You were probably so busy with ACC Media Days and 2016 Syracuse football recruiting these past few days that you forgot the Orange have already gotten busy locking down talent for the class of 2017. Well here's your reminder: they are. Buffalo (N.Y) linebacker Isaiah McDuffie committed to the Orange back on Monday, bringing the team's 2017 total to two (the other being wide receiver Daewood Davis).
McDuffie, who's obviously familiar with the Syracuse program being right down the road in Buffalo, picked the Orange over offers from Penn State, Washington State, UConn and the hyper-local Buffalo Bulls. He obviously has a thing for far-off, frozen outposts based on that list, but we won't judge him for that.
The Bennett High School product is a two-way athlete right now going into his junior year. Over on Scout, Mike McAllister spoke to McDuffie's coach (and father) about how he's produced at running back (1,375 yards and 23 scores) as well as linebacker (161 tackles). Despite what seem like some great numbers out of the backfield, the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder has already been speaking with SU's Clark Lea about how he fits in at the outside linebacker or safety spot. As a result, McDuffie will be working on coverage more as part of his training.
Once again, the difference -- outside of being an in-state draw in this case -- is the family atmosphere the Syracuse staff has helped cultivate for this program, as it resonates incredibly well with recruits and parents alike. McDuffie's the latest to cite it as a driving factor in his decision. He'll take another visit to Syracuse come the fall, when he'll be an attendee at the LSU game. Fingers crossed he likes what he sees that Saturday... (because if he does, so will we)
His tape is below for those who want to take a look. Welcome, Isaiah!