We have been wondering it during this recruiting cycle because the Orange hasn’t had as many recruits as they have in the past, but the Orange are going for higher quality players this year.
At ACC Media Days, Scott Shafer said “What we did this year is try to upgrade the bar of who we put up there. We probably said ‘slow’ and ‘no’ a little bit more this year, earlier, and with the momentum that we’ve had really the last two years, I’m just happy that we’re putting together higher-level guys above the bar.”
There are some interesting aspects here, obviously it’s a positive that the Orange is picking up better recruits and can only do good things for the program. But are Coach Shafer and SU really in a position to say “no” to recruits? And what kind of momentum does the program have that Shafer mentioned about the last two years?
In my mind, any momentum the program had was killed by the 3-9 season last year. If the Orange had come out and even just won 6 games again to head to a bowl game, there would be momentum this year. But they didn’t. And now, it is back to the drawing board for the Orange in a crucial year.
It’s great that the Orange may have the leverage to say “no” to potential recruits, but it is a little hard to understand where that leverage comes from. Of course every year you look to improve on your recruiting class from the year before, but with struggles around last year, it is impressive that they were able to actually do that.
In the upcoming class, the Orange has mostly 3-star recruits or better coming in, whereas this year’s recruiting class had mostly 2 and 3-star recruits. And that’s a great step up, it’s just hard to see how the jump really took place. The main question is, why are higher quality recruits coming in after a terrible season?
Maybe Bobby Acosta and the Orange coaches have just crushed it on the recruiting trail. And Shafer is certainly a fiery personality that seems like he can rally kids to come play for him. But I still struggle to see where this bump came from.
For this year’s recruiting class, the Orange seemed to grab quantity over quality, going with as many recruits as they could fit into the class under NCAA rules. And now all of a sudden, the staff is doing a complete 180? Something seems fishy, but either way it likely results in better players on the field for SU.
Posted By: Seth Goldberg