As pointed out by some very astute Fizz readers and commenters, the Syracuse recruiting class of 2015 was not turning any heads until recently. Rivals and Scout have increased a few of their rankings for the Syracuse class, and the group looks greatly improved from a short while ago.
As a disclaimer, the ratings systems instituted by websites and scouts are completely subjective. While a recruit may receive a poor rating, he could turn out to be a star (Shamarko Thomas, Alec Lemon and Cameron Lynch were 2-star recruits). On the other hand, plenty of high-rated players have become busts.
With that out of the way, according to Rivals, Syracuse has nine 3-star recruits and 13 2-star recruits. Dontae Strickland, the highest-rated Syracuse recruit on Rivals, has a rating of 5.7. So does Daiquan Kelly. For comparison, 2014’s highest rated recruit is Steve Ishmael (5.7).
Yahoo! and Rivals have the Orange tied with Northwestern for the 30th-best recruiting class in the nation. Syracuse has an enormous class of 22, while Northwestern only has 16 players committed so far.
The biggest surprise, however, comes from Scout, which ranks all but three of the Orange commitments as 3-star players. Just a short while ago, nearly half of these players were ranked lower (credit: Dr. Bill for pointing this out Tuesday in the comments). Only Treevon Prater (no stars), Anthony Giudice (2 stars) and West Lindor (2 stars) are ranked lower than the rest of the group.
While stars don’t mean anything in the long run, it is surely a testament for the advanced scouting that the Orange coaching staff is doing. Shafer and his coaches are finding players that are off top-programs’ radar and are getting them to commit to the Orange before the nation catches onto their talent.
A perfect, yet hurtful example of this is the decommitment of Davante Davis. Syracuse earned a verbal from the corner very early in the recruiting cycle when he was a mere 2-star player from Florida. However, the big dogs of college football in the SEC and Big 10 noticed his talent as his rating shot up to 4 stars, and he quickly revoked his verbal commitment to the Orange.
While the Orange is still working its way toward a 4-star recruit, the signs are all hopeful that the team will get over the hump soon. Some of these players could end up cracking into the elite range before they suit up in Orange.
The slight bump in ratings is a very positive thing for Syracuse fans to see, and it shows how much of a great job the coaching staff is doing. Shafer knows talent when he sees it, and isn’t afraid to offer players a scholarship who may be off the radar. It is obviously paying off, as the recruits are receiving evaluation bumps and the Orange has the 28th best class in the nation and the fifth best in the ACC, according to Scout.
Posted by: Jason Weingold