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Syracuse Football Recruiting: What Will Orange Do With Last Five 2017 Scholarships?

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With 13 spots down, that technically leaves just five left in the class of 2017...

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange already have 13 spots filled in the class of 2017. All are verbal agreements, and nothing is set in stone until each player signs a letter of intent. But for our purposes here, we'll assume all 13 end up at Syracuse.

That means SU has just five scholarships left to offer this class. When we last checked on the program's scholarship situation, there were 17 spots for 2017, but the team added one by way of 2016 signee Jo-El Shaw going the JUCO route instead.

Orange Coach Dino Babers and his staff have yet to firmly commit to what positions those five could be used for (can't blame them there). That said, we can take some educated guesses based on where the current roster sites.

The grid below outlines the current scholarship players by position, only accounting for players who exhaust their eligibility in 2016 through 2019:

FINAL YEAR QB RB WR TE OL DL LB DB K P LS
2016 0 1 3 3 3 1 2 1 0 0 0
2017 1 0 4 2 1 1 4 3 1 0 0
2018 1 2 3 0 3 4 0 6 0 0 1
2019 1 1 2 0 8 7 4 6 0 1 0

The Orange only lose a small number of seniors (14), which is what puts the squeeze on the incoming class's available scholarships.

Looking past this season and only including players whose eligibility expires in 2017 through 2020 (including the 13 current verbals), here's where things stand:

FINAL YEAR QB RB WR TE OL DL LB DB K P LS
2017 1 0 4 2 1 1 4 3 1 0 0
2018 1 2 3 0 3 4 0 6 0 0 1
2019 1 1 2 0 8 7 4 6 0 1 0
2020 1 1 4
1 1 3 2 0 0 0
TOTAL 4 4 13 2 13 13 11 17 1 1 1

Kicker, punter and long snapper are set, so no need to act just yet -- remember on kicker/punter, that Sterling Hofrichter is very likely to pull double duty there once Cole Murphy graduates.

Elsewhere, the most glaring spot of need would be tight end, if you believe Babers will actually use the position much. His offense at Bowling Green didn't, but tight ends coach Reno Ferri has told recruits they're looking for two tight ends in this cycle. So if you believe that, two can get penciled in for 2020.

As for the rest, it would seem likely that Syracuse looks for another defensive lineman and perhaps another player on the offensive line as well. This also doesn't account for redshirts that you can assume will happen with some of the incoming class of 2016 (final year 2019) kids, so at least some eligibility can shift back one season. The last spot in 2017 could go to a wide receiver or running back, potentially, as Babers does want to continue building out those skill positions with more speed.

If you don't believe that tight end info, expect one tight end, one wide receiver or running back, one D-line, one O-line and one linebacker. Yes, Syracuse has struggled in the secondary, and may struggle more this year. But with 17 players on the roster at corner and safety next fall, there are other, more pressing needs at other positions.

Again, redshirts can change, and positions can shift as well. So perhaps some of the linebackers and tight ends that switched to defensive end switch back at some point. But right now, this is what we're looking at. Tons of imbalance as you can tell. Hopefully the class of 2017 sets things straight and normalizes these recruiting years a bit more for the Orange.