15 members of Syracuse football’s 2018 recruiting class have already signed their National Letters of Intent and will join Dino Babers in the Carrier Dome next fall. The new early signing period allows for players to sign with schools in December instead of the usual February Signing Day, but a few pieces of Babers’ class waited until this week to sign on the dotted line. Two players – both running backs and both three-star recruits – will join the rest of the 2018 recruiting class Wednesday, with a third still waiting for his time.
Akeem Dixon was the first of the three unsigned players to commit to Syracuse, giving his word to the Orange in May. Out of Vero Beach, Florida, Dixon is listed as the No. 75 running back in the 2018 recruiting class, per 24/7 Sports. Some SU fans were concerned Dixon was having second thoughts after he chose not to sign early in December, but there was an academic reason behind that decision.
As part of the new NCAA rules, players are allowed to sign earlier than before, but they can also hurt schools if they don’t qualify. Now, players who don’t meet academic requirements won’t be able to play at the next level but will still count against a team’s 25-scholarship player limit per class. Dixon had academic problems, but after a strong fall semester in the classroom will sign with the Orange, per Syracuse.com.
Nick Monroe has been Dixon’s biggest recruiter throughout the process, and Dixon took a visit to Syracuse campus in January. There is no reason to suggest Dixon won’t fulfill his commitment to SU.
If there is a Syracuse commit who could switch schools, it is Jawhar Jordan. Jordan committed to Syracuse in May, in the same month as Dixon and two weeks after he was offered a scholarship. Out of Chandler, Arizona, he is a three-star recruit who 24/7 Sports ranks as the No. 19 all-purpose back in the 2018 class. He has made a name for himself by making highlight reel plays and showing off the speed.
He's got the juke.
— Hudl (@Hudl) October 2, 2017
Shortly after Jordan didn’t sign in December, Texas sent an offer out to the back. The Longhorns have more prestige and exposure to offer Jordan, but also already has a running back signed to the 2018 in four-star Keaontay Ingram out of Carthage, Texas. He is the No. 6 running back in the 2018 class.
Jordan told Orange Fizz Tuesday he will not sign as part of the second National Signing Day this week.
Jawhar Jordan (@CutsOnDime) tells the Fizz that he will NOT sign tomorrow because he needs to finish some academic requirements…
However, Jordan says he is still "110% committed" to Syracuse and will sign in the next period, despite other schools trying to get him to flip.
— Orange Fizz (@OrangeFizz) February 6, 2018
Jarveon Howard is the only unsigned Syracuse commit who pledged to the Orange after the first signing period. He committed to Syracuse on January 29, less than a week after the Orange offer came his way. From Mississippi, Howard had offers from the SEC’s Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee with interest from LSU and Alabama.
Howard is ranked as the No. 36 back in the 2018 class. He is listed at just 5-10, but makes up for small frame in speed and size.
The Orange still has Moe Neal and Markenzy Pierre on the roster for two more seasons, but Wednesday two more running backs will enter the competition for touches in the Dino Babers system.