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Syracuse football recruiting: Key prospects on official visits this weekend

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The early signing period is rapidly approaching, and Syracuse is looking to close on a high note.

Syracuse v Boston College Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

In just two weeks, quite a few prospects will be pledging to the Syracuse Orange, officially, for 2019. The current class is ranked 57th by 247Sports, and 62nd by Rivals, with 14 commits to-date.

This weekend, four key prospects will be in Syracuse for their official visits.

Michael Dukes, RB (2019)

Dukes is a three-star running back from First Baptist Church School (S.C.) stands at 5-foot-11 and 191-pounds. He currently holds 16 offers, with 247Sports projecting him to commit to South Carolina. Running back is not a position of need at the moment, with Moe Neal set to return, along with the emergence of Jarveon Howard and Oklahoma transfer Abdul Adams ready to play next year, too. Still, Dukes would be a nice steal. It seems that Syracuse entered the competition relatively late, though, waiting until September to extend an offer.

Cooper Dawson, DE/TE (2019)

The second prospect from South Carolina making their way North this weekend, Dawson is a 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end who gets three stars but has limited FBS nterest. For both his size and skillset, Dawson’s offers appear thin, with just 10 reported — though he tore his ACL last summer at a Clemson camp, erasing his senior season. The Tigers are also one of those offers, by the way...

According to an August article on The State, accepting Clemson’s offer would move Dawson to offensive tackle, while other schools are projecting him as either a tight end or defensive lineman. He also has offers from Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and UCF.

Darius Tisdale, OL (2019)

Darius Tisdale, a JUCO sophomore at Lackawanna Community College (Pa.), is listed at 6-foot-5 and 296 pounds on the team’s website. Syracuse was Tisdale’s first offer, but he has since earned more from Pittsburgh, Marshall, West Virginia, Arkansas and Rutgers. The competition for Tisdale should intensify based on the recent interest, and his timeline will likely extend past the Early Signing Period.

Taj Dodson, DB (2019)

Three-star defensive back Taj Dodson is 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds. He’s from Georgia and is one of the most coveted players in the state, holding 30 offers, according to Rivals. Syracuse was the first school to offer Dodson, all the way back in October 2017. Rivals has projected Dodson as a Kentucky lean, but his interest in the Orange has been steady throughout his recruitment. Dodson is classified as an athlete by 247Sports, but a safety by Rivals. He enjoyed much success as a wide receiver in high school, and a crowded secondary may present an opportunity to convert to the offensive side of the ball.

Dino Babers and company have done a great job turning around the class in the last few weeks, and have a chance to build on the highly successful 2018 class. This early signing period will play a key role in the 2019 class, with Babers looking to close on some key prospects and potentially jump into the top 50 again.