If you’ve ever taken a day to blow through several items on a to-do list, you understand the latest Syracuse football recruiting news.
In a three-hour span Wednesday afternoon, four recruits tweeted that the Orange had offered them a scholarship. First, 2018 wide receiver Kearis Jackson broke the news at 1:23. Four minutes later, Jacob Copeland, another 2018 wideout, did the same. At 2:05, 2019 safety Jonathan McGill joined the party. Then, at 3:13, 2019 left tackle Trevor Stange rounded out the quartet. The wave comes one day after 2020 quarterback Mekhi Hagens let his followers know that SU had extended an offer.
It’s entirely possible that Dino Babers and company offered scholarships to the group at different times, and they coincidentally tweeted the news in a tidy bunch (maybe they just wanted to make life easier for people who cover Syracuse recruiting). Regardless, it’s a notable — and promising — development for the Orange’s future.
Jackson and Copeland carry similar profiles: four-star receivers who have torn up high school defenses across their southern states and are expected to take their talents to SEC programs.
Jackson, the no. 24 wideout and 119th-best player in 247sports.com’s 2018 rankings, is a shifty jack-of-all-trades who shreds opponents with a lethal combination of quickness and straight-line speed. In his (extremely impressive) highlight video, we see the Georgia native operate from the slot, the backfield, and outside the numbers, while also acting as his team’s primary punt returner.
Copeland’s highlight reel paints him as more of a pure burner, but he’s clearly capable of manning several different positions. The 6-foot, 192-pound product of Pensacola, FL, strikes fear into defenses as a running back and wideout, and even dabbles at quarterback.
Both players would look fabulous in Babers’ high-octane offense. There’s only one problem: they’re probably not leaving the south. Jackson holds 24 offers, according to 247sports, whose “crystal ball” features predictions from eight experts; all of them expect him to play for Georgia.
Copeland, meanwhile, is even more highly-touted. He’s a consensus top-10 receiver in the Class of 2018 — ESPN pegs him as the fourth-best — and 31 schools have already offered him a scholarship. If Copeland chooses Syracuse, it would be one of the greatest recruiting upsets of all time: he tweeted his top-five last month, and every school is from the SEC, with Florida as the apparent front-runner. In March, Copeland told SBNation.com that Gators head coach Jim McElwain texts or calls him every day.
In a few years, Babers may have turned SU into a program that can realistically compete for players of that caliber; right now, though, they feel out of reach.
It’s tough to pin down whether the same can be said for McGill and Stange, both of whom just finished their sophomore years at Coppell High School, a massive (3,000-plus students) football factory in the Dallas area.
McGill, who’s listed as both a defensive back and wide receiver, has generated more buzz to this point, with a four-star rating from Scout.com. Last season, he was the Defensive Newcomer of the Year in Section 9-6A — a significant honor, considering he plays in perhaps the most talent-rich football region in the nation.
Stange hasn’t been slapped with a rating by any major recruiting sites yet, but he has offers from Texas Tech, Kansas State, and Tulsa, per 247sports.
There’s a very good chance that Babers misses out on all four recruits from the football hotbeds down south — but it’s encouraging to see him try, and if Syracuse lands one of these guys, they could end up as a key piece of the Orange’s future.