Syracuse Orange football hosted one of its largest recruiting visits in recent memory this past weekend, as 21 recruits visited campus and spoke with head coach Dino Babers and his staff. Time to break down everything that transpired:
Four More Recruits Leave With Offers
Heading into the weekend, only nine of the 21 recruits visiting had received an offer from Syracuse. However, as of Sunday morning, that number grew to 13, as Babers and his staff decided to offer scholarships to three 2017 recruits, and one 2018 recruit.
Three-star running back Weston Bridges highlights the group of 2017 recruits to receive offers. Bridges possesses a rare combination of both size, he's listed at 6'1" and 200 pounds on Scout, and speed, his estimated 40-yard dash time is 4.46 seconds. Bridges told Scout's Mike McAllister the scholarship offer was "a blessing" and he is very interested in Syracuse, and plans to visit again in the future.
The other two 2017 recruits to leave with offers are outside linebacker Keisean Wilson and defensive end Mason Cholewa. Wilson is listed as a three-star prospect on Rivals, and unranked on ESPN, Scout, and 24/7. Cholewa is unranked across the board.
The lone 2018 recruit who visited Syracuse, and also later left with an offer, is dual-threat quarterback DeJuan Ellis. Ellis is listed at 6'0" and 160 pounds on Scout. His 40-yard dash time is reportedly in the range of 4.35 seconds, according to 24/7, and 4.53 seconds, according to Scout. In addition to Syracuse, he's received offers from Maryland, Temple, and Wake Forest.
Reassuring Scott Shafer Offers
A number of the recruits who visited already held offers from Syracuse – but, from the previous Scott Shafer regime. This weekend was the first chance for these players to meet and talk in-person with Coach Babers and the new staff at Syracuse.
It's no secret that coaching staffs have a large impact on what school a recruit decides to play for, and Babers and his staff most likely wanted to get to know prospects who received offers from the previous staff, and address any concerns they had as a result of the coaching change.
The most high-profile recruit out of that group is four-star quarterback Kasim Hill. Hill, who is a 6'2" 192-pound pro-style quarterback, was first offered by the previous Syracuse staff nearly three years ago in June 2013. That offer was the very first scholarship offer Hill ever received, which – Syracuse fans can hope – may at least hold some sort of sentimental value with Hill.
While Hill said he isn't ready to commit to Syracuse, or any school for that matter, he told Scout's Mike McCallister the visit "solidified" his interest in the Orange and he will "possibly" return later in the spring or summer. Syracuse will have plenty of competition for his services, however, as Hill currently holds offers from 11 other schools, including: Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Iowa.
Babers Still Doesn't Care About Recruiting In-State
Once again, Babers further proved he is determined to establish pipelines all across the country. Last week, Babers hosted nine players from Cass Technical, a national power house prep school in Michigan, for a visit. And this past weekend, out of the 21 recruits who visited, seven were from Maryland – including three from Riverdale Baptist High School.
Babers has repeatedly said he plans to recruit the best players, not the best players from New York, and – despite taking plenty of criticism when not a single one of Syracuse's incoming 2016 class was an in-state recruit – it looks like he's standing by that proclamation. While Syracuse may be known as "New York's college team," recruiting in the state of New York is no longer Syracuse's cornerstone.
While 21 recruits visited Syracuse this weekend, only five are from New York. That list is highlighted by three-star two-way tackle Ethan Wiederkehr, son of former Syracuse lineman Hans Wiederkehr, and three-star outside linebacker Isaiah McDuffie, who committed to the previous staff but told Scout's McCallister that his recent visit went great and does not appear in danger of flipping.
The three other New York recruits who visited Syracuse are offensive guard Kyle Schreiner, unranked, linebacker Dan Damico, unranked, and wide receiver Noah Jordan-Williams, unranked. Both Schreiner and Damico left without a scholarship. Jordan-Williams received a scholarship from the previous staff in 2014.
Here's a complete list of who visited this past weekend, and when/if they received a scholarship:
CLASS OF 2018:
Kasim Hill, 4-star QB: received scholarship offer on June 22, 2013
Ethan Wiederkehr, 3-star OT/DT: received scholarship offer on August 3, 2015
Tariq Castro-Fields, 3-star WR: received scholarship offer on January 28, 2016
Mike Miranda, 3-star OL: received scholarship offer on February 11, 2016
Weston Bridges, 3-star RB: received scholarship offer on February 20, 2016
Tayon Fleet-Davis, 3-star RB: received scholarship offer on February 3, 2016
Tyler Beach, 3-star OT: received scholarship offer on January 17, 2016
Isaiah McDuffle 3-star OLB: committed to Syracuse on July 22, 2015
Mason Cholewa, unranked OT: received scholarship offer on February 20, 2016
Keisean Wilson, unranked OLB: received scholarship offer on February 20, 2016
Pat Bartlett, unranked OT: has not yet received an offer from Syracuse
Christian Darrisaw unranked OT: has not yet received an offer from Syracuse
Kyle Schreiner, unranked OG: has not yet received an offer from Syracuse
Owen Drexel, unranked C: has not yet received an offer from Syracuse
Tommy Connolly, unranked OT: has not yet received an offer from Syracuse
Dan Damico, unranked ILB: has not yet received an offer from Syracuse
, unranked DT: has not yet received an offer from Syracuse
Mylique McGriff, unranked RB: has not yet received an offer from Syracuse
Noah Jordan-Williams unranked WR: received scholarship offer on June 25, 2014
Myles Wright unranked TE: received scholarship offer on February 20, 2016
CLASS OF 2018:
DeJuan Ellis unranked QB: received scholarship offer on February 1, 2016