Syracuse Orange football did pretty well from a recruiting standpoint last week. With 14 players (15 if you count Brandon Ginnetti right now) committed for the class of 2016 and 19 total spots available, those last five names will be critical in defining the overall success of this potential incoming group. Will those final names be even bigger fish, or just your standard SU recruits?
Based almost entirely on speculation, expect big names to be the focus first and foremost. One is 4-star safety Eric Burrell, who is currently uncommitted. And another could be former Wisconsin commit Cycoby Burch. But two more, 3-star defensive tackles Christian Colon and Bo Peek, would need to be flipped to Syracuse. Thankfully, the Orange could have some help doing so...
We've been over the defensive line a little (and later this week, we'll cover even more). The presiding issue there is depth, and so far, the Orange have added just two names to help fix that for 2016 -- Noel Brouse and Jamal Holloway (who could end up at OLB) -- which means they could still use a couple more. Enter Colon and Peek, who are currently committed to Penn State and Stanford, respectively, and are both ranked among the top 50 defensive tackle prospects in the country.
Colon, as you know, is a close friend of both Robert Washington and Moe Neal, and he's said himself that Neal joining RW at 'Cuse would force him to consider SU. Well, now that Moe's headed to the Hill too, he's already said he'll actively try to flip Colon -- though there's an additional caveat there. If Colon even visits Syracuse, Penn State will pull his offer. You can debate how right/wrong that policy is, but I suppose if you're Penn State or another, similar school you can probably get away with it. But assuming he ends up visiting -- which means he wouldn't go to Penn State -- you'd have to think SU would assume the inside track over fellow finalists North Carolina, Maryland and UCLA.
We've heard little about Peek since he committed to Stanford back in February. Until today, anyway, when we found out he was transferring to Plant High School in Tampa, Fla. You know, the same place that's already home to 2016 commits Scoop Bradshaw and Rex Culpepper currently play. Of course, we've yet to hear any plans on flipping him from the Cardinal, but having two of his now-teammates headed up to New York could potentially have some appeal. Back when the Orange were in the running for him, Peek was recruited by Tim Lester (who also led the charge on Culpepper). It wouldn't be terribly surprising to see Rex (and Scoop) at least try to reopen that door and get the highly-regarded tackle to take another look at Syracuse.
The above is what we were talking about right after Washington committed to SU. Getting guys like that and Culpepper creates pipelines to their circle of friends and past/current teammates, ultimately opening the door for networks of players to potentially create some great recruiting classes. In the social media-driven, post-LeBron-to-Heat sports world of year-round recruiting cycles and ideas on "superfriends," this is how it's done. Syracuse hadn't really gotten on board until now, but with Washington/Neal and Culpepper/Bradshaw, they're already succeeding at the game. Both Colon and Peek are far from sure things to flip, but the prospect of doing so is now there, so it's a step in the right direction.
We'll see what happens with these two high-profile options as SU's recruiting class rounds out going into the fall. More updates to come, for sure.