On the eve of National Signing Day one thing is a certainty: Syracuse’s recruiting class will be far better than most of us could’ve predicted two weeks ago. When Doug Marrone left the wheels looked to be coming off the Orange Bus, but Scott Shafer and George McDonald snapped into action.
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On the strength of their guts, SU is poised to have one of its best classes in years. With a day to go, here’s how Syracuse’s late races are shaping up and the odds of landing the player (of course subject to change throughout the day).
- Stacy Coley, WR, Northeast HS (FL): Slim to none.
It was always the longest of long shots that one of the best receivers in the country would land on the Hill. The four-star recruit and has more than 25 offers, and seems to be leaning to FSU, although Miami and Ole Miss are finalists. The Mailman’s relationship with him spurred some talk that he would take a late visit to the Hill but that never materialized. It’s all good though, since SU has reeled in a trio of stud wideouts in the last week.
- Brisly Estime, DB, Atlantic HS (FL): Very likely.
The dynamic kick returner and big play threat seems certain to sign with the Orange tomorrow. He’s had a tumultuous recruitment, de-committing from two schools, so nothing is a given with Estime. He tweeted today “Will surprise the world tomorrow…” although he publicly committed to SU over the weekend. Nevertheless, it seems highly unlikely he would change his mind so suddenly before NSD. He also has a very strong relationship with the Mailman.
- Reggie Spearman, OLB,¬†Simeon Vocational HS (Chicago): Fairly¬†Likely.¬†
The 15th¬†best pass rusher in the state of Illinois took a visit to SU over the weekend. The Orange already have three LBs committed to this class, but Spearman seems excited about playing football with his teammate Kendall Moore. Spearman told the Chicago Tribune¬†“It would be big playing with one of my best friends. To go to the same school so we could play ball together again would be amazing. That was a big thing, even with Illinois when we both had Illinois, but that didn’t work out.” He also has Iowa and Minnesota as his finalists. His best shot at that is on the Hill.
- Kendall Moore, OT,¬†Simeon Vocational HS (Chicago): Fairly Likely
Moore committed to Western Michigan a couple of weeks ago, but said the official to SU over the weekend made a big impact. Moore is ranked a top 20 prospect in the state of Illinois. The Orange could definitely use more depth on the line, but did just get a commitment from monster Alexander Hayes.
- Simeon Thomas, LB,¬†Miami Carol City HS (FL): 50/50
There’s plenty of momentum gaining that Thomas will choose the Orange.¬†He told¬†The Fizz¬†how much he looks forward to the possibility¬†of playing for McDonald, and an Orange squad that can make some ACC noise. The Mailman factor is enormous, but he’s also looking heavily at FIU. Will he decide to stay close to home, or travel up north for a chance at a BCS conference?
- Malik Brown, DE, Dwyer (FL): 50/50
Brown (pictured) seemed like a strong SU commit the entire way, until the final two weeks. He took a late visit to Tennessee and now his decision is definitely up in the air. He tells the Palm Beach Post, “This is a very hard decision. I‚Äôm so confused it‚Äôs ridiculous.‚Äù He also has USF as a finalist.¬†New head coach Butch Jones and three assistants visited Brown last week, and have been putting a late push on him. Usually you like your chances with a Florida kid and McDonald working the SU side, but in this case the draw of the SEC might be too much.¬†
- Laray Smith, RB, Xaverian HS (Brooklyn): Unlikely
Once the staff stabilized, Smith tried to quell the assumption he would de-commit and head elsewhere. But a late trip to Indiana has many wondering if he will eventually choose Hoosiers tomorrow. The track star creates an enormous speed problem for any opposing defense, but the departure of Marrone totally grounded his interest in SU. He would’ve been a surefire Orange had the old staff stayed. But The Fizz believes he’ll hold the coaching change against SU when he decides tomorrow.