Syracuse football struggled to run the ball last year and failed to keep starting quarterback Eric Dungey upright for the second consecutive season, in large part due to an undersized and injury-ravaged offensive line.
While time will tell if the o-line can improve next season, Syracuse coach Dino Babers took a major step towards building for the future, securing a commitment from Class of 2018 offensive lineman Tyrone Sampson Jr. on Tuesday, Sampson announced on Twitter.
100% COMMITTED TO SYRACUSE ❕ pic.twitter.com/MiBDX6I7hM— T. Sampson#⃣5⃣1⃣ (@TSamp_51) April 18, 2017
Scout’s Mike McAllister first reported Sampson had committed to Syracuse.
Sampson, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound prospect from East English Village Prep (Mich.), is rated four stars and the No. 2 center in the Class of 2018 by 247Sports. In addition to center, Sampson also has experience at nose guard, according to his HUDL page.
SB Nation’s Alex Kirshner attended Nike’s recent regional camp in Cleveland and raved at Sampson’s performance, writing:
Four-star East English Village Prep (Mich.) center Tyrone Sampson might’ve had the most purely impressive camp performance out of any offensive lineman. Sampson is rated as the country’s No. 2 center. He’s an absolute mauler who was throwing poor defensive linemen to the ground, then smiling about it afterward.
Sampson spoke with Kirshner after, explaining that he’s a player who embraces the tenacity needed to work in the trenches as an offensive lineman.
“I’m real physical,” Sampson told Kirshner. “If I lose a rep, I’m just gonna come back even harder. That must makes me so mad, I just come back with another rep.”
Sampson now brings Syracuse’s 2018 recruiting class to three, joining three-star offensive tackle Gabe Horan and three-star athlete “Trill” Williams.
In addition to Syracuse, Sampson also holds offers from Louisville, Virginia and Kentucky, among others. Larger programs like Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame have also shown interest but have not yet offered Sampson a scholarship.