When Rutgers head football coach Kyle Flood told DA and Brian Jones on the Mojo Show on CBS Sports Radio that, “Rutgers has always been the football program over the last decade that moves the needle in New York,” he makes a valid point. Over the last decade the Scarlet Knights certainly have had a better football program than the Orange. However, the 2014 and 2015 recruiting classes for both teams indicate that Syracuse has the brighter future.
When Scott Shafer’s first official recruiting class arrives on campus in early August there will be four players who had offers from both SU and Rutgers and chose the Orange. (That number would be five if wide receiver KJ Williams had qualified academically.) Rutgers will also welcome four freshmen that received offers from both programs to their campus in the coming weeks. There is only one player (defensive end Jimmy Hogan) from New York or New Jersey that had offers from both schools and whom decided on Rutgers.
If the 2014 classes are an even split between the programs for recruiting, the work-in-progress 2015 classes clearly show that SU is currently the preferred football destination for recruits. Six players have received offers from both schools and five have chosen Syracuse. Both Rutgers and SU made the final list of schools for Ohio linebacker Troy Henderson Jr., New Jersey safety Daiquan Kelly and New Jersey running backDontae Strickland before they all chose SU. Taking New Jersey talent away from Rutgers is a massive accomplishment for the Syracuse football coaches.
Shafer has done an excellent job so far building on the success of Doug Marrone. The recruiting battles SU is winning over Rutgers shows that there is a changing of the guard for New York and New Jersey college football. Kyle Flood is right about the past, but Syracuse will be the better New York/New Jersey team in the future.
Posted by: Connor Morrissette