Name: Dontae Strickland
Position: Running back
Hometown: Dayton, N.J.
High School: South Brunswick
2014 Stats: Strickland rushed for 1,200 yards and 17 touchdowns, while adding another 136 yards and a score through the air. At defensive back, he had 61 tackles, four interceptions and a sack. It earned him NJ.com all-conference honors for South Brunswick, who went 11-1.
2015 Projections: Strickland is listed as the third string running back in Syracuse's preseason depth chart. George Morris and Devante McFarlane both had significant roles as freshmen who were far down in the depth chart, though both redshirted before getting on the field. Strickland could get more opportunity, too, from Ashton Broyld's departure. That's one less receiving target for SU, meaning that hybrid Erv Philips will likely be relied upon more in the passing game.
How'd He Get Here: He ranked as the second highest-rated Syracuse player in the Class of 2015 and best of the four New Jersey recruits that Bobby Acosta helped bring in. He attracted offers from nearby Rutgers University as well as Georgia Tech, Virginia and West Virginia. Strickland's friendship with fellow Jersey recruit Daivon Ellison played a role in his commitment as the pair wanted to team up in college. Let's just say that prying them away from Rutgers didn't please some of our friends from Piscataway.
What'd Recruiting Sites Say: Scout (3), Rivals (3), ESPN (3)
Money Quote: (On turning away some late interest from Georgia to stay with SU)
"I don't want to do them dirty. They were here from the jump. They got something planned for me. Just because Georgia had a few recruits slip up, just to come at me last minute, it wasn't real."
Links of Wonder: Syracuse football signee Dontae Strickland opens up about living in hotel room during high school
Tweets of Wonder: Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, a blogger can be heard screaming.
CHIPOT(BAE) ❤️ pic.twitter.com/OzKc1pkiHn— $avage (@tae_strick18) July 20, 2015
What Does The Coaching Staff Think of Him:
Interesting Nugget O'Interest: When Strickland committed, he had the highest ESPN grade for any SU running back since Averin Collier (also a 79) in the 2008 recruiting class. That's since been topped by Robert Washington, a 4-star commit who's rated at 82. But Strickland is still the highest-rated New Jersey recruit since Andrey Baskin in 2006, according to Syracuse.com.
Let's Get A Good Look Atcha:
Video: Huge hit from SU commit Dontae Strickland on a sack and forced fumble early in the first quarter: pic.twitter.com/1JMY9xcw40— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) December 6, 2014