Last weekend was big for Syracuse Orange football recruiting, as SU picked up three verbal commitments — Tre Allison, Dre Cisco and Lakiem Williams -- to make it 17 players currently slated to join the program in the class of 2018.
When coupled with the four recent transfer announcements, Syracuse now has four scholarships available for 2018.
So how might Dino Babers and his staff put those to use?
First, here’s what the roster looks like right now, broken down by both position and year. The “RCO 18” group is current commits for 2018:
This departing 2018 class is pretty balanced in terms of losses, and you can say the same about the 2021 group as well. But in between, there’s some spikes, obviously. The 2019 class loses a ton at critical spots like offensive line, defensive line and defensive back, hence why we’ve been loading up on two of those positions.
But what about defensive line?
The question was asked the other day below the Class of 2018 Update post. And while we’re not in dire straits there, one would think we’d want to add between four and seven players to that group over the next two cycles.
Focusing directly on 2018 and the four spots we have remaining, though, what positions are we likely prioritizing?
SU’s had to rely on JUCO transfers on the defensive line for awhile now, and may have to do so again this offseason. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as a stop-gap measure for 2018. However, 2019 is likely to be more focused on high school recruits at the position. Of Syracuse’s major (attainable) targets right now, our best chance is likely with three-star end Connor Parks -- who also may be a heavy Southern Miss lean. With or without Parks committing, expect a JUCO addition here likely after signing day.
Not critical, but it would seem likely SU can add another name here for this class. Josh Jefferson and Carlos Vettorello appear to be the primary targets there. Not sure if we’d add both, given the fact that Syracuse already has four linemen committed. Vettorello just had his official visit this past weekend along with several other players (including two that pledged to the Orange right after).
At this point, it would be a surprise if Syracuse can add a quarterback for this class. But it couldn’t hurt to pursue one if there’s a spot still available. D-line’s a much larger priority, however.
Again, far less critical than the positions above, with SU already having three in the fold. But given the team’s struggles to stop the pass at times, any help could be appreciated. No current top targets play in the secondary, but that could always change. There’s also still the chance that a player on the current roster like Tyrell Richards makes the switch to safety (or perhaps Kielan Whitner moves back there).
None of the above is to say that Syracuse can’t add players at other positions with these final roster spots. These are just the most likely areas of need that they’d address.
If you’re looking for a full roster breakdown, here’s my grid. It’ll be updated pretty regularly as changes occur.