As you know by now, Vinson Reynolds has joined Dino Babers's Syracuse Orange football staff, taking the same defensive line coach role he held at Western Michigan before. While we're definitely excited to see his defensive line expertise in action, where a lot of Reynolds's value comes is on the recruiting front. Back in 2014, he was named one of Rivals' top 10 G5 recruiters, and in general, his Broncos teams far outpaced the rest of the MAC in that department. Reynolds has a great read on the Detroit area, in particular, and will help Syracuse with any and all Michigan prospects they may have interest in.
So who MIGHT they have interest in? Rivals shows six 2016 Michigan prospects Reynolds has been linked to, all of whom possess three-star ratings. Two are committed to Western Michigan right now, while the rest are favoring/committed to other Midwest schools (MAC or Big Ten). A breakdown of each, just in case you start hearing their names tossed around in association with the Orange:
Dontre Boyd DB (Detroit)
Boyd's on the smaller side (just 160 pounds or so), but Scout says he runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash. Obviously Syracuse needs help in the secondary, so any and all names we have even soft links to are on the table. He's currently committed to WMU, and is one of the team's top adds for 2016 right now. He would likely need to add some size if he came to SU. Keep an eye out here -- he does possess offers from most MAC schools, Iowa and Cincinnati -- but if there are bigger players available to the Orange, they might go that route instead.
Eric Rogers, ILB (Warren, Mich.)
Quick, strong and already possessing plenty of size, Rogers could be the type of player the Orange look to anchor its future Tampa-2 defense. He might not have the offers from major schools (WMU recruit and only MAC schools have extended anything to him), but there's some upside here and a scheme fit that makes him one to watch if Kenneth Ruff or Taylor Riggins (SU's current linebacker commits) look elsewhere before National Signing Day.
Kyle Brunson, RB (Farmington, Mich.)
Brunson's not a major prospect (currently uncommitted, with offers from just Ohio and Temple), but could be a fallback option if Syracuse fails to add some of its higher-profile running backs to pair with the versatile Moe Neal in the 2016 class. Put him lower on the watch list for now.
Jalen Martin, WR (Harper Woods, Mich.)
Based on this morning's Sadiq Palmer news, Syracuse is going to need to add at least one more wide receiver to the 2016 class. And despite his current commitment to Toledo, it stands to reason Martin could be someone to fill that void. A fast and reasonably tall target, he could potentially fit in right away as he's already geared for the spread if you look at the offer list. Beyond the Rockets, he has additional offers from Iowa State (home of former Toledo coach Matt Campbell) and Bowling Green (a school you should be pretty familiar with at this point), among others. If he and Reynolds have remained close, an offer could be forthcoming.
Navon Mosley, DB (West Bloomfield, Mich.)
Remember above when I said Syracuse might want to target a player with a bit more size? Enter Mosley, who's already got that at a solid 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds. He's a current Purdue commit, with offers from most of the MAC and Illinois too. Like some former BGSU targets that have come to the Orange since Babers's arrival, though, there's a chance that the coaching connection was there but the P5 name outweighed it. Mosley's another potential flip if he gets a Syracuse offer -- and you would think he could, given our aforementioned and obvious need for secondary help.
Tim Walton, ILB (Detroit)
Walton's grabbed the typical MAC offers, and was also extended one from Bowling Green -- meaning the already announced staff AND Reynolds are already familiar with the Illinois commit. As mentioned with Rogers, there probably aren't any spots for a linebacker right now, but if one opens, Walton could vault to the front of that line. With similar size to Rogers but more major school interest, it's entirely possible he gives SU a look if they come calling.
Who else? Without getting into their individual details, Reynolds's Michigan connections could also yield some results with other Syracuse targets in the state. A few of those outlined by 247 Sports include:
- Alaric Jackson, OT (3-Star/Detroit)
- Marquis Smith, CB/ATH (3-Star/Ypsilanti, Mich.)
- Drew Beesley, DE (3-Star/Warren, Mich.)
Beesley's inclusion here is especially significant because he was already high on the Orange before Reynolds's arrival. And he's also a teammate of Rogers right now at De La Salle, which should provide some additional motivation for the latter player if he gets a call from SU.
Plenty more recruiting news will be shaking out over the coming weeks. We'll have as much as we can from now until then.