All is not green in the land of Orange. Despite having a very successful week off of the field, the Orange lost two recruits to recruiting rivals.
First, New Jersey linebacker Solomon Manning selected Rutgers; it gets a little dicey though. Manning never held an offer from the Syracuse program, although he participated in a one-day camp over the weekend. Many suspect that the Scarlet Knights gave Manning an ultimatum, and he bit without an offer from the SU coaching staff.
Regardless, Manning elected to stay close to home and attend nearby Rutgers. The three-star linebacker also held offers from UNC, Pittsburgh, and Old Dominion. However, because verbal commitments are non-binding, Manning could realistically flip his commitment to another school before signing a letter of intent in February. Giving Manning an ultimatum is a risky move for a Rutgers program, knowing that he could drop his commitment and receive other offers at any time. Keep an eye on the 41st-ranked linebacker’s relationship with the SU coaching staff in the coming months.
On the less promising front, SU target Sean McKeon elected to follow the path of Tyus Battle and verbally commit to the Michigan Wolverines instead of the Orange. Last we heard from McKeon, he had narrowed his list down to just five schools: the Orange, the Wolverines, Boston College, Pittsburgh, and Virginia. He also visited the Hill twice in an eight-day span. McKeon is a 6-foot-5, 230-pound, three-star tight end out of Massachusetts.
Looking forward, the Orange will be pursuing some talented defensive players. Losing McKeon and not having a chance to pursue Manning isn’t as big of a deal because of the successful week the coaching staff just had. In addition, tight end isn’t exactly a position of need for the Orange. Josh Parris will be a redshirt junior this season, and therefore a redshirt senior when the class of 2016 comes in. Behind him, JUCO transfer Trey Dunkelberger has three years of eligibility left. Regardless, bouncing back with another strong recruiting week will be crucial to maintaining momentum.