Shyheim Cullen Chooses Orange, Adds New England Presence

The recruiting class of 2015 pulls mostly from south Florida and the Midwest, but is showing signs of expansion.

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via 247sports

The Syracuse Orange recruiting team continued to build on their string of recent commitments on Saturday afternoon when they received a verbal from the unrated but versatile Shyheim Cullen, who plays linebacker and also had experience at running back.

Boston College, Rutgers, and Miami also considered Cullen.

Last season, Cullen totaled 60 tackles and 12.5 sacks for Lowell High School in Massachusetts.  He has solid size at 6’1” and 210 pounds.  He becomes the 14th member of the recruiting class of 2015. While his commitment is big, what is really important is that Cullen is from Massachusetts. 

Scott Shafer has started to open the gate for recruiting in 2015, and is diversifying his commitments.  Florida is an extremely popular recruiting zone for Syracuse football.  Of the 14 commits for the class of 2015, five are from Florida. 

But Shafer has started to pull players from other zones.  He is using his Midwestern roots to appeal to recruits like Andrejas Duerig or Cody Conway from Illinois.  Shafer is also reestablishing the Orange’s recruiting prowess in the mid-Atlantic and New England region.  Shafer already has one New Jersey recruit locked up, and two Connecticut recruits.  New Jersey is considered one of the most talented states with regards to high school football, and there would be huge implications for Shafer, George McDonald and co. to reestablish the Orange’s presence there.

2014’s recruiting class had only one player from New Jersey, and six from Florida alone.  There are three recruits from Pennsylvania, and six from Illinois.  Shafer’s ties to the area really helped him in his first recruiting class.  While having a presence in the Midwest and in Florida is very good, what Syracuse needs to do is become the predominant recruiter for New Jersey, Massachusets and the surrounding states.  No other teams in the area are laying claim to it (Rutgers and Boston College haven’t capitalized) and with another successful season, Syracuse could really start to work towards controlling the area and put Syracuse in the driver’s seat for recruiting in the coming years.

Posted by: Jason Weingold

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