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2018 safety Cameron Jonas commits to SU – Who is he?

The Syracuse Orange football team added a member to its 2017 squad over the weekend when defensive end Alton Robinson committed less than two weeks away from Week 1. Monday, the Orange picked up the first safety of its 2018 class when Cameron Jonas committed to the Orange.

Jonas is a three-star defensive back from Palm Beach Gardens, Flo. who plays at Dwyer High School. He’s listed at 6-1, 187 pounds and is 2018’s No. 46 safety. Overall he clocks in at No. 598 in the class. Out of the Orange’s no2 14 commits in the 2018 class, Jonas is the third-highest ranked recruit, according to 247Sports.

Syracuse worked hard to land Jonas. He tore his ACL earlier in the month and will miss all of his senior season at Dwyer. After the injury, Jonas decided it would be best to commit now rather than later, per Syracuse.com’s Stephen Bailey. That didn’t make the competition for the Orange any easier, though. Jonas had offers from five other ACC schools (Florida State, Miami, Pitt, NC State and Virginia Tech) and four SEC schools (Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Kentucky). He had 16 total offers over four of the Power-5 conferences when he chose the Orange.

Syracuse got in early on Jonas, which could have gotten SU the commitment. Syracuse offered Jonas on April 29, 2016; the Orange was the first to offer him along with Florida Atlantic (who offered on the same day). The Orange beat every other school to the punch by over a month.

On the field, Jonas has the upside to do a lot of damage. He’s best in the open field. Jonas’ combination of size and speed allows him to stay with wide receivers while changing directions quickly enough to avoid getting beat. He has an official 40-yard-dash time of 4.75. it isn’t an jaw-dropping time, but plenty good enough for a 6-1 defensive back.

Jonas played a lot of wide receiver and linebacker at Dwyer, which showed more of what he’s about as an athlete. He has the speed to be competitive downfield in the ACC. In high school tapes, Jonas has blown by defenders on streaks for easy touchdowns, while at other times simply boxing out linebackers on an in route. His weakness on defense is in the trenches and backfield. Obviously, that won’t be a problem as a safety at SU too often, but it’s worth noting. Jonas can fill a hole in a line just as well as any other player, but he isn’t someone who will be storming through to the backfield for big-loss tackles. At some points when blitzing from the linebacker spot, he’ll take a bit too long to read where a run is going or take the wrong lane going in. Jonas will be able to run to a spot with the best of them to make an open-field tackle, but don’t expect him to make the same plays in the middle of the field that he will outside the hashes.

SU’s situation in the defensive backfield is… complicated. In 2018, the Orange will return Rodney Williams, Antwan Cordy, Daivon Ellison, Cordell Hudson and more. The only other defensive back in SU’s 2018 class is Trill Williams, and Jonas is only the fourth defensive player to commit in the class. Jonas will have crowded group to work with when he gets to Syracuse, but the quality of the Orange defense as of late hasn’t given any defensive backs sure starting spots. There will be a chance for Cameron Jonas from the start.

Posted: Nathan Dickinson

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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