Over the last couple decades, Syracuse Orange football recruiting has fluctuated quite a bit. GERG tried to take us nationwide, and that fell flat. Doug Marrone brought us back into New York in a big way, but we also potentially over-indexed on the state when there’s only so much P5-level talent in the state.
Under Scott Shafer, we saw the Orange mine Florida more, while also leaning on the Midwest quite a bit. Though Dino Babers initially utilized the Midwest given staff connections, we’ve seen a shift in recent years to be pretty focused on Florida, the DMV area, North Carolina and lately, Canada.
Looking at Wednesday’s signees, below displays the state/province numbers in both numerical and map forms (Germany’s not included in the map, however).
- 3 signees: Florida
- 2 signees: Germany, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Quebec
- 1 signee: Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania
Comparatively, here’s a look at the overall roster of scholarship players (currently at 81 total):
- 16 players: Florida
- 8 players: New York
- 6 players: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Quebec
- 5 players: Maryland, North Carolina, Washington D.C.
- 4 players: Michigan
- 3 players: Connecticut, Illinois
- 2 players: Georgia, Germany, Massachusetts, Wisconsin
- 1 player: Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, Ontario, South Carolina, Texas
Florida is still a big focus for Syracuse, and if anything, the numbers above don’t necessarily tell the full story. A lot of players from other areas — New York, Canada — wind up heading to Florida for the later part of their high school careers to get more exposure. So these are still very much recruiting wins due to Nick Monroe & Co.’s efforts in the Sunshine State.
The fact that Quebec’s risen to this extent in recent years is also impressive, and has now created a pretty solid pipeline to CNY. There isn’t a TON of P5-level talent in the area. But it seems the players that are good enough are seeing Syracuse as the top option now.
New York isn’t going away as a recruiting area, but Dino did address what seemed like a de-emphasis in this cycle. He wants NY kids, but also wants NY kids that actually deserve to suit up at this level. Sounds like an approach we can agree on (see recent examples like Andre Cisco and Trill Williams, most notably).
The other big chunk of the roster comes from the recent uptick in DMV and the Carolinas, which is directly attributable to SU’s growing time in the ACC (the Orange just wrapped up season No. 7). Being able to establish those connections while maintaining a presence in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is important — especially as Greg Schiano returns to Rutgers and could help the Scarlet Knights get back to better recruiting success in New Jersey. It’s also worth mentioning that while Mike Locksley was brought back to Maryland to help fortify recruiting for around the DMV, the Terps didn’t have a blue-chipper from the state (though SU didn’t either).
Anything surprising above? The international bend is something worth keeping an eye on, especially if Syracuse is an early mover there. Between German and Canadian players, 11% of the current Orange scholarship players aren’t from the U.S. That’s not a small amount. If many of those guys become key contributors for SU, they could change some thinking around whether the time and effort is worth it to look for talent outside of country.
What else sticks out to you about the geographic breakdown of Syracuse football’s roster? Share your own thoughts below.