10:20 pm – National Signing Day Roundtable Special
The Orange Fizz staff ends this year’s Fizzmas with a roundtable discussion where we break down everyone the Orange signed this National Signing Day.
7:30 – Commit Interview No. 12 – Lakiem Williams
Lakiem Williams checks in at No. 2 in 247sports.com’s Class of 2018 Junior College linebacker rankings. The Butte Community College (CA) product flies to the football with 4.49 speed at 6-foot-1, 240 pounds.
“I had other Power Five [offers]. I had University of California that wanted me, [schools] like that. It was really just a family-based team that pushed me to Syracuse. Going into my decision, I took out the conferences took all that stuff out, and wanted to look at how the team was, and how the coaches were, and how the education is going to be.”
Listen to the rest of Williams’ interview to hear him discuss his lifelong nickname, the transition from the West Coast to Central New York, and the opportunity to hold a Heisman Trophy:
6:30 – Commit Interview No. 11 – Anthony Queeley
Wide receiver Anthony Queeley is a part of the next group in line to fill in the shoes of a departed All-American. Queeley, a three-star wideout, has a good blend of size (6-foot-2) and speed (4.5 40-yard dash) which will fit in well under Dino Babers’ system.
“The offense that [Syracuse] runs is kinda similar to what we do in high school. I’m familiar with it. I just like that fast paced, not letting the defense catch their breath, not letting the defense know what we’re doing. We’re always on the move, we’re always on the ball and that’s what really attracts me.”
Listen to the rest of Queeley’s interview, including his thoughts on Sean Lewis, snow and Tyrone Sampson’s departure:
6:26 – Commit Interview No. 10 – Cam Jonas
Safety Cam Jonas continues the string of strong, three-star recruits that will grace the Orange’s defensive backfield in the coming years. Even though he’s only been to campus twice, he already knows he’s going to fit in well in Central New York.
“It was heartwarming. All the players and coaches I met, they were really nice. They were very accepting. It’s like I was a part of the family before I even saw it.”
Listen to the rest of Jonas’s interview here:
5:41 – Commit Interview No. 9 – Juan Wallace
One of SU’s biggest strengths this past season was its linebacking corps. Well, apparently the rich get richer as three-star LB Juan Wallace signed his NLI to play for the Orange earlier today. He talked about how excited he was to fill the shoes of guys like Zaire Franklin and Parris Bennett.
“I know it’s big shoes to fill, but I’m up to any challenge. I mean, why not? I’m not Russell Westbrook, but I mean, why not? Any challenge isn’t too big for me in my opinion. A lot of people doubted me, saying IMG [his HS] is too big. But, I mean, why not? I came down here and dug it out and grind through it.”
Listen to the rest of Wallace’s interview here:
5:31 – Commit Interview No. 8 – Trill Williams
Another incredibly versatile commit in the Class of 2018, New York State-born Trill Williams made some incredible plays on both sides of the ball this season, including one that made it to the No. 1 ranking in SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays. He’ll play cornerback at SU and was recruited by secondary coach Nick Monroe who Trill said he has a very close relationship with.
“He made a big impact on me. He made sure I was okay after a football game. We would talk about the game. I’d send him clips of my game and he’d tell me what I did wrong instead of what I did right and told me to correct it and I look up to him. He’s a great guy. My family loves him. My mom loves him. My dad loves him. Even my little sister loves him.”
Trill and Coach Monroe became so close that Trill even gave him a nickname that has started to stick: The Swag Daddy.
“He got that nickname from me. I gave him that nickname. Ask him about it. That’s mine. He took it from me… He’s a swaggy person like myself, so I can let him hold the title for a little while.”
Listen to the rest of Williams’s interview here:
4:26 pm – Syracuse Running Back Chris Elmore’s Brother, Craig Elmore, Commits to Kent State
In January 2017, Syracuse running back Chris Elmore signed with the Orange the day after he committed to the university. Now, his younger brother, Craig, has signed with Kent State the day after he committed to the Golden Flashes.
Syracuse offensive coordinator Sean Lewis is expected to be Kent State’s next head coach. He was the OC at Syracuse when Chris committed to the Orange.
Listed as an athlete, Elmore played running back and middle linebacker in high school. Kent State recruited Elmore for his rushing abilities.
Wide receiver Javaughn Williams also signed with Kent State today. The Cleveland, Ohio native also played defensive back in high school. He also played basketball.
247Sports lists seven other Kent State recruits that previously announced their commitments but still have yet to sign. Six are listed as two-star recruits and one does not have a rating. Among them is Shane Johnson, listed as the eighth best dual-threat quarterback prospect in the nation.
4:24 pm – Commit Interview No. 7 – Taj Harris
One of the most athletic players in SU’s Class of 2018, Harris brings some more of that versatile flair to the 2018 class. He played both quarterback and wide receiver at an extremely high level in high school and talked about his versatility.
“In high school you play a lot of positions when you’re an athlete. I mean I just wanted to play whatever made the team win, that would give me a better chance of winning. Playing quarterback it just came to me easily… When I get to college I am playing wide receiver… They can put me wherever they can give me the ball… I just can’t wait to get there and learn it [the offense]… Of course [I’d want to pass some] because I can throw it, I can really, really throw it if anybody’s watched my highlight tape.”
Harris also wants to walk onto the SU basketball team and said he’d love the chance to play with Frank Howard.
“Yeah Frank Howard, man, he’s crafty… He gets buckets.”
Listen to the rest of Harris’s interview here:
3:19 pm – Commit Interview No. 6 – Cooper Lutz
Listed as a three-star wide receiver, Lutz is perhaps the most versatile player in the Class of 2018. At his high school in Pennsylvania he ran for over 3,000 yards in his career and also had more than 400 yards receiving. He said he’d start at wide receiver at Syracuse and that he thinks that kind of versatility to both catch and run is his best asset.
“I think his [Dino Babers] offense can definitely bring the best out of me. I like to look at myself as a versatile player and it’s definitely a very versatile offense so you can line up wherever and there’s a lot of things you can do.”
Listen to the rest of Lutz’s interview here:
2:56 pm – Commit Interview No. 5 – Andre Cisco
Although he played his high school football at IMG Academy in Florida, three-star safety Andre Cisco was born and raised on Long Island. He explained how deciding to play at IMG was a big part of his development as a player.
“It’s definitely special. You can’t really get it anywhere else, playing against top guys every day, being developed by coaches that have done this themselves and been through this process. I had a lot of support from the school for education and stuff like that. It’s been a great experience. I’ve learned a lot from it and I would do it again if I had to.”
Listen to the rest of Cisco’s interview here:
2:46 pm – Former SU target Jahan Dotson flips from UCLA to Penn State
In a bit of non-Syracuse related recruiting news, former SU wide receiver target Jahan Dotson made a change in his commitment.
Originally set to head to UCLA, the Pennsylvania native decided to stay closer to home and flipped his commitment to Penn State.
A four-star recruit, Dotson had offers from just about every major program you can think of including Alabama, Clemson and Georgia.
SU was a part of his final list, but was really always on the outside looking in. Most experts thought he was headed to LA, but apparently the homey vibe that PSU gave him was just too much to pass up.
2:21 pm – Commit Interview No. 4 – Ja’qurius Smith
One of the most baffling cases for SU in the 2018 recruiting class, Smith has still yet to sign with the Orange, but fully intends to play for Syracuse. The three-star linebacker explained his commitment issues.
“I’m still Syracuse all the way, it’s just you know I never got the papers to sign or anything and so we never discussed when I’m signing with Syracuse like me and my family. My coaches didn’t say anything, so I still plan on signing with Syracuse in February.”
Listen to all of Smith’s interview here:
1:21 pm – Jawhar Jordan Receives an Offer from Texas
SU verbal RB Jawhar Jordan has received an offer from Texas, per Stephen Bailey of syracuse.com.
The three-star back committed to the Orange in May just two weeks after he was offered, but told the Fizz this week he wouldn’t be signing early. Now, he’s getting attention from other schools. Orange Fizz will update with any other news.
Syracuse’s only other running back commit, Akeem Dixon, has also told Orange Fizz he won’t sign during this week’s period. Unless something changes, the Orange will be without a running back signee until February.
12:49 – Commit Interview No. 2 & 3 – Tre Allison & Chance Amie
Who says the Orange can’t steal recruits away from other programs? Texas-based LB Tre Allison and QB Chance Amie both flipped their commitments to come to Central New York. For Allison it was all about the trust he had with the SU program after he lost some of that confidence at SMU with a coaching turnover.
“My family, we’re all about being a man of your word, so when I went to commit last year they told me, ‘If you’re gonna commit, you’re gonna honor your commitment,’ that’s just my family’s motto… Two or three weeks ago, I got a home visit from [the coaches at SMU] and I had been hearing a bunch of rumors about how they were leaving… What they told me at the dinner table was something totally different than was published on the internet I want to say two days later, so that just kind of made me lose trust in them. To me, they weren’t being a man of their word.
For Amie, the way SU quarterbacks have performed over the past few seasons was the allure that led him to flipping his commitment.
“A lot of things that I keep hearing was just how they prepare the quarterbacks as far as getting them NFL-ready and developing them as far as the mental standpoint. I liked that a lot.”
Listen to the rest of Allison and Amie’s interview here:
12:43 pm – Commit Interview No. 1 – Will Froumy
Three-star offensive tackle Will Froumy was one of the first players to sign with SU this morning. The New Hampshire big man said his decision had a lot to do with the vibe he got from the people of the city of Syracuse.
“I’ve been saying it the whole time, people in Syracuse. All the other schools I visited an stuff, I didn’t see people as excited about the school’s teams.”
Listen to the rest of Froumy’s interview here:
12:05 pm – Ja’Qurius Smith Still Intends On Signing with Syracuse
The lone name SU is still waiting on right now is Florida linebacker Ja’Qurius Smith. The Fizz just got off the phone with Smith who says he still intends on signing with the Orange, but hasn’t gotten early signing papers from his coaches.
Just got off the phone with Ja'qurius Smith (@hotboi43). He said he hasn't been given papers for early signing from his coaches. He still intends on signing and playing for Syracuse next season.
— Orange Fizz (@OrangeFizz) December 20, 2017
We’ll continue to monitor the situation as it progresses.
11:30 am – Syracuse Still Waiting on Ja’qurius Smith
Out of SU’s 18 remaining verbal commitments, LB Ja’qurius Smith is the only verbal that hasn’t given any indication of what his plans are. 15 of the 18 verbals have signed while both Akeem Dixon and Jawhar Jordan have told The Fizz that they will not be signing today.
Smith is a three-star linebacker from Lakeland HS in Florida that commited to SU back in May. He’s rated as the 47th best linebacker in the 2018 class by 247sports. It will be interesting to see where the Ja’qurius Smith saga goes from here.
11:15 am – Chance Amie Flips From Houston to Syracuse
In the first bit of really good news for the Orange today, three star quarterback Chance Amie is coming to Syracuse. The Texas native is flipping his commitment from Houston.
— Kevin John (@heykevinjohn) December 20, 2017
This decision comes after Amie took a visit to Syracuse this past weekend, which led some to believe the switch was coming.
Amie is now locked in a quarterback battle with Eric Dungey, Tommy DeVito and Rex Culpepper, all of which presumably have the position on lock until the 2021 season.
10:30 am – Lakiem Williams Inks With Syracuse
How about some good news now? Syracuse officially got its commitment from JUCO linebacker Lakiem Williams (Butte Community College, same as Aaron Rodgers).
Williams is the second rated JUCO linebacker in the class of 2018, according to 247sports.com.
Linebackers have been the strength of SU’s defense in recent memory and will be needed early and often in 2018 with the graduations of Zaire Franklin, Parris Bennett and Jonathan Thomas.
10:20 am – Four-Star C Tyrone Sampson Reopens His Recruitment
Perhaps the top recruit in the Orange’s Class of 2018 is no longer headed to Central New York, at least not yet.
Reopening my recruitment all schools are welcome to talk & communicate with me. pic.twitter.com/G6Rs70FnEh
— T. Sampson🐐 (@TSamp_51) December 20, 2017
Sampson reopened his commitment via Twitter, saying that he wants to take full advantage of the four official visits he still has to use.
The 6-foot-3, 295-pound center from Detroit was supposed to pair with fellow recruit Qadir White to form a dynamic duo on an SU offensive line that has been beleaguered with injuries and inconsistent play.
Sampson did not rule out returning to SU in his tweet, but Michigan, Michigan State and Indiana have all shown interest and all appeared in his Crystal Ball predictions on 247sports. SU did not.
10:10 am – Local TE Gabe Horan Locks In His Commitment With SU
The first guy to give SU a verbal commit in the Class of 2018 is officially going Orange. Baldwinsville tight end Gabe Horan has signed his letter of intent to play with Syracuse.
Horan will have his ceremony at Charles Baker High School tomorrow.
The 6-foot-6 tight end is a big, physical specimen that can both block and catch passes. If Ravian Pierce’s production from last year is any indication, tight ends could have a more and more prominent role in the offense.
10:00 am –Four-Star OT Qadir White Officially Joins Orange Family
After verbally committing to SU over Ole Miss, Georgia and Boston College back in August, one of the Orange’s most prized recruits in the Dino Babers era has officially put the pen to paper.
The 6’7 senior hails from the Bronx and played his high school ball at Cardinal Hayes high school. White is the 15th best offensive tackle in the entire 2018 class, according to 247sports.
10:00 – Randy Charlton shocks SU, commits to FIU
Randy Charlton, a Syracuse target at defensive end and one of the biggest question marks for the Orange going into today, had narrowed his choices down to SU and Indiana. That’s what we thought, at least. This morning, he committed to Butch Davis’ FIU Golden Panthers.
— Veronika Quispe (@veronika_quispe) December 20, 2017
Charlton is a three-star defensive end out of Miami Southridge, according to 247Sports.com’s rankings. He decides to stay at home in Miami with FIU.
9:45 am – Ed Hendrix Officially Signs With SU
Syracuse officially locked down its top skill player in the Class of 2018 in wide receiver Ed Hendrix. The D.C. native is a three star recruit who has a rare blend of size and speed.
Hendrix stands at 6-foot-4 and has a reported 4.3 40-yard dash time, according to his Hudl page.
This is a huge get for the Orange and Hendrix looks to be an early candidate for playing time, especially with departures of All-American Steve Ishmael as well as Erv Philips.
9:05 a.m. – 10 players have already mailed it in (in a good way)
10 of the Orange’s 2018 commits have already faxed in their National Letters of Intent and are locked in to the Orange. Those players are:
WR Taj Harris
OT Willem Froumy
S Cam Jonas
S Andre Cisco
ATH Trill Williams
LB Tre Allison
LB Juan Wallace
G Carlos Vettorello
WR Anthony Queeley
WR Cooper Lutz
Congrats to all the commits who got their homework turned in early. Why does college football insist on sticking with ’90s technology? Not even Orange Fizz has all the answers.
9:00 a.m. – Fizz’s Early Signing Day Thread is Here!
Christmas comes early for everyone here at Orange Fizz and Syracuse football fans, as today players who have already committed to join Dino Babers next fall have the opportunity to sign their letters of intent earlier than February’s National Signing Day. Orange Fizz will have continuing coverage throughout the day on this thread, so bookmark the page and refresh every five minutes (once you make sure your boss isn’t nearby).