Lost in the excitement of training camp, fan fests, and the ever-approaching season opener against Rhode Island is the ongoing recruiting process. And after a crazy month of July, the Orange is looking to fill its remaining spots in the recruiting class of 2016 between now and National Signing Day in February.
Tight end and quarterback Jasen (Jay) Rose named the Orange to his final four schools and plans to make his official announcement in 2-3 weeks, specifically before his senior season starts so he doesn’t have to worry about it during the year. The Orange made the cut, along with Wake Forest, Wisconsin, and UConn. Rose played tight end during his first two seasons of high school football, but flipped to quarterback his junior year and put up huge numbers. He threw for over 3,000 yards and 47 touchdowns, compared to just nine picks. However, the Orange has a lot of depth at quarterback right now, including Rex Culpepper in the 2016 class, and is recruiting Rose as a tight end. The coaches are yet to earn a verbal commitment from a tight end in the class.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound rising senior is a three-star prospect who visited campus in late June. Offensive coordinator Tim Lester wants Rose to line up in the ‘Y’ position, which requires athleticism that Rose certainly has. According to the Hartford Courant, Wake Forest and Wisconsin are exclusively recruiting Rose as a tight end, while UConn and SU are giving him the option to play QB or TE, although tight end is preferred.
When looking at his sophomore year highlight tape (the last time he played tight end), it’s clear that Rose is an athletic freak and definitely has the versatility to play the ‘Y’ in Lester’s offense. As just a sophomore, he caught 45 passes for 545 yards and six touchdowns. His huge body makes it hard for opposing high school players to tackle him, and he does a good job working one-on-one against defenders on the outside, in the slot, and even off the line. For a big man, he is surprisingly elusive across the middle of the field and shows great acceleration after the catch. As just a sophomore, he was already a featured part of the offense. The team ran bubble screens and even handed the ball of to him and he became a first down machine.
If he selects SU, keep an eye on Rose’s senior season to see how he fits into the offense. Be sure to follow the Fizz on Twitter @OrangeFizz to keep up with Rose’s recruitment right up to decision day.