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Syracuse Football Recruiting: Clarke Will Visit Orange, Smith Picks UCF Over SU

Some quick updates from yesterday, as the recruiting wheel goes round and round for 2016.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

We have a couple recruiting updates for the Orange football program stemming from yesterday. We'll start with the positive:

3-Star Safety Devon Clark De-Commits From Oregon State, Plans to Visit Orange

As reported by's Stephen Bailey, recent Oregon State de-commit Devon Clarke has named Syracuse as one of his top choices right now, and plans to visit campus this summer. SU was included along with USF and Bowling Green on the Osceola High School (Fla.) safety's list of travels within the next few months. He's a three-star prospect with a host of offers from Group of Five programs. Obviously Syracuse could use a safety or three, so hopefully Clarke likes what he sees on the Hill. Some tape, for those interested:

And now the bad news...

QB Target Sawyer Smith Chooses UCF

Late last night, Bailey also added the above somber note for Syracuse fans hoping we'd land a program-changing quarterback in 2016. Smith, who the Orange were late to the game with back in April, announced his commitment to the UCF Knights last night. As Bailey points out, that's yet another Syracuse QB target to commit elsewhere. On top of Smith and late May's unfortunate news about Anthony Brown heading to Boston College, the Orange have also struck out on Sonny Abramson (Virginia), Jarrett Guarantano (Tennessee), Dwayne Haskins (Maryland), Jamie Newman (Wake Forest), and Jake Zambiec (Penn State). Several of these really hurt, since we're losing these passers to peer programs, or worse... G5 schools.

The Orange, still desperately in need of at least one passer for the 2016 class, currently have offers out to dual-threat three-star Joshua Jackson (Saline, Mich.) and pro-style two-star Jack Brotzki (son of SUA's Bill). Current SMU commit David Moore (whose father attended Syracuse) is another target with an offer in hand, but... tough to always count on those who've already committed elsewhere, even if it's to a G5 school.


Sorry for the bummer note there at the end, but we do need a QB this cycle if at all possible. With Terrel Hunt graduating, the team will be putting the future in the hands of one of A.J. Long, Austin Wilson or incoming freshman Eric Dungey unless another option emerges. That's not to doubt any of them (though we've already seen the first two on the field). It's simply to keep our choices as open as possible.