So who are the biggest targets this summer for Syracuse football? Orange Nation has seen the program get close, but fall just short of nabbing a few elite players like Ishaq Williams, Gus Edwards, and Ebo Ogundeko. Even with the patience that comes with a head coaching change, there’s still an expectation by some of the faithful to snag a 4-star recruit or two in ’14.
ESPN has ’14 recruit A.J. Long as a 4-star dual threat quarterback, and he has said he’s completely committed to SU. Long has also been recruiting his cousin WR K.J. Williams to join him. Keeping Long under lock and key is the first priority of the Orange coaching staff. He could solve the QB situation down the road, and his athleticism would be a huge benefit in the faster ACC.
Williams hails from the same high school has Jarrod West, who is planning on making noise this season with the lack of proven wideouts on the roster. If SU grabbed Williams it would show a direct payoff of the new staff’s full year of coaching, and the resources being spent in football.
Doug Marrone did a lot of work to restore SU football to legitimacy, and Scott Shafer has to continue to work to keep improving It would also mean Syracuse could start winning national recruiting battles. Williams visited Michigan, and has been garnering attention from Notre Dame. A Williams commit (along with Long) would cement George McDonald as one of the East Coast’s best recruiters, and prove the new staff’s mettle.
A Williams commitment would also seem to solidify Long’s decision. Orange Nation was heartbroken when Zach Allen decommitted a day before he was to enroll because of the coaching change. Allen tried to recruit several members the class when he thought he was ending up at SU, but was the one who left. A commitment from Long’s cousin would make the Orange rest easier.
Another 4-star recruit hopeful is DT Thomas Holley out of Brooklyn. Holley’s attention has skyrocketed since we last looked at him, now holding BCS offers from every top program in sight. However, Holley said last week that he is still interested in Syracuse. Holley represents the next elite in-state talent the SU coaching staff needs to nail down. It would be huge to finally win a battle for the best in New York.
The Orange should feel good recruits are taking note of the upswing of the program and the new facilities. It wasn’t long ago SU had to battle against aging facilities, and being one of the worst teams in the Big East. But the work is far from over, and these are the biggest priority recruitments of the summer.
Posted: Zephan Mayell