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Syracuse Football Recruiting: New York Talent Is Not Our Cornerstone

Now that the 2016 recruiting cycle is complete, it's time to look towards 2017. And lo and behold, there's a shiny, top NY State QB recruit. Here's the thing: saying Syracuse & Babers need to go after him is not a smart thing to say.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

I'm going to take you back to 2011. I was sitting in my dorm room watching ESPN as the one of the top basketball recruits in the country was about to make his decision between Kentucky, Ohio State and Syracuse. As you may know, DeJuan Coleman picked 'Cuse, the school got a violation for it, and I went along with my day very happy.

Fast forward to now and "very happy" and "DaJuan Coleman" usually don't go together very often.

How does this relate to Syracuse Orange football? Here's Jack Coan, a quarterback prospect out of Sayville HS right here in New York. His list of schools currently includes Nebraska, Michigan, Miami, Maryland and... oh hi Syracuse! That's cool to see you at the table. Dino Babers may not be sleeping over any time soon, but he'll probably bring the hard press as he seems to be very interested in quarterbacks at this time.

With all of that above, we've begun to hear the whispers. They aren't loud yet, but as we creep closer to Fall when the recruiting trail gets hotter, they'll go a little something like this:

Syracuse HAS to land Coan...

Babers can't recruit in his own backyard if we don't land Coan...

Coan is the most important recruit in Babers' career...

Here's the thing: I am not here to debate the idea that 4 star recruits are important. It's proven that the easiest way to win in college football is to get the best recruits. Period. What I am going to question is how important it is to get the "best" New York recruits. Because being a 4 or 5 star recruit in New York is rare, so rare that there have only been 14 since 2007. I counted! In fact, take a look.

Look and you'll see a pattern: out of the best ranked recruits in NY, two have made it to the NFL, four have transferred or been kicked off the team (one did both!) and overall, the list is pretty underwhelming. In fact, Wayne Morgan is probably the third or fourth best player on this list. Now that the 2016 recruiting cycle is complete, it's time to look towards 2017. And lo and behold, there's a shiny, top NY State QB recruit. Here's the thing: saying Syracuse & Babers NEED to go after him is not a smart thing to say.

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So here's two caveats:

1) Small sample size. Duh.

2) This isn't an exact science. I don't know the "bust" rate across the country for all recruits.

But the bottom line is this: very very very few (aka 1) that has truly been a "can't miss" player who can change the course of the program. In fact, the one that Syracuse did land (Coleman) hasn't exactly worked out the way we thought. Just further proof recruiting is an inexact science.

The idea here isn't that Dino Babers should forget going after top NY talent because they aren't great. The point I've hopefully made is that saying one recruit is NEEDED by a coach or a program to change a school's fortunes is not a smart thing to say. Bigger schools get enough 4 and 5 star guys that when more than 50% flame out, they still have the other 50%.

So rest easy: if we do land top NY talent: great. If we don't, it's probably not the end of Dino Babers' success here in Syracuse.