Recruiting rankings and services can obviously be misleading, and reputation and loose information can often fuel the numbers. So it’s important to remember great classes don’t always correlate to success, and poor ones don’t entirely equate to losing seasons. But right now Syracuse’s recruiting class sits at 63rd in the nation, according to 247Sports.com.
This puts the Orange right behind two other academically elite, basketball strong, but football shaky schools: Northwestern (61) and Duke (62). In the recruiting mix with the Wildcats and Blue Devils is not where any SU fan wants to be, but probably understandable.
Looking for the bright side? Syracuse actually ranks ahead of Boston College (65), Nebraska (66), UConn (67) and Kansas State (80). But if we go inside the numbers, Syracuse has 21 total commits (zero 4-star commits, 11 3-star), while for example the powerful Huskers have only 11 commits, but more than half are 4-stars (6).
- The Fizz on Twitter for the latest SU news before Signing Day
The rankings will continue to move until National Signing Day on Feb. 1st, and if Syracuse manages to finish in the Top 50 nationally, that should be considered another step forward for the program. SU did not help itself by losing the final five games of the season and missing a bowl game. The buzz from last offseason has quieted to a murmur this January. But the good news is late scholarships have opened with the losses of Chandler Jones, Dorian Graham, Philip Thomas and Adam Harris.
The Big East’s best rankings come from West Virginia (27) and Rutgers (28), which both have at least two 4-star kids. Pitt (33), Cincinnati (39) Louisville (45) and USF (50) all also stand higher than SU. The interesting (or terrifying) dynamic is when you start factoring in Syracuse’s new conference.
The ACC places four schools in the Top 15: Florida State (9), Clemson (11), Miami (12), and Virginia (14). It also owns 10 schools ahead of the Orange. But there is a chicken-or-the-egg question. Will Syracuse be submarined by better football schools on the recruiting trail in the ACC? Or will being in a stronger conference help recruit better talent? The Fizz believes it will be more the latter.
Sugar Bear Thompson, George Morris and (hopefully) Ashton Broyld are all exciting additions for SU. Devante McFarlane and potentially Wayne Morgan proves the Orange is culling the New York City region successfully. And the ability to improve the class with those late scholarships increases the potential for NSD.
These rankings are also only a rough barometer of the types of athletes each school is bringing in. It doesn’t take into account a million other intangibles which decide college football success. But Doug Marrone is looking at one of the lowest rated classes in the Big East, not to mention his future conference, the ACC. Time for a late push by the Orange.