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How much better can Syracuse get at recruiting football talent?

Ends up, not as much as you’d hope.

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NCAA Football: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Since Dino Babers arrived, the Syracuse Orange have been improving the level of incoming football talent and as a result, their results on the field. That sort of movement gets us thinking about just how far this program can climb in terms of inbound talent. It ends up there is a little bit of a ceiling there, however.

David Hale dove into just how static recruiting rankings usually are over a long stretch, and it ends up most teams don’t shift much. Granted, Syracuse is among the teams that has shown an ability to upgrade talent in recent years. However, that’s still a small amount in the big scheme compared to the level of blue-chip players that programs like Clemson and Florida State can get.

Does that mean Syracuse and others should stop trying? No, obviously. SU’s beaten both FSU and Clemson in the last two seasons, and has proven that if you can recruit the right players to a superior scheme, it can have similar effects to recruiting top players. That’s why we hired Babers to begin with. And it’s why he’s been successful to this point. The Orange are going to look better with better players too. Just don’t start telling yourself a top-25 class is walking through that door.

That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:

Your recruiting success is already decided (David Hale)

We can look at the trend lines here and see real progress at places like Duke or NC State. The job Dave Doeren has done in both recruiting better talent and developing that talent into NFL prospects is really under-appreciated. But those are still incremental changes — going from an average of about 82 to about 86, as Duke has. It’s going from Section 8 housing into a middle class ranch house in the suburbs.

Who could Syracuse play in the 2019 ACC/Big Ten Challenge? Sizing up the possibilities (

Syracuse played at Ohio State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge last season. Syracuse has alternated between home and road in the Challenge since joining the ACC in the 2013-14 season. If Syracuse gets a home game in next season’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge, it’s likely that the Orange will host a Big Ten team that played at home in last year’s event. That doesn’t necessarily eliminate the Big Ten teams that played on the road last year, but it makes it less likely.

Jim Boeheim comments on next season, that trip to Italy and Joe Girard III (CNYCentral)

“We try to go overseas when we have a young team, we have five freshman, five sophomores and three juniors, no seniors so we’re losing a lot of veteran firepower this year. So for these young guys to be able to have 10 practices and four games in Italy, and get to have great food, too. I think we’re all looking forward to the trip.”

Phaup emerges as ace at the ‘X’ for Syracuse lacrosse (

“Coming into this, my goal was just to take, get some more time and split faceoffs. I never thought I would have a 60-plus winning percentage,” Phaup said earlier this week. “It shows how hard we work as faceoff guys and how deep I think our faceoff guys are. If you think about it, if our backups aren’t good and I’m not going against somebody as good every day, our percentage isn’t as good as it is.”

What could Syracuse DL Chris Slayton bring to the Giants’ defensive line? (Big Blue View)

While Slayton might not add anything they don’t already have, he could add to their rotation with his ability to play multiple spots in the Giants’ one-gap defense. Slayton will get a chance to show off his strength and impress the Giants during the preseason. If he impresses them, he could help improve their depth and keep the starters from being overworked.

So you think you can be an offensive coordinator (CougCenter)

Late Newhouse dean Lorraine Branham remembered for leadership, fostering community (Daily Orange)

‘Money, bribes and basketball’: The trial of Christian Dawkins (The Ringer)

Madison Cone, a special pen pal and the indelible bond forged between them (The Athletic)