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Syracuse football recruiting: Class of 2018 update

We’re closing in on the new early signing period...

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

We haven’t updated much on the Syracuse Orange football front lately. In part, that’s because of a quiet period through a portion of the season. Also, we haven’t really had a commit in awhile, and with the actual games taking up a ton of time, these things do fall by the wayside at times...

But now that we’re in the offseason, it’s worth taking a look at where SU football recruiting stands just a couple weeks before the early signing period.

“Early signing period???” - some of you.

Yes, the new early signing period for football allows players to commit as early as late December (and then enroll for the spring). We covered why this could be a good thing for Syracuse. This year’s early signing period is December 20-22.

We don’t know for sure who’s signing during those early days, but obviously some players have expressed a desire to get on campus ASAP. Rather than attach speculation to any names, we’ll just run down the full list of current commits below with the latest activity (all ratings utilize the 247 composite rankings, which combine the major services):

2018 Verbal Commits

Tyrone Sampson, C (four stars)

Sampson’s been committed since April and since then, he’s been pretty outspoken about his desire to come to Syracuse (and have others come to SU as well). He took his official visit last weekend and it seemed like it went pretty well. He’s had this early enrollment tweet pinned for quite some time, so assume what you will from that.

Qadir White, OT (three stars)

The second of the Orange’s two top offensive linemen commits was also on campus this for his official visit past weekend. He’s one of the top 247 prospects in the country (and a four-star) according to 247Sports.

Edward Hendrix, WR (three stars)

Not much from Hendrix since he committed back in August, though he took his official visit in October during the Pitt game. He’s remained a top-450 or so talent according to most metrics.

Atrilleon “Trill” Williams, ATH (three stars)

Trill was also on the top 247 list and earned a fourth star from 247 this week. Syracuse wisely had him, Sampson and White (along with others) all on campus this past weekend. With or without the rise in the rankings, Trill’s a great prospect to have on our side with the needed speed Dino Babers has been going after with most players.

Cameron Jonas, S (three stars)

Jonas visited this weekend with the rest of the larger group, and it may be the only official visit the Florida product’s taken anywhere so far. TBD if he checks out other locations. He was most recently offered by Ole Miss in July, though a lot’s changd in Oxford since then.

Jawhar Jordan, RB (three stars)

It doesn’t appear that Jordan’s taken his official visit yet, but he’s stuck with Syracuse since committing earlier in the year and hasn’t taken on a ton of offers in the time since. He has top-10 potential as an all-purpose back according to recruiting rankings. We could use help at running back, obviously.

Taj Harris, WR (three stars)

Harris is actually on-campus this weekend for his official visit, and he’s been to campus before too. Maybe we hear more about a potential early signing when he’s done at SU on Sunday? Harris is also interested in playing hoops for SU (and we may have the extra scholarship to let him to do this spring if he arrived early).

Gabe Horan, OT (three stars)

Horan was on his official visit this past weekend with the rest of the aforementioned group. Despite having just a handful of offers from us, BC and Buffalo, he’s a top-1,000 talent and will be another big help for SU on the offensive line as we continue to build quality depth.

Ja'Qurius Smith, LB (three stars)

From the looks of it, Smith hasn’t been on any official visits since a September trip to Western Kentucky. No word on when he’s headed to Syracuse, though WKU’s probably anxious to flip him still, if they can.

Anthony Queeley, WR (three stars)

Queeley joined the rest of the group on campus this past weekend, and told CuseNation that he had an “incredible” official visit. That sounds pretty positive, right? He hasn’t gone on other official visits, from what I can tell.

Juan Wallace, LB (three stars)

Wallace’s official visit went very well in October, and though he has offers from bigger schools like Georgia. The D.C. product hasn’t updated much on his recruitment lately, so we’ll see where things trend from here.

Akeem Dixon, RB (three stars)

Dixon hasn’t picked up any bigger offers than Syracuse since he committed back in May, and he doesn’t provide many updates via social media. No update on whether he’ll be going on an official visit just yet, either.

Willem Froumy, OT (three stars)

Froumy was another player who had a great visit this past weekend — it definitely helps to be part of a larger group like that, I’m sure. Froumy has plenty of offers but hasn’t picked up any “bigger” ones than SU of late.

Cooper Lutz, WR (three stars)

Lutz has been pretty focused on his senior season in high school, though did weigh in briefly following SU’s upset of Clemson. He hasn’t had an official visit just yet, so that may come in the next month or two.

Who else is Syracuse targeting?

While SU has a decent number of players already for this class, they’ll certainly be adding a few more — especially given the recent departures in the secondary that free up some spots. The list below is a brief rundown of other players to keep an eye on as recruiting season heats up.

Jaron Woodyard, WR (three stars)

The top-50 JUCO player visited Syracuse back on November 24, and since then he’s also gone to Nebraska and Maryland. While we’ve developed a lot of depth at wide receiver, we don’t necessarily have a ton of experience. A JUCO add would certainly help that.

Carlos Vettorello, OG (three stars)

Vetterello is on his official visit to Syracuse this weekend, with quite a few Power Five schools hot in pursuit as well. We’re his first official visit, it appears. He’s also made unofficial stops at Oregon, Oregon State, Minnesota and Michigan.

Lakiem Williams, LB (N/A)

Williams has been offered by most of the MAC, plus the bottom of the P5. He’s on his official visit this weekend to Syracuse, plus he’s been on visits to Cal (unofficial) and Toledo (official). While we have linebacker depth, it never hurts to add another player who could contribute right away given the turnover there.

Dre Cisco, S (three stars)

Took his official visit to Syracuse last weekend, and has also stopped in on Illinois and Nebraska this fall. We could always use secondary help. And hopefully spending some time with the already committed players could help sell SU late in the game here. Oh, and he’s committing tonight.

Josh Jefferson, OG (three stars)

Jefferson was in the Under Armour All-America Game, but hasn’t necessarily received the offers usually associated with that. He hasn’t been on campus at Syracuse just yet, and it seems like our primary competition for him is UConn. I like our odds there.

Javontae Jean-Baptiste, LB (four stars)

He’s visiting Boston College this weekend, and one might assume he heads to Syracuse at some point soon. Competition’s pretty fierce for one of the top 25 or so outside linebackers in the country. We’ll keep an eye on whether he comes to campus.

Connor Parks, DE (three stars)

Over on 247, it seems like Southern Miss is going to end up getting his verbal after he decommitted from Purdue. It also seems like we’re in the mix, even if we haven’t extended an offer yet. Coach Lewis stopped in this week.

Tre Weed, WR (three stars)

Weed has had his Syracuse offer pinned on Twitter since May, and while he hasn’t announced his decision, that probably puts us in a pretty good place. He’s only visited Portland State officially, and Hawaii visited recently too. The Washington (state) product also has some interest from other programs up in the Pacific Northwest as well.

Fa'najae Gotay, LB (three stars)

He was also part of the official visit crew last weekend, and has only visited Maryland otherwise. Gotay’s from Florida, which is usually a pretty good thing. We’ll see if the Orange rise a bit as his evaluation process continues.


This list is far from exhaustive, but it’s a good start as we move into a critical stage in the recruiting process. Have other names you want to highlight? Add them below.