College football’s new early signing period brings even more intrigue this year’s Syracuse Class of 2018. With about a week until recruits can officially put the pen to the paper, the Orange has plenty to be smiling about for its upcoming class. This is the third cycle, but only second true Dino Babers class, and it is his best so far.
How Many Players Are Verbally Committed So Far?
Right now, the Orange has 18 players who intend to commit to SU, including the latest additions of JuCo transfer Lakiem Williams (Butte College, AKA the school Aaron Rodgers always shouts out on Sunday Night Football intros), Tre Allison (Syracuse’s first true freshman recruit from Texas since 2010), IMG Academy’s Andre Cisco (teammates with fellow Syracuse commit Juan Wallace) and Carlos Vettorello (the most recent pickup). The Orange is getting recruits from all over the country, but there is a hefty emphasis on Florida for the second straight year under Babers. The Sunshine State leads the way with six players, while no other state has more than three. Babers went all across the country to bring these guys in. It totals out to nine states plus Washington D.C. And remember, there still is another month and a half for the Orange to lock up even more guys before the traditional February signing period.
How Does This Stack Up With Other Teams?
247Sports ranks this class at 38th in the country and 8th in the ACC. Both of these numbers are monumental because this is the highest rated recruiting class for the Orange as a member of the ACC and its best class since 2001. 2001 also happens to be the last year that SU finished the season ranked.
Who’s At The Top Of The Class?
Babers really beefed up the offensive line for 2018. I would say get to know the names of four stars Tyrone Sampson (center) and Qadir White (tackle), but you rarely hear these guys in the trenches get the praise they deserve. Both of these guys are four star recruits and bring an immense amount of size to the offensive line. Sampson checks in at 6-foot-3 and 295 pounds, but he gets dwarfed by White’s 6-foot-7, 334 pound frame. Eric Dungey is going to love having these monsters keeping him upright. The only thing he’ll wish for is that he had another couple years with them.
Who Are The Sleepers?
A couple of these guys could stand out down the road. Of course, you have to keep the receivers in mind. Babers is spitting out All-Americans on the outside left and right with his high-octane offense. The top dog in this class is Ed Hendrix. He has a great blend of size at 6-foot-3, coupled with a reported 4.3 40-yard dash time. Those metrics combined with Dungey and eventually Tommy DeVito’s abilities at quarterback should continue the trend of All-American wideouts.
Who Can Make An Impact On Day One?
Of course all the aforementioned guys could play big roles on this team as freshman. However, the obvious players who can step right in are the ones that fill needs. The Orange graduated all three of its starting linebackers, which certainly opens up the competition for freshman alongside returners like Andrew Armstrong and potential breakout guys like Nadarius Fagan. SU has four linebackers in this year’s class, including Juan Wallace, who was getting looks from Georgia after his commitment but told The Fizz in September that he wasn’t likely to flip. However, the top rated linebacker for the Orange is Allison who certainly could be a factor if he shines in camp.
Stay tuned for an in-depth look at which players intend to sign early.