On Monday night, Syracuse added offensive tackle Enrique Cruz to its 2021 recruiting class. Cruz’s commitment bumps Syracuse’s team rankings into the top 50 on 247Sports.
Cruz is a top 500 player nationally and SU’s best offensive line commit since Qadir White in 2018. Besides Syracuse, Cruz was being recruited by Arizona, Arizona State, Louisville and others.
SU was Cruz’s first offer and has been pursuing him heavily since offering on April 16, in the midst of quarantine. Since offering, coaches Mike Lynch and Mike Cavanaugh have been consistently in contact with Cruz. After not receiving an offer in his sophomore or junior season, Cruz started receiving offers as more college coaches discovered his film while not being able to do anything else.
Cavanaugh has been one of the best recruiters for the Orange in the 2021 cycle as Cruz is his sixth commitment. Cavanaugh has already pulled a couple of commitments from mammoth offensive linemen out of Hawaii.
Cruz is from Villa Park, Illinois and is listed at 6-foot-5 and 252 pounds. He plays left tackle for Willowbrook High School and in his tape, is accustomed to running out in space and finding defenders to block. He maintains high leverage against defenders, although there’s probably a sizable weight advantage for Cruz.
Cruz excels in the screen game where he is able to find defenders to cut down before they get close to the football. While he’ll need to add size at Syracuse, that shouldn’t be a problem considering his frame. Based on the other offensive linemen in the class, Syracuse is intent on adding mass up front. Cruz’s addition raises the bar of what’s expected from this recruiting class.
Syracuse now has five offensive line commits in the 2021 class after having one of the worst offensive lines in the country last season. In a depth chart released on Monday, tight end/defensive lineman Chris Elmore was listed as the starting left guard.