When we last looked at the greater state of Syracuse Orange football recruiting for 2021, there were eight players in the door with numerous high-priority targets still waiting on their respective decisions. Now, a month later, quite a bit has changed.
Syracuse has added three more commitments, bringing the total to 11. They’ve also lost out on numerous players, which leads to an evolving list of recruits that Dino Babers and his staff will continue to evaluate and push for despite a lack of campus visits, camps and doubts about fall football everywhere.
Before we dive into who’s still out there, here’s the latest list of who’s already given Syracuse a verbal pledge:
- Running back: Josh Hough
- Wide receiver: Kendall Long
- Tight end: Landon Morris
- O-line: Austyn Kauhi
- D-Line: Terry Lockett, Hayden Nelson, Jaelin Moss, Derek McDonald
- Linebacker: Austin Roon, Malik Matthew
- Secondary: Malcolm Folk
Now who else may be added to that list in the coming weeks and months? Here’s a (probably non-exhaustive) list of names to keep an eye on:
Still not happy about this, though it’s doubtful the staff is either.
After New Jersey QB Tajh Bullock picked Virginia Tech recently, just five uncommitted 2021 passers appear to have offers: Shedeur Sanders, Jarvis Evans, Kiael Kelly, Xavier Copening and Justin Lamson. Lamson is the most recent offer and could also be the most promising one too, based on his recent conversation with Syracuse.com’s Stephen Bailey.
He’s a 6-foot-3, 210-pound dual-threat from El Dorado Hills, Calif. (Sacramento area) and his biggest offer beyond SU is Louisville. Despite the limitations on visits and all right now, he’s already visited Syracuse, so that’s a plus. Bailey’s piece with him indicates he’s making a decision in the next few weeks. Hopefully SU isn’t back to the drawing board once again.
Since last time, Colby McDonald picked Maryland (expected) and Johnny Martin opted for Temple, leaving Hampton, Va.’s Anthony Turner as the primary running back target at this point. We already have Josh Hough in the door too, and have been adding a lot of backs in recent classes, if SU only happens to get one for 2021. But Turner seems to be a solid Orange lean (per 247) despite offers from Virginia, Kansas, Missouri and Memphis.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Three-star Fort Lauderdale, Fla. receiver Patrick Bryant went off of his top-six and picked Illinois, but in the meantime, Syracuse picked up a top-six listing from Jimmy Valsin (Alrington, Tex.) and remains in the running for Oronde Gadsden II (Fort Lauderdale). Both players have a solid collection of P5 and AAC offers, which is always a plus. Gadsden, in particular, is an exciting prospect given his family’s NFL pedigree (dad played receiver for the Cowboys, Steelers and Dolphins) and the fact that he’s 6-foot-4. SU can always find use for big targets.
Landon Morris is already in the door at tight end, but the Orange could wind up with another player there as well. Three-star Illinois (Crystal Lake) product Carter Evans is still out there and has picked up a Virginia offer. Curtis Nixon (Washington D.C.) was at Syracuse’s Junior Day earlier this year, though still doesn’t hold an offer from the Orange.
Following up on Austyn Kauhi’s commitment, Syracuse could always use more line help — yet haven’t done too well with initial targets this cycle. Kareem Harden recently picked FIU and Thornton Gentry picked NC State (even though that name screams UNC).
Lyndon Cooper (Carrollton, Ga.) is a 315-pound guard that Syracuse is in on along with NC State and regional G5s. While 247 has him leaning Wolfpack, we’ll entertain the idea for the time being. If not Cooper, Armon Bethea (Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall) is an interesting player given his size — he’s already 6-foot-5 and 330 pounds — but has Miami and Pitt offers (among others).
Yet another guard, Wes Hoeh (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) is in play and we’re his only P5 offer right now. His other overtures include Navy, Air Force, Ivy League schools and others. Over on 247Sports, the Crystal Ball has him headed to Syracuse, for what that’s worth. He’s 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, so would need to add some weight to play on the interior.
No new high school additions lately, though SU added Cody Roscoe as a transfer from McNeese State. A couple recruiting targets have opted for competitors lately, too: Defensive end Terrance Butler picked Maryland, tackle Zaire Angoy opted for Rutgers and four-star end Kechaun Bennett committed to Michigan not long after releasing a top-five.
With four D-linemen already in the door, it’s uncertain just how many more players the Orange would add here, though legacy tackle George Rooks (a blue-chip, four-star player) certainly remains a priority. SU has made the top eight for Ikenna Ugbaja (Hyde Park, Mass.) as well on the interior, and Elijah Fuentes (Bronx, N.Y.) is another option who’s pretty familiar to the staff given his junior day attendance earlier in 2020.
At end, Josaiah Stewart is a three-star from Everett, Mass. who attended junior day, but Michigan and Boston College have both offered. JUCO Jimmori Robinson’s situation is “warm” with Syracuse, per 247Sports, but Auburn has also offered the Monroe County CC pass-rusher. Jatius Geer (Honea Path, S.C.) has offers from Georgia Tech, KSU and others, and is in play for ‘Cuse as well.
Since we last talked about this, SU has added two linebackers — Austin Roon and Malik Matthew — but given attrition at the position in recent years, there’s opportunity to add more in this class. Erasmus Hall’s Sebastian Sagar fits the mold for this scheme at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, and also has offers from Boston College, Miami, West Virginia and Wake Forest. Jason Henderson (Millford, Pa.) is a bit on the smaller end, but could have some interesting upside if he joins Syracuse. We’re his only P5 offer, and look to have poll position right now.
Dallas linebacker Patrick Turner also listed Syracuse among his top-five this week, along with Arizona, Army, Buffalo and Navy.
We were holding out hope for Atlanta’s Josh Moore last time, but he opted for Stanford. Desmond Igbinosun (Union, N.J.) also committed elsewhere, heading to in-state Rutgers.
Cam’Ron Dabney (Gainesville, Ga.) remains in play at corner, as does William Wells (West Palm Beach, Fla.). The former’s best offer is Arizona State and there’s a link to new SU defensive coordinator Tony White there. Wells’s top offers are from UCF and Washington State, so that helps a bit. Far from a sure thing, though.
Definitely a decline in blue-chip players above as many have committed to other schools. Still, a long cycle ahead and a lot more can still occur with six months left until the early signing period.