The Syracuse Orange football program’s class of 2017 is finally signing on the dotted line. National Signing Day will welcome plenty of new players to the SU family, and we’re providing profiles for each and every commitment at TNIAAM. The team’s most recent signee automatically moves to the top of the roster’s “best name” list, it’s safety Ifeatu Melifonwu.
Hometown: Grafton, Mass.
High School: Grafton Memorial Senior High School
Stats: 6'2", 183 pounds
Commitment Date: July 2, 2016
Ratings: ESPN and 247Sports were both smart and gave him three stars. Scout and Rivals were not, and gave him two stars.
Other Offers: Michigan made a late push to flip Melifonwu, offering him a scholarship on Friday during his visit, the 3-star safety confirmed to Nunes Magician writer Ari Gilberg on Wednesday. Melifonwu told Ari in a Twitter direct message he chose Syracuse over Michigan because it was the “best fit for me, and I felt most comfortable” at SU.
Dino’s Projected Nickname: “The Mass(achusetts) Marauder”
Player Breakdown: The interest from Michigan got a bit scary for a second in the past couple weeks, but that goes to show the type of talent Melifonwu projects to. His brother, Obi Melifonwu just wrapped up a four-year career at UConn and is likely to play in the NFL next year. So the genes to grow into a pro prospect are there — which is why Wolverines’ (and former Boston College and UConn) defensive coordinator was so interested in taking him on.
The younger Melifonwu isn’t huge for a safety, but he can grow into a bigger frame should the team need him to. His current measurables are actually ideal for the type of player Dino Babers wants along the back line, though. So he’ll only put on enough weight that it doesn’t negatively affect his speed. Continuing concerns in the secondary could push Melifonwu into action earlier than anticipated. But ideally, he’s a redshirt candidate who can grow into his role over the course of his career.