The hits just keep on coming for Syracuse football. 2015 WR West Lindor has decommitted from the Orange as of last night. Lindor joins Gerald Robinson, Doyle Grimes, and Davante Davis as players who have rescinded their commitments after originally pledging to the 2015 class. The Fizz wrote two months ago the potential for the George McDonald demotion having a lasting effect on the class.
Lindor, a 2-star recruit, gave his commitment to the Orange in early July and was the only true receiver in the class. He set his high school’s record for most receiving touchdowns in a season and runs a 4.6 40-yard dash. Decommitments were expected to a degree because of the wave of early recruits the Orange received in the summer. This could also be because of a change in offensive philosophy, Lindor is no longer a target of the Orange. Tim Lester’s scheme is different than McDonald’s, and maybe that affects how SU sees Lindor. Although, you’d want the staff to be upfront with him, considering these stories may hurt the perception in other recruits’ eyes.
But is there something more going on here? Lindor and Robinson both have said the Orange coaching staff did not return their messages and have lacked appropriate communication after both committed to the program. It seems odd that Scott Shafer and company would go through all the hassle of evaluating players and giving them offers if they are not going to respond to them after giving verbal commitments.
A possible explanation is that the Syracuse coaching staff realized they had the numbers for a full pledge class early in the recruiting process and now wants to potentially open spots for better players. This was a concern early on considering the class lacks a big splash, like a 4-star commit. Receiving commitments early on for the Orange was great as a safety net but the program needs to take a bigger step in recruiting to compete in the ACC.
However the staff needs to be careful with a fragile recruiting environment especially due to the lack of success on the gridiron this year. Commits and prospective recruits just witnessed a horrid football season filled with injuries, coaching changes, and inconsistent quarterback play, all in a half-filled Dome. The program does need to improve the quality of recruits and staying in touch with them would seem to be the least the Orange could do. There’s always the concern that this is the fallout following McDonald’s rocky season on the Hill.
A strategy the Orange could use in the future to avoid this situation is to not give out offers until they know they want a player to join. The Orange thrived off getting players to commit in the past because the coaching staff got to prospects before other teams and gave them early offers. With the move to the ACC and the indoor practice facility, the Orange now has other tools to use when recruiting. This can limit the number of offers Syracuse gives out and gives Shafer more leverage in the recruiting process. This is a tumultuous time in SU football history, with plenty of hurdles already in place. The staff needs to make sure it’s not making more for itself.
Posted: Zephan Mayell