Defensive end continues to be a position of need for the Syracuse Orange and the coaching staff is hard at work to fill the void created by atrition, injury and the indefinite suspension of Amir Ealey & Qaadir Sheppard. Jerrion Nelson is another recruit the staff has targeted to help fill that void.
Nelson is a 6'2", 255 lbs. defensive end from Battle High School in Columbia, Missouri. He is rated three stars by 24/7 and two stars by Scout. Nelson had a previous connection with members of the current Orange staff while the staff was at Bowling Green. That relationship has continued since the staff came to Syracuse.
Nelson was named to the USA Today All-Missouri first team defense and was invited to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl. Through the first day of practices at the Semper Fi Bowl, Nelson has been one of the top performers. Nelson tallied 99 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss in his senior year at Battle
Nelson told 24/7 Sports that Iowa State was "sticking out" the most because of his relationship with Coach Campbell who began recruiting Nelson while he was still at Toledo. Nelson has an official visit set up to Ames on January 15 and plans to schedule an official visit to Syracuse after the dead period. Along with Syracuse and Iowa State, Purdue and Tulsa are the other finalists for Nelson's services.
Syracuse has one defensive end, Jamal Holloway, already verbally committed in the 2016 cycle. Syracuse has at least two other targets who are high on the Orange in Michigan DE Drew Beesley and Illinois DE Josh Black. Syracuse may take as many as three defensive end in this class, but taking all four is unlikely.