It has been an incredibly busy week for Syracuse recruiting, and three straight days of player visits paid off in a big way when the Orange earned a verbal commitment from three-star quarterback Rex Culpepper.
Yet, the recruiting will continue, as the Orange’s 2016 class still only has four members. Today, five players from Camden, NJ, will visit Syracuse, including a highly rated, four-star receiver.
Brad Hawkins is the 30th-best wide receiver in the nation, and is fielding offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, and defending national champion Ohio State. While the competition looks stiff, the Orange beat out some top schools for four-star Robert Washington and the recently committed Culpepper. Washington picked the Orange over Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, and USC, among many others.
Similarly, Culpepper picked the Orange over top programs like the Florida Gators and the West Virginia Mountaineers. He visited Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Texas along the way.
Joining Hawkins will be three other starred players, and one unrated. Linebacker Dymelle Parker is a three-star recruit who currently has offers from SU, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and a few other teams. With all the talent that the Orange has lost at linebacker in the past two seasons, the coaching staff certainly should aim to bring in players to bolster the defense. This makes Parker almost as important of a recruit as Hawkins.
Jamal Holloway, a three-star defensive end, is the third player visiting. Like linebacker, the Orange could use some help on the defensive line. The front seven, which has been very good over the past couple seasons, is lacking talent. Gone is the core that held opponents to less than 100 rushing yards game in and game out. Defensive end depth is far weaker than linebacker, so Holloway could also be an important piece.
The final two Camden products to visit are linebackers Anthony Ford and Demian Thomas. Thomas is a two-star player, while Ford is unranked.
Bobby Acosta and the SU coaching staff has been flexing its recruiting muscles in New Jersey over the past two seasons, and earning any of these commitments would be a great sign for the future of Syracuse recruiting. New Jersey produces some top high school football talent, and the more that the SU coaching staff can solidify its position in the state, the better chance it has of scoring top players. Of course, that’s wishful thinking for a long ways away, but bringing in another four-star wide out would be a great leaping point.