Of all the qualms around the Dino Babers regime, the one where everyone seems pretty unified is around recruiting. Maybe some think it’s been terrible, while others think it hasn’t been bad but is not at its peak, there’s still a general feeling that the current staff could use some improvement on the recruiting front.
The door hasn’t closed on that conversation just yet, yet it does feel like momentum has begun to shift a bit. Despite various limitations still in place around in-person recruiting, the Syracuse Orange football program has still been able to add four names already for the class of 2022 (Cornell Perry, LeQuint Allen, Malachi Davis and Belizaire Bassette).
They’re all three-stars, so we’re still not necessarily upgrading the quality of additions by leaps and bounds. Yet it’s good to have this sort of early momentum with the class — something we haven’t had as much of since Babers took over.
We won’t count year one, because any coach that takes over in December is basically rebuilding from scratch. But if we compare the 2022 recruiting class to 2017 through 2021, this year’s appears to be coming together quicker than those previous seasons’.
In 2022, Perry was the first commit on February 16, and Babers & co. added commit No. 4 (Bassette) on March 27. The other years:
- First: March 22 (Terry Lockett)
- Fourth: April 30 (Jaelin Moss)
- First: March 24 (Kevin Lemieux)
- Fourth: June 16 (Leon Lowery)
- First: April 27 (Courtney Jackson)
- Fourth: June 18 (Anthony Red)
- First: February 9 (Gabe Horan)
- Fourth: April 20 (Cooper Lutz)
- First: July 2015 (Isaiah McDuffie — Shafer commit)
- Fourth: April 17 (Sharod Johnson)
Admittedly, we’re not miles ahead of where we have been previously, but four commits plus the conversations that appear to be happening with plenty of top players (Syracuse has been having virtual and in-person meetings with prospects, and has been included in various “top XX” lists as well) seem to show a little more momentum.
Babers hasn’t moved this quickly on a class since rebuilding the 2016 class on the fly, and part of that is likely the concerns around what happens to this staff if 2021 doesn’t go as planned. We saw something similar from Scott Shafer when he was constructing the class of 2016, where they made a ton of additions early to try and stave off firing talks. Same goes for basically any coach in that position, no matter which school they’re at... though at least on this end, hoping Babers can fare better than most typically do in similar situations.
We’ll have an update on the 2022 recruiting class this week or next. In the meantime, though, any names the recruit-centric commenters have their eyes on of late?