There is a silver lining to this weekend after Syracuse received a thrashing from Clemson. Aaron Roberts, the 300-pound offensive lineman Syracuse has been tracking on the recruiting trail, committed to the Orange a day after his official visit to the Hill.
We said last week how this visit could be the deciding factor in the race for Roberts. He was down between Syracuse and the Fighting Illini before deciding to commit to SU. His commitment is non-binding until he signs his LOI on National Signing Day. Roberts tweeted out how he was impressed by how the “campus was rocking” for the game. After all, Syracuse fans did show in strong numbers on Saturday despite the loss.
The Illinois product is the first offensive lineman to join the 2014, making him the thirteenth commit to the class. He also joins fellow Chicagoan Lamar Dawson, along with Parris Bennett and Colton Moskal as the Midwestern pipeline the Orange have been improving recently. DeAndre Smith was a major factor in landing Roberts, in addition to other Midwest players, because of his background and recruiting prowess in the area.
In his interview three months ago, Roberts seemed annoyed at how there were only a few schools who offered him, while the powerhouses were all interested in his fellow teammate Jamarco Jones. He said how he used that as motivation to get better and impress some of the coaches who visited his high school. While more substantial offers did not come in, Roberts seemed to have a stronger connection with the schools that did offer him earlier in the process. Roberts has the build of a classic case of an underrated player who could benefit in an SU setting.
As for the state of the team, the Orange is only losing center Macky MacPherson after this season and has a relatively young offensive line. This gives Roberts time to groom and develop, rather than be rushed to fill a need in the near future. It also gives Roberts an opportunity to see where he fits best on the line. 300 pounds is a lot of body, so it will be crucial for Pat Perles, the offensive line coach, and George McDonald, the offensive coordinator, to see where Roberts would most benefit.
An interesting tidbit was how Roberts was already recruiting players on his Twitter just hours after committing to the Orang—including Grafton TE Beau Benzschawel, who has Syracuse on the top of his list. The continued effort by commits shows how they know if they want to get a good class around them, they have to put in their part in getting them to Upstate New York.
Posted by: Zephan Mayell