Yesterday we talked about what to expect for next Wednesday’s National Signing Day, including Syracuse Orange signees, our coverage here and the likely Dino Babers nickname parade.
There aren’t any glaring concerns at the moment over any of the 18 signees, though Ifeatu Melifonwu’s recent discussions with Michigan (no offer yet) certainly raise some eyebrows.
You also don’t always know when a kid is going to flip from your school or to your school. So unless you’re locked in a battle for a top-300 prospect (we rarely are), your three-star guys are pretty content sticking with you by now. And your top guys either look solid (like current commit Tommy DeVito) or they don’t.
Looking back on Syracuse’s previous national Signing Days, we wanted to see what happened, where we ranked and how those classes have turned out thus far:
Babers started his new regime from scratch, basically replacing all but a few previously-committed players leftover from Scott Shafer’s time as coach. Despite the late reset, Syracuse still managed a top-60ish class on Signing Day, coming in around 10th in the ACC.
On the day of, the one big surprise was Rashad Smith flipping back to Florida Atlantic, where he’d been originally set to go before SU came calling.
In total, 19 enrollees made it to campus, with two (Jo-El Shaw, James Pierre) failing to qualify. Pierre was less of a NSD situation, since he failed to make it to campus at North Carolina during the spring, then committed to Syracuse afterward.
Shafer’s final class was a big one, with 27 total signees and a top-60 ranking. The emphasis on size in the trenches was obvious, but SU also reloaded at a number of skill positions. There were no major surprises day-of, and the Orange even managed to ad some names post-Signing Day including Kenterius Womack and Ted Taylor.
The problem since, however, is that one-third of those players are already no longer on campus. Marquise Blair never even got to SU, and the attrition under the new regime led to a ton of guys from 2015 heading elsewhere in the last year. This class highlights a lot of the ongoing issues with depth this roster has. Despite the high number on the day itself, just 17 remain two years later.
On paper, this was Shafer’s best class, as it ranked among the top 50 in the country. The biggest surprise day-of was the fact that fans were blacked out of the program’s afternoon press conference, but there were plenty of less-than-ideal surprises after Signing Day, as we swung for the fences on several questionable qualifiers and it didn’t pay off as planned.
K.J. Williams and Alin Edouard, probably the two biggest days on Signing Day, never made it to campus. Corey Cooper, after finally making it to campus, transferred before the season started.
At the same time, a lot of the other names from this class have become the building blocks to the current roster and its successes (where applicable). Steve Ishmael, Zaire Franklin, Ervin Philips, Parris Bennett, Antwan Cordy and others all came from this group. It’s not a complete replacement for all the well-regarded guys who transferred or never made it to campus. But it’s a start. It’s also a testament to the quality job Shafer & Co. did evaluating two- and three-star talent.
Most of the fireworks around this class happened in January, as Doug Marrone’s departure led to a slew of commits flipping elsewhere. Shafer tried to hold on to as many as he could, but many of the top names for what was about to be a top-40ish class were already out the door by National Signing Day.
The 21-man class of 2013 ended up ranked 73rd by 247Sports, and featured a small collection of contributors over the course of four years. Brisly Estime’s the obvious big name, and he played consistently for his time at SU. Jamar McGloster and Marqez Hodge also saw the field quite a bit.
The rest of the players with remaining eligibility after 2016 -- Kendall Moore, Austin Wilson, Alryk Perry, Chauncey Scissum and Corey Winfield all elected to transfer.
This wasn’t necessarily supposed to be a recap of “how Syracuse has a decade-long depth issue,” but that’s sort of what it turned into anyway. Despite the overriding themes seen above, the Orange have had success on Singing Day in recent years. Hopefully 2017 can continue to build on what this roster has to offer under Babers and his system.