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Syracuse football adds eight early enrollees from 2019 recruiting class

Eight new players you’ll probably want to be familiar with before spring ball starts.

NCAA Football: Louisville at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Recent focus may be on the players leaving the Syracuse Orange football program. However, SU still added a few to the roster this month as well.

After 16 players were added during the early signing period late last month, eight have enrolled early and will be participating in football-related activities during the spring semester. That includes the spring game, which will take place in March/April on a date TBD (though we’ll probably learn that in the coming weeks).

Among the additions (with some of our scouting excerpts from back when they signed)

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

Cole’s going to walk into a crowded defensive backfield when he arrives at Syracuse. This doesn’t mean he won’t see the field early in his career as we’ve seen injuries force other young DB’s into action right away. Cole’s a little smaller than the current Orange corners and with a 4.7 40 time he doesn’t project as a lockdown corner. Where he might fit in is playing a nickel or slot corner where he has to handle the inside receivers and cover while navigating the middle of the field.

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

Dawson is a talented player at both tight end and defensive end, both positions where he could make a big impact for Syracuse. On offense, Ravian Pierce is set to graduate, leaving Aaron Hackett and Gabe Horan as the only true tight ends on the roster (unless you want to count Chris Elmore as a tight end). Dawson could provide crucial depth or even make a run for the starting job, especially seeing as Horan is a good candidate at 6-foot-6, 260 pounds to bulk up and slide into an offensive line that’s graduating three starters, including both tackles.

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

He caught almost 2,000 yards as a junior, and it’s no wonder Justin Lustig and the Syracuse staff had their eyes on him. He’s very much a Dino Babers slot receiver; able to run multiple routes, good after the catch and creates space despite his size. There are a ton of wideouts on the roster, so I don’t expect to see Jackson right away. He’ll likely redshirt and gain college size, and factor in the regular wide out packages by his third year on campus.

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

Jones fits the sort of profile we’ve come to expect from linebackers in this Tampa-2 scheme. He can play in coverage and against the run, tackles with great force and also has a nose for the football. Jones’s tape shows he’s quick to make a move, and he can take down opposing ball-carriers in space. If he can show the same sort of athleticism he displays above when he arrives on campus, he’ll be in the mix for playing time with the linebacker positions potentially unsettled.

Jawhar Jordan, RB/Chandler, Ariz. (3 stars)

Jordan is a promising recruit. He’s small yet fast and shifty. Although, this position is clogged for the near future. Next season, he will receive almost no playing time with Abdul Adams, Moe Neal, and Jarveon Howard all on the roster. Once Neal and possibly Adams depart, he’ll have to fight off Markenzy Pierre (plus any other additions between now and 2020) for carries. It’s quite possible that he’s an impact player by his second season, but it won’t be easy.

SBN Recruiting

Lee Kpogba, LB/Winston-Salem, N.C. (4 stars)

Ryan Guthrie and Kielan Whitner are graduating, and as an early-enrollee, Kpogba will be in competition with upperclassmen Andrew Armstrong, Kadeem Trotter, Juan Wallace, Tre Allison, and fellow early-enrollee Mikel Jones for playing time (among numerous others). Kpogba has heavily recruited out of high school, so obviously the skill is there, and now it is on the coaching staff to further develop his game. Likely, Kpogba will need to add some size to his frame, but will be given the chance to get some early playing time.

Anthony Red, OT/Oakdale, Conn. (3 stars)

Anthony looks to be a good addition to the offensive line. He was the third overall commit for the Orange in this cycle, and is sized decently to fit multiple positions in Babers’ system. His feet are relatively quick for a recruit and he seems to use his hands decently from what I can see. That said, he’s young and I totally expect a redshirt to get his body in shape for the rigors of the college game. The fact that we have the depth to be able to do that is an extremely promising thing. Red should be a good addition in what is a solid offensive line class.

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

He’s an athletic and hulking presence no matter which side of the ball he’s on. There’s potential for him to round into a lethal pass rusher, as he has the physical tools to simply overwhelm blockers if he develops a little more technique (which can very easily come while at SU). Tuazama isn’t a candidate for playing time this coming year, but a season or two of development should pay off down the road.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Notre Dame Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

With Syracuse basically hitting reset at linebacker (save for Andrew Armstrong), the surest bests to earn early playing time are probably the two four-star linebackers, Jones and Kpogba. But Dino Babers also isn’t scared to give true freshmen a shot at receiver — or anywhere else either, really — so Jackson could be in the mix too if he can grasp the offense quickly.

Injuries and half of a class in spring don’t necessarily tell you EVERYTHING about the depth chart for the upcoming season. However, they at least start to paint a picture. So keep an eye on which of these players get the most opportunities this semester.