After years of seeing the big fish in the recruiting sea bypass the Orange for a bigger program, Syracuse inches closer to reeling in its man. Highly coveted wide receiver K.J. Williams gave a verbal commitment to SU yesterday, making him the eighth pledge in the 2014 class. Williams is a 4-star target who has been on SU’s radar ever since his cousin A.J. Long pledged to SU. K.J. is also cousins with current WR Jarrod West, who could be poised for a breakout season.
Williams’ decision boiled down to Syracuse and Michigan. At one point, sources said Williams was leaning towards Michigan until the Wolverines received three verbals from other 4-star WRs. Williams will have the chance at earlier playing time at SU than he would have in Ann Arbor. Also, the opportunity to catch passes thrown by his cousin was too attractive to say no. The QB/WR connection that may form between A.J. and K.J. could be wildly exciting.
K.J.’s talent is through the roof. The Liberty (PA) High School product is 6’2”, 190 lbs. and listed by Rivals as the second best player in the Keystone State. His commitment brings SU’s class rank up to 57th in the nation. However, this commitment is far from a lock, since Williams gave a “soft verbal.”. Unlike his cousin who got a tattoo committing himself to the program, Williams says he will be listening to what other programs have to say, according to Syracuse.com. While it’s never comfortable to see a commit openly keep his options on the table, his dream school of Miami may be the only one he would leave for, The Hurricanes already have two big wide receiver commits in the class and have not showed much interest.
This commitment represents more than just another wide receiver pledge for this program. Williams proves how family and regional connections, along with social media recruiting by other commits, has paid dividends for the Orange. Current verbal commits of the 2014 class have been all over Twitter trying to recruits players they feel would mesh well with the rest of the class. The majority of the class has been tweeting at players such as Chad Mavety, Deion Hallmon, and Aaron Roberts in an effort to bring the best talent to the class. It’s also interesting that another wideout chooses the Orange since George McDonald comes to SU as a wide receivers coach at Miami.
Also, the program finally has shown the ability to entice highly sought after recruits to come. Doug Marrone helped bring this program back to respectability, but when would the big names finally going to play in the Dome? SU might not be locking up NYC like previously, but landing a 4-star playmaker and a hard-hitting linebacker from a better football state like Pennsylvania is even better.
Posted: Zephan Mayell