Syracuse does not have a ton of tools to use when recruiting players. However early playing time, a factor that many athletes take into account, is one tool that the Orange have used to attract better talent. The Fizz take a look at which committed recruits could see the benefits of early playing time and hit the gridiron has soon as next year.
1. Sterling Hofrichter: The kicking game has been a mystery ever since Ross Krautman went down with a season-ending injury last year. For while it seemed as if Ryan Norton was the only option until preferred walk-on, Cole Murphy stepped up and kicked 13 of 16 field goals en route to becoming a Lou Groza semifinalist. The kicking job is Cole Murphy’s to lose, but he will have one of the best kickers in the 2015 recruiting class trying to win the starting job behind him in Hofrichter. After all, all it takes for a kicker is one bad stretch of missed field goals for a newcomer, such as Hofrichter, to get a shot.
2. Jake Pickard: One of Syracuse’s newest commits certainly has the talent to compete for playing time, especially on the defensive side of the ball. A TE/DE, Pickard would have an opportunity to get some snaps at defensive end with Micah Robinson and Robert Welch graduating in May. Amir Ealey is another player at the defensive end position to look out for with playing time up for grabs.
3. Troy Henderson Jr./Shyheim Cullen: The linebacking position is sure to run on the thin side next season with Cameron Lynch and redshirt senior Dyshawn Davis graduating along with fellow JUCO transfer senior Josh Kirkland. Zaire Franklin played every game last year in his freshman campaign and finished with 44 tackles. The void at linebacker for the Orange could give Henderson Jr. or Cullen an opportunity to claim his spot on the defense.
4. Daivon Ellison: The Don Bosco product committed to the Orange back in the summer. CB Ellison played both wide receiver and defensive back for Don Bosco but will likely play defense at a position that sees Brandon Reddish’s departure. The Orange will return Julian Whigham who had a 2014 season that included many ups and downs, causing a big question mark heading into the 2015 season. Ellison could be needed to step up in his first year to solidify the Orange secondary against some very talented ACC receivers.
Usually a little less than half of a recruiting class will see the field in their freshman year. However the players above have the best shot to make the most out the 2015 season.
Posted: Zephan Mayell