As you well know, Syracuse has been pretty busy on the football recruiting front, with Noel Brouse's commitment yesterday being the latest piece of big news. So who's up next for SU as the Orange continue to build out the class of 2016? A few updates on targets as we head into the weekend:
So far, SU has one linebacker in this upcoming class, but that could change with Virginia (Williamsburg) prospect Chase Pine. The three-star outside linebacker announced his top six the other day, a list that includes Syracuse, as well as Georgia, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and North Carolina. UGa and WVU were given a slight edge over the others at this time.
As he described to Syracuse.com's Stephen Bailey, Pine values his relationship with coaching staffs, and was sure to mention his strong connection with Orange linebackers coach Clark Lea. He's also impressed with the growing #CuseTwitterArmy, which interacts with him a ton.
Pine is not intimidated by factors like recent history and #BRAND when it comes to SU, and actually seems to like the extra challenge that comes with a potential Orange commitment. In response to questions around Syracuse's 3-9 season last year, he told Bailey "Honestly, I don't think it really matters because any program can really turn around in a season."
Rated a top-60 OLB by 247Sports, Pine will visit the Hill in July and will be ready to make his final commitment by September or October.
After going all-in on Northwestern only to learn they did not have space for him in this upcoming cycle, it appears that Heckel, a three-star offensive tackle from Wisconsin (Waukesha) is interested in hearing what Syracuse has to say. According to his conversation with Bailey, he does not have an offer yet from SU, but has been talking to OL coach Joe Adam and is planning to to take an unofficial visit in the next week or two (at which time, he'd assume an offer would come).
Bailey's conversation with Heckel did take place before Brouse's commitment, however, which could change things a bit. With five O-linemen in the class of 2015, and two already in the class of 2016 (Brouse, and Cam DeGeorge), it would seem like adding yet another player on the line is a lower priority for the SU staff. We'll see if anything further develops here, since recruiting is obviously a very fluid process that can change quickly.
Michael Irvin Jr.
Another player who may find himself visiting campus soon is Michael Irvin Jr., son of former NFL (and Miami Hurricanes) star Michael Irvin. As he told Bailey on Thursday, he's "really hoping" to visit Syracuse soon to get to know more of the football staff. Hes' currently been in conversations with Adam, as well as wide receivers coach Bobby Acosta. Irvin Jr. is currently rated as a three-star tight end, who even sees himself as an H-back (the fact that he even used the term seems like a half-joking positive for us, right?).
On top of the coaching staff connections, Irvin's ties with St. Thomas Aquinas (in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) could also aid SU. He knows incoming Orange freshmen (and recent STA grads) Sam Clausman and Colin Byrne, who have been recruiting him to head North to Central New York. Syracuse's academics, the Carrier Dome and the fan base also seem to register high on his list in terms of positives for the school.
He has no top schools list yet, and you'd have to think his father's alma mater, Miami, is still the clubhouse favorite. But it does seem like he also has a desire to forge his own path elsewhere too. Should he eventually commit to SU for 2016, Irvin would be the second wideout in the class, along with Sadiq Palmer.