Syracuse fans’ concerns about the Orange backfield were intensified after there were worries over whether RB Dontae Stickland would be academically eligible for the fall of 2015. Well, Orange fans can breathe a little bit easier as Strickland announced that he is in fact eligible and will be on the team come the fall.
Strickland is a three-star running back out of South Brunswick, New Jersey and will be one of five running backs on the roster in the fall. Only two of these running backs, however, will have prior college experience in George Morris III and Devante McFarlane.
With two other running backs joining Strickland as members of the class of 2015, the Orange backfield may be more by committee than it has in the past. While Strickland does not have the same hype surrounding him as Robert Washington, he is a very capable back who should have a chance to get some touches in his freshman year.
In fact, Strickland is the highest rated recruit who will be joining the Orange in the fall. Obviously, this class is not one loaded with mouth-watering talent. However, there are certain pieces in the class, like Strickland, that should have a positive impact on the team.
Strickland’s journey to Syracuse is one that has been well-documented as he struggled to achieve the necessary grades and scores to play football in college. He lived in a hotel room for over three years and struggled through high school. Yet, as of today, he is coming to Syracuse.
This news should be welcomed by Syracuse fans. However much (or little) he helps improve the stagnant Syracuse offense, Dontae Strickland has worked harder than most to get where he is now. And maybe, just maybe, his turnaround and ability to come to Syracuse will prove to be a step in the right direction for the struggling Syracuse football program.
Posted: Logan Grossman