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Syracuse football recruiting: Early signing period preview

The Early Signing Period is set for Dec. 19-21, here’s a quick rundown of what to expect in the three days.

Syracuse v Wake Forest Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange football recruiting class currently stands at 16 commits for the 2019 cycle (not including Jawhar Jordan, class of 2018 enrolling in January). The class is considerably defensive-minded, with 10 commits on that side of the ball. There are a few prospects still in play for the Orange, notably a 4-star DE from the Empire State.

But first, we get to the players currently pledged to SU:

Current Commits (Ratings courtesy of 247Sports)

Luke Benson, TE/Doylestown, Pa. (3 stars)

Benson was one of the first commits of the cycle, and has great size at 6’4”, 220 pounds, but only received one Power 5 offer. It will likely take at least two years for Benson to develop before playing a significant role in the offense. Benson’s athleticism makes it easy to dream, and project a future as a high-impact pass catcher.

Matthew Bergeron, OL/Quebec City, Que. (3 stars)

Bergeron is a massive high school senior (6’5”, 280 pounds), and has a chance to compete for playing time immediately given some of the departures along the line this offseason.

Geoff Cantin, LB/Quebec City, Que. (3 stars)

The second commit from the country up north, Cantin did not receive much interest, at least publicly, before committing to the Orange. The linebacker position is relatively open next season, but many freshman are entering at the position. Don’t rule out Cantin, who has the size to project as an edge rusher (6’4”, 220 pounds).

Adrian Cole, DB/Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (3 stars)

Cole continues the Florida defensive back pipeline, and chose the Orange over conference-rival Pitt, among others. The secondary is relatively young, and Cole needs to bulk up, but there’s nothing stopping young players from getting opportunities to play in the secondary, as we’ve seen to this point. He’s set to sign this week and enroll in January.

Aman Greenwood, DB/Washington D.C. (3 stars)

Greenwood was high school teammates with freshman WR Ed Hendrix, and chose the Orange over multiple Power 5 teams. A high 3-star with ideal size, Greenwood could crack the rotation early next fall similar to how a few standout freshmen did this past season for Syracuse.

Ishmael Goulbourne, DE/Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (3 stars)

Goulbourne is a bit undersized (195 pounds), but has the speed to develop nicely as a pass rusher, especially as an outside linebacker in this system (where he’s only about 10-15 pounds shy of where he’d need to be). He also has experience at OLB, adding versatility to an already impressive game.

Dorian Hewett, DB/Houston, Tex. (3 stars)

Hewett continues the onslaught of defensive backs in the 2019 cycle, and his size could help him see the field right away. The safety competition will be loaded this off-season, but keep an eye on Hewett down the line.

Courtney Jackson, WR/Monroeville, Pa. (3 stars)

The ultra-athletic Jackson could make an immediate impact for the Orange, if not on offense then at least on special teams. Jackson received heavy Power 5 interest, and his size (5’11”, 160 pounds) is reminiscent of what current wideout Sean Riley brings to the table.

Mikel Jones, LB/Miami, Fla. (4 stars)

As a four-star defender, Jones was another hot commodity. However, he ultimately chose the Orange over multiple SEC and ACC teams and was among the top 300-400 players in the class of 2019, depending on who you ask. Going off the programs that offered him, the future appears bright for Jones, and he should contend for early playing time. The South Florida product will be signing this week and enrolling early.

Lee Kpogba, LB/Winston-Salem, N.C. (3 stars)

The one-time West Virginia commit bonded with Jones during their official visits, and committed to Dino Babers one day before Jones did. Kpogba is another candidate for early playing time, and should be an impact player during his time in Syracuse. Like Jones, he’ll be signing this week and plans to be on campus in January.

Cornelius Nunn Jr., DB/MIami, Fla. (3 stars)

Nunn’s recruitment was interesting to say the least. He originally committed to Syracuse, before flipping to Miami, and finally back to Syracuse in November. The secondary doesn’t necessarily have spots to go around as it’s currently crowded with young and promising players. Still, Nunn has the potential to be a playmaker for years to come once he gets on the field.

Anthony Red, OL/Oakdale (3 stars)

Red is a massive guard (6’4”, 270 pounds), bulking up from 230 pounds, which was his weight for his first varsity season. Both Red and the coaching staff believe there is room to get to 300 pounds and beyond, projecting Red to develop into an interior mauler.

Joe Rondi, DT/Wayne, N.J. (3 stars)

Rondi has been praised for his outstanding work ethic, and don’t expect that to change anytime soon. He played on both the offensive and defensive lines in addition to handling long-snapping duties during his high school playing days, and should add weight to his 250-pound frame.

Darius Tisdale, OL/South Brunswick, N.J. (3 stars, JUCO)

Tisdale has the size (6’5”, 295 pounds) and junior college experience to fill either of the tackle positions vacated by graduation. A redshirt sophomore when he enrolls, Tisdale will have three years to play three, and could feasibly start for all three.

Andrew Tuazama, TE/Knightdale, N.C. (3 stars)

This one’s a new name for many. Tuazama was originally a 2018 prospect, and now he’s 2019 as a mid-year enrollee after spending a year at Jireh Prep. It is unclear which pre-prep offers have rolled over, but Syracuse made a recent in-house visit, and he committed during his campus visit this weekend.

Garrett Williams, DB/Harrisburg, N.C. (3 stars)

Williams is on the smaller side but with the corner position well set up for at least the next year, he’ll get a year in a college weight training program to bulk up a bit. Williams is part of a significant North Carolina contingent this class, and they could be indicative of a larger trend of Syracuse making inroads in the state.

Still in the running

Adisa Issac, DE/Brooklyn, N.Y. (4 stars)

Issac was long seen as a Penn State lean, but it has been speculated that the longer his recruitment stays open, the better the chance Syracuse lands him.

Jimmy Fritzsche, OL/Greenville, S.C. (3 stars)

One of three targets from South Carolina, Fritzsche has received a number of Power 5 offers.

Octavius Brothers, LB/Southwest Brevard County (3 stars)

Brothers was committed to UCF at one time, but has not given any interviews since his visit to UNC last weekend.

Cooper Dawson, DE-TE/Charleston, S.C. (3 stars)

Dawson took an official visit to Syracuse two weekends ago, and his recruitment has blown up since. It has been reported that Dawson is down to SU, Clemson, and three others, and he is set to decide on December 19.

Michael Dukes, RB/Charleston, S.C. (3 stars)

Dukes is speculated to be a package deal with Dawson, as the two hail from Charleston, SC, and took official visits on the same weekend. There is no indication as to which school he is leaning towards. UNC, South Carolina and Virginia Tech are the top competitors.