Syracuse head football coach Dino Babers is known for producing superstar wide receivers. He claims to have “put 25 wide receivers in the NFL,” and in his first year at the helm of the Orange, he helped an unheralded transfer named Amba Etta-Tawo put up the best statistical season in program history. It’s fair to call Babers a wideout whisperer — he does not try to hide the fact that it’s probably his favorite position.
But it’s a different unit that’s beginning to steal headlines when it comes to Babers’ recruiting at SU. The team’s Class of 2018 features two 4-star commits — and they’re both offensive linemen.
Highly-touted 2018 offensive tackle Qadir White verbally committed to Syracuse Thursday. The Bronx native is the No. 1 tackle in his class in the state of New York, according to Scout.com, and checks in as a consensus top-50 tackle nationwide. ESPN pegs White as the No. 44 player at his position, while Scout ranks him No. 25 and 247sports.com slots him in at No. 17.
White and Tyrone Sampson Jr., a center from Detroit who committed in April, give the Orange a pair of 4-star players along the offensive line in the Class of 2018.
White chose SU over several high-profile programs — his other two finalists were Auburn and Maryland, and his list of offers included Ole Miss, Penn State, Georgia, Miami, and UCLA. The 6-foot-7, 334-pound behemoth has visited campus three times this year, most recently in July.
In White, Syracuse has a potential stud who could protect Tommy DeVito’s blindside for multiple years in the future. Left tackle is widely regarded as the most important position on the offensive line — he’s the guy responsible for making sure his quarterback doesn’t get blown up by a defensive player he can’t see.
White’s commitment is only verbal at this point, and he won’t be locked in with the Orange until he signs a National Letter of Intent either during the new early signing period from December 20-23 or on National Signing Day (Wednesday, February 7) — but he made some encouraging remarks in February.
“When I get to college I need to like it and be comfortable there, because once I pick a school, there’s no going back, that’s a commitment,” White told Alex Gleitman of 247sports.com. “I just want to get a good education and be in a good situation for football too. I want to go somewhere that I can excel in life.”
White seems like a good bet to stick around, and should be a building block for Syracuse’s offensive line of the future.