Orange Nation is still recovering from Chad Kelly’s decision to take his talents to Clemson and other misses by SU on the recruiting trail. Syracuse couldn’t land Kelly, defensive end Myles Hilliard or Notre Dame-bound David “Boom” Perkins. What’s next for the Orange? Recruiting season is just starting and there are still talented prospects on Syracuse’s radar.
The most notable is the monster in the middle, Rochester’s own Jarron Jones. The 5-star defensive tackle has a soft-verbal commitment to Penn St, but says he still plans to make an official visit to Syracuse. Jones has a good rapport with the Orange coaches, but he needs to be blown away by his campus experience to be lured to the Hill. At 6’7’’ and 300 pounds, his greatest strength is his strength and power. Last season at Aquinas Institute, he registered 68 tackles (14 for a loss) and 10 sacks. Those are ridiculous numbers playing defensive tackle while getting doubled team practically every play. He is the real deal.
While it’s likely a long shot to get Jones, he’s one of many prospects the ‘Cuse is still in on this summer. Here are other notables on SU’s hot list:
- Wayne Morgan, DB, Erasmus Hall (Brooklyn, NY)
Morgan is rated as a 4-star prospect. Wayne is a strong versatile player that can play either cornerback or safety. He’s a pure athlete that plays quarterback at Erasmus as well. Morgan is physical in the secondary with a nose for the ball and to top that up has great speed running a 4.4 40. Michigan and Rutgers are at the top of his list now, but check the rear view mirror and Syracuse is not far behind. Morgan is anxious to visit the Hill and likes the direction of the program. Landing the DB would be huge for The Dougie in closing on a top-tier New York player to stay in state.
- Devin Fuller, QB, Northern Valley Regional Old Tappan HS (Old Tappan, NJ)
Fuller is rated 4 stars by Rivals and Scout and ranked 39th on ESPN top 150 list. Scout.com says Devin has a real interest in the Orange, but apparently there is a bit of disconnect when it comes to communication with the SU coaches. Fuller is a flat out athlete. He describes himself as a Michael Vick-type quarterback: a dual threat that has great vision and will break your ankles. Not only is the QB lightning quick, he will also lower his shoulder and plow through defenders. He was named first team All-State and the North Jersey Player of the Year. With Kelly out of the mix, does the ‘Cuse finally jump in a make a real reach for a different QB? Let’s hope so, you never can have too many athletes.
- Wes Brown, RB, Our Lady Good Counsel HS (Olney, MD)
Brown, rated 4 stars by Rivals and 5 stars for Scout, could be a huge building block for Syracuse on offense. The running back likes the Orange and feels loved by the coaching staff. Wes is the classic downhill runner that does not dance in the backfield. He makes one cut and then goes. Brown is a sought after recruit with more than 20 schools in the sweepstakes. Going into next season, the Orange has young and unproven backs at the collegiate level, and could use a big time player at this position.
- Justin King, QB/LB, Dunwoody HS (Dunwoody, GA)
The potential King of the Hill is listed as a 3 star recruit. His size (6’3’’ 215 lbs), versatility, and athleticism make him an attractive prospect. King is being recruited as either a quarterback or linebacker, though consensus seems to be he’s going to be a linebacker. The Georgia product has offers from double-digit schools including Big East rivals Cincinnati and Louisville.
- Jawand Blue, LB, West Boca Raton HS (Boca Raton, FL)
Blue is rated a two-star prospect by Scout.com and a three-star by Rivals. The linebacker is a hot commodity these days with 13 offers including UConn, Pitt and WVU. He tackles with good leverage and knocks ball carriers back where they came from. Jawand is a tough customer and ESPN describes him to play bigger than his size with his greatest strength being his non-stop motor. He says he is looking for schools with good tradition, education and environment. SU fits that mold and has made inroads recruiting Florida since Marrone took over.
- Bryce Cottrell, OLB/DE, Plano West HS (Plano, TX)
Cottrell is a three-star prospect. He is a versatile athlete who can drop in coverage or pin his ears back and get after the QB. He has great vision, awareness and speed that allows him to collapse the pocket. His versatility is being sought after. Cottrell visited Syracuse during the Spring Game in April and likes the campus. But can the Texas boy find his way to Upstate New York?
- James Washington, OLB/DE, Winter Park HS (Winter Park, FL)
Washington is a 2 star prospect by Scout and a 3 star by Rivals. He is being recruited as an outside rusher. James rarely gets pushed off the ball and displays a variety of pass rushing moves to get to the quarterback. The knock on Washington was his size, playing at just 205 lbs. last season. But he now has his weight up to a solid 220 pounds and colleges have taken notice. He has whittled his choices down to a top 11, and SU is on that list.
- Greg Kuhar, DT, St. Edwards HS (Lakewood, OH)
Kuhar is a 3 star prospect with good size and quickness. He eats up space and blockers and creates congestion in the heart of the trenches. Kuhar is an athlete and is receiving scholarships to wrestle at the highest level too. Greg has not named a favorite yet and has most of his offers from Big 10 teams
- Elston Lane Jr., WR, Miami Northwestern HS (Miami, FL)
Lane is a 2 star for scout and a 3 star for Rivals. The receiver committed to SMU in May, but decided to reopen his recruitment in June. Elston catches everything that comes his way and adjusts extremely well to errant throws. If matched up one-on-one he will win with the catch or make sure there is a next down to be played. He had over 400 yards and 8 touchdowns as a junior last season. His high school, Miami Northwestern, is a perennial South Florida powerhouse teeming with high-end BCS talent.
After an 8-day stretch of losing Kelly, Perkins and Hilliard, Syracuse is due for some good news. Hopefully The Dougie can do work, lock down a few of the names on this list and start to build excitement for the Class of ’12.
Posted: Dave Van Moffaert