Obviously Robert Washington is the centerpiece of this Syracuse football recruiting class for 2016. The talented running back is not just slated to add talent to the Orange backfield, but potential star power to help SU bring in additional big names. The next one on that list? Possibly Gastonia, N.C. product Moe Neal.
Even better? He may be the key to the rest of the dominoes falling for what could be a this program's best class in the recruiting rankings era... at least according to what fellow 2016 target (and fellow member of the RW recruiting tree) Christian Colon told Syracuse.com's Stephen Bailey.
"If Moe (Neal) commits, I'd really have to look at Syracuse because I grew up playing with Moe as well (as Washington). Those guys are really my brothers."
Definitely not a "yes I'll sign if Moe does" statement, but that's at least a solid indication that while Washington's the big name that gets people to commit, Neal could be the next name that brings in the rest. Being a savior might sound fun, but being part of a program-changing TEAM is really what football (and these guys) seem to be all about.
We talked about the Team USA network, and just how many of these guys could end up coming aboard on the podcast this morning (with Stephen Bailey actually joining us, if you haven't given it a listen yet), but it bears repeating: Washington is determined to change the culture at Syracuse. That's an enormous burden for him, but with additional big names, it becomes an enormous opportunity too. Just like RW, Neal, also sounds like he's up for the challenge of not only bringing high-level success back to the Orange, but bringing his friends along with him to do so... though it's certainly not his only focus:
"You've still got to do what's best for you and that can't just be playing with friends," said Neal.
But back to Colon, who was the story for Syracuse.com today: He seems interested for now, but it doesn't necessarily sound like he's on-board to be the only other "big" guy with Washington. That's no knock on him. But with a long recruiting period ahead, and interest from names well beyond the power of SU's (hello, Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Oregon, etc.), he may need that final push from Neal to take the leap to CNY. As he mentioned, he's monitoring other top recruits ready to join the Orange. So the only way to push himself and even bigger names like Dwayne Haskins is to get a buy-in from Neal as soon as possible.
... An interesting several months await us on the Hill, everyone.