guess I won't judge them.

SK: All of them? I'll agree that Qaadir Sheppard has one of the busiest feeds I've seen. And if you mention him, he WILL retweet it.

BR: I don't really follow the player's twitter accounts, but Steven Clark seems to retweet anything and everything he sees.

DL: None of these guys seem too rough, I'm more worried about Brisly...or Shafer...or McDonald popping off from N.C. State.

The Class of 2015 recruit who will have the biggest immediate impact this September is...

BN: Jake Pickard. He's ready to play today and I think he can step in and make an impact as a true freshman.

JC: I'm going with Marquise Blair, because he's both one of our best incoming recruits and also has the best opportunity to get playing time early on. Syracuse's secondary has largely been a disaster in recent years. There's a hope Blair (and others) can help fix that.

SK: Dontae Strickland. Syracuse is down to two running backs with game experience and the depth chart is wide open. I think Strickland will see some action and, if things go his way, who knows what happens...

BR: Marquise Blair, no question. He is our only 4-star recruit and he is the most likely player to get significant playing time his freshman year.

DL: It seems like the biggest realignment in terms of what we look for at a specific position from the McDonald offense to Lester's is at tight end, so I'm going to say Trey Dunkelberger. He's already on campus, he looks like a solid prototypical tight end that can both block and provide a good consistent target that our young quarterbacks will desperately need. I wouldn't be shocked if he's out there in the 12 personnel that we've heard so much about pretty soon.

Syracuse's starting quarterback in 2017 is…

BN: Alin Edouard. (of the QBs on the roster now, I think it will be Dungey.)

JC: Eric Dungey. Sorry, A,J. Long. But Dungey looks like ol' Johnny Football out there, and I'm too excited about it to entertain any other ideas. Ever.

SK: Eric Dungey. He just has the look of a guy who will take command of the offense and be the kind of QB we need. My hope is that a lot of West Coast schools are gonna be kicking themselves for letting him slide.

BR: It would be Alin Edouard, but I don't see him ever coming to Syracuse. So, I'll go with the dual-threat in Eric Dungey.

DL: Alin Edouard, if he comes here. If not him, then... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯