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Syracuse football recruiting: Orange targeting under-scouted Canada

Those “Syracuse is in Canada” jokes apply to football recruiting now too.

NASCAR: FireKeepers Casino 400 Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Ask any number of other rival fan bases, and Syracuse University is located in Canada. So to them (and maybe us too) it should come as no surprise that one of the emerging trends of Dino Babers’s new Syracuse Orange football regime is recruiting the Great White North.

Thus far, SU already has two commits from Canada -- wide receiver Josh Palmer and offensive lineman Patrick Davis. Both of them are in Canada Football Chat’s top 10 for the class of 2017. Syracuse is also targeting Canada Prep Academy’s Liam Dobson and Blake Williams. These players in Canada don’t get tons of offers or interest. As SB Nation’s Bud Elliott pointed out this week. They’re under-recruited.

Like Babers’s scheme, this strategy for Syracuse’s coach (and some others around the country too) is all about exploiting inefficiencies. Not a lot of teams run a scheme like the Orange’s? Then recruit using that as your biggest advantage. Take that selling point around the Northeast and find the kids that may not fit into the region’s decidedly less-flashy offensive identity.

Or in the case of Canada, go up there and take an interest when only a handful of schools make the trip during the recruiting cycle.

They’ve already started doing so, it would seem. A look up and down the aforementioned top 10 list sees Orange offers for at least half of the players already, with plenty of time left in the 2017 cycle. It’s easy to see why. Few schools are closer to the border, especially in the eastern providnces. If you’re a high school player hoping to stay close to home, or one that wants to take a couple extra visits outside of your official five, you have limited options within financial reason. It’s an easy match.


As we’ve mentioned, SU changed its thinking when it hired Babers, bringing a different type of offense to the Dome. The coach has a different type of thinking around recruiting as well to put that scheme (and the defense as well) into action. Canada’s clearly part of that strategy. Now let’s see how far Syracuse rides that process across the border.