With one more verbal commitment this week, Syracuse now has reeled in 11 total in this 2020 class. For complete profiles on all 11 commits and other key targets out there check out our Complete 2020 Football Recruiting Guide.
Basically all 11 commits have been in the same ballpark. Now rankings obviously don’t mean everything, but SU has landed all three star recruits so far. Their highest rated verbal pledge comes from running back Sean Tucker at 85.72. Well that’s if you don’t include P/K James Williams, who is technically a five-star for his skill group, according to Kohls.com.
While Williams was a big add and maybe even underrated, for the purpose of this exercise lets stick to position players. With that in mind, Tucker is the highest and NC linebacker Stefon Thompson is the lowest with an 81.5 overall rating on 247sports.com. A pretty narrow window.
So there is kinda two ways to look at this class right now in its early stages. You could argue those rankings are no different from what the program has been known to produce recently, which is kinda a let down after a 10 win season. Or, you could make the case the coaching staff is getting the guys they want, this thing isn’t going to happen overnight and some bigger than normal names are still out there.
Purely based on rankings, this 2020 group, so far, is nothing special. If you average out the 10 position players who have committed (not including Williams because he is unranked on 247sports.com) you get an 83.49 rating. For perspective, that is currently the worst average in the ACC (no one else is below 84). Not to mention, that average score is lower than the past three cycles.
2020 average ratings (right now): 83.49
2019 average ratings: 84.83
2018 average ratings: 85.61
2017 average ratings: 83.57
*All rankings through 247sports.com*
Alright, so they’re off by a couple points. Big whoop? Ratings aren’t the end all be all and that’s not including Williams (the five-star punter/kicker) so it’s really not fair. The fact of the matter is ratings–while they can’t always be right–are the best way of quantifying these cycles. You can watch tape of these recruits and see a couple things that might make a certain guy underrated, but at the end of the day, the recruiting experts are reliable and generally speaking this is as good as it’s going to get on a way to measure these classes.
Now maybe it’s premature to raise a red flag at those numbers at this stage of the game. But can’t you also make the case that last year’s recruiting cycle maybe should of been better considering some guys were making their decisions while SU was getting mid-season hype and this could be more proof that things aren’t exactly rising like they should be?
Here’s what we know for sure. The ratings aren’t great. It’s the 13th best recruiting class in the ACC right now. I don’t think anyone would’ve signed up for that with a smile at this point. We also know it’s early and there is plenty of time for this whole thing to change quickly. Just a couple weeks ago SU got seven commits in one week.
Now that’s probably not going to happen again. So what can you do to make this thing change? You can get a four-star guy. Remember those guys that came for that big weekend right before the dead period at the end of June? Land one of them and now you’re talking. Specifically, I am looking at the wide receiver position.
If there is any position where the residuals should start coming in it’s that. The pitch speaks for itself. You’ve got a high-end talent at QB for two more years throwing you the ball. A fun offense in a controlled environment that has produced numbers like crazy and has proven it can take wide receivers from varying talents like Etta-Tawo, Ishmael, Custis and Estime to the top of the ACC and even some to the NFL. I said it awhile ago, some schools are known for different positions. Clemson is known for D-Line. BC is known for O-Line. LSU is known for defensive backs. Why not wide receiver for Syracuse and Dino?
Kentron Poitier, Malick Meiga and Bryce Gowdy are three wideouts that have all visited the campus, expressed serious interest and would all be class-altering guys if they committed. The quarterback pool has slimmed out and it feels like the best chance for Syracuse to make a splash and prove growth in the program is in the wide receiver position. If you land one or more of those big name guys this class is different. If not, then this is sadly just more of the same.