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Syracuse football recruiting: DE/LB Derek McDonald commits to Orange

If you haven’t caught on by now, Dino Babers is adding defensive linemen this cycle.

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another Syracuse Orange football commit, it seems. The latest addition to the recruiting class of 2021 is defensive end/linebacker Derek McDonald, according to his Twitter feed on Tuesday morning.

McDonald stands at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, and plays at the Marist School in Brookhaven, Ga. (just north of Atlanta). Though he can play on either side of the ball, 247Sports notes that Syracuse is adding him as a potential defensive end or linebacker option. He’s currently unrated, but has offers in from Penn, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth and Harvard — along with UConn and Akron. There’s also interest from schools like Louisville, Georgia and Wake Forest, though no offers on those fronts just yet. New Orange defensive coordinator Tony White was his primary recruiter.

McDonald told Mike McAllister one of the big draws for him to commit to SU was the communications school (NEWHOUSE, FTW!), and as you can see based on the offers above, academics do seem to be a priority for him.

Assuming McDonald winds up at defensive end, he’s the fourth defensive linemen in this class — and the fifth defender out of the six players to commit so far. Fellow defensive end Hayden Nelson just joined the class of 2021 yesterday, and Syracuse also has verbal pledges from linemen Terry Lockett and Jaelin Moses.

Welcome aboard, Derek! Highlights below for those interested.