Last week, Syracuse had its eyes on New Jersey for a basketball recruit. This week, all eyes were on New Jersey for football reasons.
The Orange earned a huge verbal commitment from 3-star running back Dontae Strickland Saturday afternoon. Strickland, a 6’0”, 185-pound player verbally committed to play for Syracuse in 2015 while visiting the school. He is ranked the 22nd best recruit in the state of New Jersey.
Strickland attended South Brunswick High School, where he rushed for 988 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. He also added 92 receiving yards. Strickland was a two-way player in high school, also tallying 36 tackles and two interceptions as a defensive back. He was recruited as a running back, however.
The Orange’s main competition for Strickland was in-state Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights, along with Georgia Tech, Virginia, West Virginia, UMass, and Temple had also extended Strickland offers.
Strickland is now the ninth commitment for the recruiting class of 2015, and is also the third running back of the class. He and Tyrone Perkins are the better of the three, while Jordan Fredericks is also a very solid recruit. Strickland is a skilled runner who can cut nicely through holes. With the Orange’s strong offensive line, this could be a great pairing. However, he also displays strong downhill attributes and can cut to the outside.
With nine current commits, the Orange has the 37th best recruiting class in the nation for 2015 and the sixth best ACC recruiting class. For comparison, Clemson, the top ACC class, has 20 recruits. Florida State has 12. The Orange is still in search of its first 4- or 5-star recruit for 2015.
Strickland’s verbal might also be good news for the Orange, because he and his teammate Daivon Ellison want to play together in college. Ellison is a 3-star cornerback.
Tight Ends coach Bobby Acosta is the main recruiter for Syracuse in New Jersey. His next target, Daiquan Kelly, carries the ambiguous athlete tag. Kelly can reportedly play wide receiver, tight end, safety and linebacker and is a 4-star recruit. Syracuse is currently third on his list, behind Michigan State and Rutgers. The new football facilities certainly can’t hurt Syracuse’s case, though.
Posted by: Jason Weingold