Former SU receiver Jarrod West and current quarterback AJ Long are cousins. Ex ‘Cuse QB Ryan Nassib and former corner Joe Nassib are cousins. 2015 linebacker Troy Henderson Jr. has a family connection to Ernie Davis. In basketball, Scoop Jardine and Dion Waiters are so close that they tell people they’re cousins. The Orange has a history of bringing in players who are related and it has greatly benefitted both the football and basketball programs.
Sometimes it does not work out though. Highly touted 2014 receiver KJ Williams, who is also cousins with West and Long, never made it to SU. Last week 2016 basketball commit Matthew Moyer tweeted that his cousin Nick Ward verbally committed to Michigan State. To be fair to SU, the Orange never recruited Ward, but the point is that recruiting can be such a crapshoot that getting a family member interested in the program could result in a brother or a cousin being interested too (see the above paragraph). It’s a tactic that oftentimes works.
Currently this scenario is playing out with Robert Washington and a second exciting player Syracuse is interested in, Jared Mayden. SU has a chance at two other players because the team is recruiting Washington and Mayden.
2017 defensive back Aapri Washington is Robert’s cousin and is considering coming to SU. The family connection has definitely helped; Aapri lives around the corner from Robert and told the Post Standard that SU is an, “amazing situation.”
Mayden is a 4-star defensive back from Texas who has offers from just about everywhere. He says that he plans to seriously consider SU and wants to visit. The Orange also offered Mayden’s brother Jalen who is a 2018 quarterback.
Recruiting family members has worked for the Orange in the past and it could really benefit the football team in the future if SU hangs on to Washington and lands Mayden. It’s a solid recruiting ploy.
Remember to follow the Fizz on Twitter @Orangefizz for news on Syracuse football and basketball recruiting.
Posted: Connor Morrissette