Yes, we just wrapped up the early signing period for Syracuse Orange football, and there’s still more work to do for Dino Babers to complete the 2021 recruiting class. Yet, it’s also worth turning attention toward 2022 as SU tries to continue improve incoming talent during what’s hopefully a more “normal” recruiting cycle.
Below, we’re going position by position to take a look at some targets and early offers for Babers’s staff. According to 247Sports, SU already has over 140 offers out to prospects. There are certainly many more to come, though, as this class starts coming together.
Syracuse has five QB offers out so far, but two of those players has already committed elsewhere. That quick list:
- Peter Delaportas, 4 stars (Sparta, N.J.) - Boston College commit
- Preston Howard, 3 stars (Owings Mills, Md.)
- Tevin Carter, 3 stars (Memphis, Tenn.)
- Henry Belin, 3 stars (Bronx, N.Y.)
- Beau Pribula, 3 stars (York, Pa.) - Penn State commit
Losing a New Jersey four-star quarterback to BC this early is unfortunate... far more so than losing a three-star Pennsylvania kid to Penn State. Competition for the other three is pretty high too, however.
Auburn, Michigan, Arizona State and Maryland would be the primary competition for Howard unless BC or PSU is looking to add another QB. Carter has a more impressive offer sheet with a slew of SEC squads (including LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn), plus Florida State and others.
Belin, from Cardinal Hayes in the Bronx, is the priority here. SU offered him way back in February and has been in contact pretty consistently and would seem to be in a decent position... but they’re also not the only suitor. Rutgers, Pitt and Vanderbilt are also very interested and he’s a legacy with Vandy. It would be ideal to be able to secure a commitment soon, though that’s probably not going to happen until campus visits are happening again. Having high school teammate Elijah Fuentes on the roster could potentially help.
We’re not going into the same detail at every other position because there are a ton of offers out there and you can see the full list at the 247 link above. Of the 12 running backs offered so far, four have a four-star rating while the rest are threes or currently unrated since it’s early in the cycle and evaluation on these players isn’t that extensive given the pandemic.
Anthony Turner is one player that could be on SU’s radar since he was “warmer” on the Orange in the class of 2021 before reclassifying. If they lose both Abdul Adams and Jarveon Howard this offseason (could very well be the case), Syracuse is probably looking for two running backs in this class and has a couple guys currently prioritized.
One of those is four-star Glenside, Pa. back Samuel Brown, who’s 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds and has a boatload of offers as one would imagine. Babers and the staff are in contact with him a bunch already, but they’re also up against the likes of Texas A&M, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Virginia, West Virginia, Baylor and many others. The other is Staten Island, N.Y.’s Sam Martin Jr. He’s a three-star with offers from Tennessee, Cal, Wake Forest, Pitt, Purdue, BC and more.
Syracuse already has 21 offers out to wide receivers, but seven of them have already committed elsewhere — including both five-stars. While the Orange have been adding at least two or three receivers to each class in recent years, they’ll likely be doing so once again in 2022 as they attempt to find a solution on the outside.
You could argue seven of the top 10 offers for SU are already headed elsewhere or close. So that leaves Reggie Fleurima (4-star from Naperville, Ill.), Samuel Mbake (4-star from Snellwood, Ga.) and Kevin Thomas (3-star from Philadelphia) as the top options left on the board.
SU was the first to offer Thomas, who’s 6-foot-3 and 187 pounds, back in July. But he’s since seen more from Texas A&M, Florida, Oregon, Pitt, Tennessee and plenty others. Fleurima and Mbake are both already highly-sought after by some of the top programs in college football. That doesn’t mean don’t pursue them. It just means competition’s significantly higher there.
Clearly a position of need, even after adding five players in the 2021 class — and maybe more by the time this offseason wraps up. There are 19 O-linemen with offers right now, including 15 tackles and four guards. Like me, you certainly have some thoughts about a seemingly lesser emphasis on the interior line (especially the center position that has been a struggle of late).
Sullivan Weldman (3-star from Brookline, Mass.) is a big dude already at 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds, so it’s no wonder Michigan, Nebraska and others have offered. But BC might be able to keep him at home. Laakea Kapoi (3-star from Honlulu) is maybe a more feasible add since he’s a teammate of recent signee Kalan Ellis at the St. Louis School, and the offer list’s highlight is ASU.
On the interior, Brad Harris (3-star, Philadelphia) is 6-foot-4 and 255 but also has a bunch of offers from Michigan State, ASU, Oregon, West Virginia and others. Jonah Savaiinaea is also out there and already has the size at 6-foot-3 and 330 pounds, plus the same St. Louis School connection that Kapoi does.
The line is another place where Syracuse would like to bulk up again, despite five additions in this cycle. SU has offered 26 defensive ends and six tackles — a breakdown that may be a little surprising given how thin we seem to be in the middle, but also makes sense with just one tackle on the field at any given time in the 3-3-5.
For 2022, the Orange have been putting out a lot of offers in New Jersey and Florida so far (among other locales), and seem to be approaching a broad list of players. If they were once prioritizing DE Kenny Fletcher (4-star from Delran, N.J.), he doesn’t seem to feel that way with a list of B1G and ACC schools back in October that didn’t include Syracuse. Fellow N.J. prospect Denis Jacquez (3-star from Richland, N.J.) is a bit higher on the Orange, however, and ‘Cuse was one of the first few schools to have an offer in after Rutgers and CMU.
There are other names, but tackle Kaleb Artis (4-star, Fresh Meadows, N.Y. is the most notable right now. He likes SU but... a) it’s early in the process and b) that offer list includes Notre Dame, Pitt, West Virginia, Nebraska, Tennessee and others. ND seems to be higher on other tackles, which could help. There are still other schools to compete with, however.
Another 23 offers are out at linebacker, where Babers’s program has seen a decent amount of attrition of late. Of those, four have already made commitments, with two of them going to Maryland. A couple more could be Notre Dame-bound if you believe 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions.
Among the handful of priorities at LB right now, one is four-star Moses Walker, who’s a four-star out of Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall. Syracuse hasn’t had much luck with players from Erasmus Hall of late (last player from there was Wayne Morgan), but they’re hoping they can turn things around with Walker. Of course, he already possesses offers from LSU, Miami, Texas A&M, Penn State and a long list of top-tier programs. Another key name is three-star Abdul Carter, who attends the same school as RB target Samuel Brown. Not sure if they could be a package deal. Would be great for SU, however, if it worked out. Carter has offers from Penn State, Michigan, USC, Kentucky, Ole Miss and many more.
As this past season proved, you can always use more bodies in the secondary — especially while running a 3-3-5 that’s going to have a lot of them on the field during any game. So it shouldn’t surprise that we have 26 offers out to DBs, nearly split evenly between corners (14) and safeties (14). Half of those corners are blue-chip players, and two of them have already made their commitments.
Syracuse has already received some good news from the corner group, as four-star Trevell Mullen (Coconut Creek, Fla.) already has the Orange among his top five along with Indiana, Penn State, West Virginia and Miami. Trevell’s the younger brother of former Clemson standout Trayvon Mullen, who now plays for the Raiders, in case you needed another reason to be excited by the prospect of a potential top-200 player.
Another Florida target is three-star corner Elijah Mc-Cantos (Miami, Fla.), who told Mike McAllister that Syracuse — and specifically, “Swag Daddy” NIck Monroe — was showing the most love so far. ASU, UK and KU are the main competition so far, which sounds promising.
At the safety position, half of the offered players are from Florida and three are from New Jersey. Would think that Duce Chestnut’s signing helps there, along with the hopeful draft placements of both Andre Cisco and Trill Williams.
SU’s also offered several “athletes,” including four-star Jacolby Spells (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). McAllister profiled him back in October, discussing how the Orange were in on him early and have long seen him as a DB. Spells is pretty high on Syracuse, along with Penn State and Georgia Tech. Landing him — especially early — would be a major win.
This is far from an exhaustive list, but it’s a good initial look at how 2022 is shaping up. Have other ideas for next year’s class? Share your own below.