Even though the college football season is over, recruiting is still in full swing. With National Signing Day just a couple weeks away, Dino Babers and his staff have been busy. On Saturday Babers was in the Dome hyping up the crowd at the Pitt SU basketball game during halftime. The next day he went down to Georgia to visit three-star defensive end recruit Steven Linton.
Besides Syracuse, Linton’s offer list includes Arizona State, Louisville, and UCF and at 6-foot-4, he has the length to play in the ACC. But, the kid needs to eat a few hamburgers. 247 Sports has him at just 195 pounds. Syracuse defensive end Alton Robinson is 50 pounds heavier than Linton, and he’s considered light for a D-lineman.
SU coaches also took a visit to see three-star running back Michel Dukes on Thursday. After a senior season where he racked up over 2,000 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns, teams have become more interested in Dukes. One of those squads is the in-state Clemson Tigers who gave him an offer on Monday. While there’s obvious appeal to staying home and playing for the reigning national champions, the Orange have a longer relationship with Dukes. SU offered the running back in September and he visited campus in early December.
There are also a couple of guys making the trek up north. Georgia defensive back Jamel Starks and Texas running back Garrison Johnson are both expected to be on campus this weekend.
Starks would be the fifth member of Syracuse’s class expected to play in the secondary, taking the place of Dorian Hewitt who recently decommitted. He’s only 5-foot-11 but has offers from Nebraska, NC State, and West Virginia. Babers probably isn’t letting Starks forget that the Orange took down two of those programs this year. Outside of Cornelius Nunn, Starks would be SU’s top defensive back commit.
While Starks is getting lots of attention from big time programs, Johnson is flying a little more under-the-radar. Outside of SU, Indiana and Virginia are his only power-five offers. However, the Orange are in need of another running back with the graduation of Dontae Strickland. At 5-foot-11, 211 pounds, Johnson is built a lot like Jarveon Howard. With Jawhar Jordan already signed, Johnson could be the bruiser Babers is looking for.