There’s no dominant college football team in New Jersey so schools from all across the country fight to land the top rated players in the state. This year for example the two highest ranked players are going to Miami and Alabama. Syracuse and Rutgers may not attract the best players, but the state is still a very important recruiting area for the schools.
The Orange and Scarlet Knight programs are similar in stature and the schools recruit similar players. So which school’s gotten the better of the other in 2015?
Right now the Orange is ahead. Syracuse landed running back Dontae Strickland and cornerback Daivon Ellison amidst heavy interest from Rutgers. To the Scarlet Knights credit though, they won the race for safety Ronny Jones. Every other player committed to Rutgers that is from New Jersey was not offered by SU.
Syracuse could take an even bigger lead in the race with Rutgers this weekend. Wisconsin commits and New Jersey natives Najee Clayton and Jake Pickard are visiting the Hill along with Strickland, Ellison and a few other commits. Clayton, a safety, and Pickard, a defensive end, are both reconsidering Syracuse after the Wisconsin head coaching change.
The Orange may be in front of Rutgers, but the team in the area that currently rules New Jersey recruiting is Penn State. The Nittany Lions are so dominant in the area that Syracuse would still be behind the school even if Clayton and Pickard miraculously flip.
Penn State has five of the top 11 New Jersey commits playing for them next season. That’s the stuff of dreams for Scott Shafer and Kyle Flood. The Orange may be ahead of Rutgers, but the program still has a ways to go.
Remember to follow @Orangefizz on twitter for information and updates on SU football and basketball recruiting.
Posted: Connor Morrissette