Recruiting rankings don't mean much -- or anything, really. Especially this early. As Syracuse Orange football fans we've been burned before on promising starts, or "can't-miss" commits. So please keep all of that in mind when looking at current recruiting rankings below.
Those bottom two, should they hold, would be one of the better results for Syracuse in the recruiting rankings era. The top one (which, sure, let's buy into 247 most here) would be the best ranking the Orange have ever had by a significant amount.
Again, this doesn't matter. We have a pretty large class at this juncture (17 players), which helps boost rankings for us and many others with similarly large groups of commitments. And there are zero guarantees on any of these guys right now. Should SU tank this season, and the offense looks dysfunctional and maybe the defense struggles even more than we think -- this could all come undone.
But at the same time, this could snowball into something that catches fire.
Because while the rankings don't matter, they certainly exist. And recruits certainly see them too. While Syracuse hasn't played a game yet this fall, they do have a four-star quarterback (Tommy DeVito) that's pretty confident this is where he's going to school. They recently beat out some SEC powers and USC for a South Florida linebacker (Nadarius Fagan) whose skill set could far surpass the three stars handed out by the recruiting sites. The team also has a stable of speedy receivers excited about the possibility of playing in Dino Babers's offense.
So now it's about momentum, and how much of it the program can keep throughout the rest of this cycle. Right now, Babers and his staff are selling an idea of what Syracuse can be. When there's a real-life comparison with on-field results, that's when the real decisions are made. If you're inside the current pool of 17 commitments, what level of success do you need to see this year? If you're outside the current pool of commitments, is your answer the same, or slightly different? And is that answer influenced more so by a high recruiting ranking (like 33rd?) than it would be one in the 50s?
This recruiting cycle is far from over. This post is to talk exciting possibilities, while also tempering expectations at the same time. The 2016 season, while we're viewing it as a transition year, is crucial to dictating the way forward. It's scary and exciting. And in that regard, pretty far from just being "nothing."