Time doesn’t exist anymore, so you could tell me it’s mid-July or mid-February, and I’d probably believe you either way. Despite all of that uncertainty, however, the 2021 Syracuse Orange football recruiting class appears to be coming along nicely — and there are still more players to add in the coming months.
So far, there are 14 players in this class, ranking Syracuse around 54th in the 247Sports composite rankings. That’s not too bad at this juncture, especially when considering the caliber of players Dino Babers seems to be targeting.
Before we dive into who’s still out there, here’s who has already given Syracuse a verbal pledge, now updated with our three new additions since last time:
- Quarterback: Justin Lamson
- Running back: Josh Hough
- Wide receiver: Kendall Long
- Tight end: Landon Morris
- O-line: Austyn Kauhi, Wes Hoeh
- D-Line: Terry Lockett, Hayden Nelson, Jaelin Moss, Derek McDonald, Jatius Geer
- Linebacker: Austin Roon, Malik Matthew
- Secondary: Malcolm Folk
So who else are we keeping an eye on? Here’s a (probably non-exhaustive) list of who’s still on SU’s radar:
Thank you to all the coaches who have recruited me and believed in me— Justin Lamson (@justin_lamson10) July 3, 2020
No one, following Lamson’s commitment on July 4 weekend. The three-star passer is the earliest QB commit for Syracuse since Tommy DeVito in the class of 2017. Obviously we still need to hold onto him — and we’ll see if Louisville is interested again after top target Shadeur Sanders surprisingly picked FAU. Still, for now, the Orange have their passer.
Nothing really changes here. Hough committed back in April, and we haven’t seen any movement in recent months around Anthony Turner, from Hampton, Va. Since he has offers from the likes of Memphis, Missouri, Virginia and Kansas, he clearly has some talent. We’ll see if he winds up committing at some point or if he’s more interested than ‘Cuse is.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
At receiver, Long is already committed, but Dino’s always looking to add more speed at that position. Both Jimmy Valsin (Arlington, Tex.) and Oronde Gadsden II (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) appear high on Syracuse right now. Additionally, SU has a host of other offers out to players that there will be some stiff competition for. Oklahoma City’s Bryce Stephens is just outside the top 500 and looks like an OK State lean, but has the wheels and size (6-foot-0, 165 pounds) for the slot. Umari Hatcher (Woodbridge, Va.) is also out there, with offers from Maryland, Michigan State, UNC and plenty of others.
Morris would seem to be the lone tight end for this class, which is fine considering the depth at the position already.
Over the last decade, Syracuse has put together some deeper O-line classes that wound up being the building blocks for good teams down the road. Though there’s plenty more time to go in this recruiting cycle, they could be in the process of putting together another one here for 2021.
Kauhi and Hoeh are already committed, and Syracuse has been getting in front of a few bigger names to round out the group. Four-star tackle Enrique Cruz (Villa Park, Ill.) loved his SU visit, according to a recent piece by 247’s Mike McAllister, which sounds like encouraging news. The 6-foot-5, 252-pound player has offers from Arizona, Louisville, West Virginia, Utah and Arizona State, along with many more.
The Orange are trending well for a few other tackles as well, should Cruz not pan out. Tyler Magnuson (Minneapolis), Tyler Maro (Davenport, Iowa) and Christopher Adams (Hagerstown, Md.) are all out there as well. All have three-star ratings.
At guard, Lyndon Cooper (Carrollton, Ga.) has some great size at 6-foot-3 and 315 pounds, but it appears to be a fight between SU and NC State for his commitment. Armon Bethea (from Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall) is another option at guard, and is even bigger at 6-foot-5 and 330 pounds, and currently holds offers from Miami, Pitt and others. There’s also Kalan Ellis, who could become the second Hawaiian to commit this cycle, and tips the scales at 350 pounds already.
No major changes here since last month. Legacy prospect George Rooks (Jersey City, N.J.) remains priority No. 1, and it would be nice to land the four-star tackle to round out a strong class of linemen this year. Michigan’s the primary competition there, but he has offers from all of the usual East Coast suspects: Penn State, Miami, Boston College, Pitt, etc.
Fellow tackle Ikenna Ugbaja (Hyde Park, Mass.) has SU in his top eight, while Elijah Fuentes (Bronx, N.Y.) seems like he’s going to be headed to Boston College.
On the outside, Robert Jackson (Warminster, Pa.) has Syracuse in his top 10, and the Orange also seem to be in the running for JUCO end Jimmori Robinson, who currently at Monroe Community College. Auburn’s some stiff competition, however.
There are at least two players in the door at this position — Matthew and Roon — and there may be more if any of the edge rushers wind up being a better LB fit instead. Still, Syracuse could add one of Jason Henderson (Millford, Pa.) or Sebastian Sagar (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to round out the group.
Henderson has the Orange in his top four and we’re his only P5 offer. Sagar, meanwhile, has offers from a growing list of P5 schools including West Virginia, Miami, Boston College and Wake Forest.
This is already a pretty well-rounded class, though if we’re looking at an area that could potentially use some help, it’s defensive back. Folk (a safety) is the lone DB so far, and SU seems interested in a handful of corners to make up the rest of the group.
Duce Chestnut (Camden, N.J.) is a four-star player sitting just outside the top 300 in the country and has a ton of offers from the likes of Miami, Michigan, NC State, West Virginia and numerous others. He told 247Sports he’s high on Syracuse, and SU is in his top eight. Chestnut and Rooks are the two best players ‘Cuse is still in on, and would be the two best players in this class if they can land both.
William Wells (West Palm Beach, Fla.) is a three-star option with offers from UCF and Wazzu, while Cam’Ron Dabney (Gainesville, Ga.) could also be in the mix there.
Any names jump out here? Or any others you think should be on this short list as well? Share your own thoughts below.