Three-star recruit Juan Wallace committed to the Orange back on May 4th. But his recruitment may be far from over. The linebacker received an offer from SEC powerhouse Georgia yesterday.
— Juan Wallace® (@JuanWallaceJr) May 30, 2017
As recently as last year, an elite program, like the Bulldogs, trying to woo a Syracuse commit would have made Orange fans think that player was as good as gone. However, Dino Babers’ recent recruiting has signaled that those days might be over. Babers’ has had success with recent recruits in fending off high profile teams and coaches.
The sample size is small, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t impressive. In the latest recruiting cycle, Babers had to seal down multiple recruits despite late pushes. The most impressive of these is Tommy DeVito. After the Class of 2017 quarterback committed to the Orange, DeVito exploded up the recruiting charts thanks to impressive performances at the Elite 11 and The Opening camps. Naturally, other teams started to take notice of the QB’s talents and began to receive offers from bowl-caliber teams. However, DeVito was so sold on Babers and Syracuse that he spurned last ditch efforts from more successful programs in Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Washington State. To make it even more impressive, DeVito is behind Eric Dungey for at least two years.
Likewise, Babers even repelled arguably the most influential coach in all of college football. Jim Harbaugh came calling last winter in pursuit of SU safety commit Ifeatu Melifonwu. Now normally this would be a more impressive feat than securing DeVito, but Harbaugh did not get super involved with Melifonwu until a week or two before National Signing Day. Regardless, Michigan is the glamour program with the coach that has NFL ties and takes his teams on crazy abroad trips. The Wolverine experience really is second to none. But Babers is quickly proving that being a part of the Orange is finally something to brag about again.
Now this go around with Wallace is a different beast. Babers has shown he can hold off teams that pursue guys with National Signing Day just around the corner, but Wallace still has an entire season to play before he can put the pen to the paper. It will definitely be a bit tougher to stave off the Harbaughs and SECs for an entire year. But if there is anything that is playing in Dino’s favor, it is the new early signing day. In April, the NCAA adopted an early signing day that lands on the third Wednesday of December every year. SEC teams clearly know what they are doing in recruiting and must see something promising in the Washington D.C. product, despite just having a three star rating. With the Bulldogs (and potentially others in the near future) lurking, Wallace is the prospect that Babers needs to take advantage of the NCAA’s latest rule.