I haven’t seen this level of optimism among the fanbase of the Syracuse Orange football program in quite some time. And frankly, Dino Babers and co. have earned it. Think about it - Syracuse might not have won the Purdue game in the fashion they did if this game took place a couple of years ago. The one-possession losses of 2021 still sting. The statement win against Louisville is exactly what the Orange needed to start the year on the right foot.
A 3-0 start and bowl projections sitting above 90% is something this fanbase has yearned for ever since the 10-3 2018 season. And now Syracuse, with improved players, established leaders and new coaching, have put themselves in a great position.
So now is the time to leverage that position.
What do I mean by that? That optimism is turning heads all over the country, with national media taking note of the Orange’s 3-0 start, especially in the way the wins have been acquired. I bet that many other people around the country are paying attention. So now the start Syracuse has had needs to be built in order to supplement the future.
I’m talking specifically about recruits.
Let’s go back to 2018. From the time spanning between November of 2018 to June of 2019, these are the recruits that I could find and the dates that Syracuse picked up commitments from.
- Mikel Jones - November 21, 2018
- Sean Tucker - April 13, 2019
- Marlowe Wax - April 14, 2019
- Justin Barron - June 16, 2019
- Stefon Thompson - June 21, 2019
All of these players have been important and key figures in Syracuse’s success this season. I bet that the success of the 2018 season had a big factor of these players committing to the Orange. And now Syracuse finds itself in a position that can get them some good players in the 2023 or even eventually the 2024 recruiting class (looking at you, Syair Torrence).
This is especially important because Syracuse’s 2023 recruiting class is looking light. The Orange only have nine commits right now, and there’s plenty of room to pick up more. Right now the highlight of the class is quarterback LaNorris Sellers, who followed Robert Anae and Jason Beck to flip his commitment to Syracuse. But the Orange don’t have too many other big names that have committed to Syracuse.
Of course, there are a couple of factors that might be playing into this. One, Syracuse did just bring in a big freshman class last season. Two, this isn’t accounting for the transfers that Syracuse may get through the portal. We’ve already seen guys like Garrett Shrader, Chris Bleich and Jason Simmons fit into starting roles after transferring to the Orange.
But Syracuse is in a position where the program is starting to seem attractive again. There’s new additions to help make Syracuse a selling point also with Dome renovations coming from the JMA Wireless naming rights deal and the new Lally Athletics Complex.
And the Orange should be using its strong start to gain more talent for the future.