With basketball season officially over and a whirlwind week of roster moves behind us, at least some of the attention around SU athletics should start shifting over to the football side of things. Spring practice is in full swing and Dino Babers’s bunch gets its first chance to show its new-look defense and wide receiving corps in the Spring Preview next Friday.
While there are certainly some things to look forward to for this upcoming season such as Eric Dungey’s senior campaign and just how well the seemingly loaded 2018 recruiting class will contribute, there may just be some even better news coming on the horizon. As we’ve said so often since he’s gotten to Central New York, Babers has a serious knack for recruiting and that has shone through in the past week as the head man and his staff offered a trio of talented offensive linemen to bolster a unit that has been pretty beleaguered over the past few seasons.
Syracuse got the O-Line offer train going on Tuesday afternoon when it offered Hawaiian tackle Duke Clemens who announced his offer on Twitter:
— Duke Clemens (@dukeclemens) March 27, 2018
Clemens is a 6-foot-4, 265-pound guard from Punahou High School in Honolulu and is rated as a four-star recruit by 247 Sports (although he is a three-star according to their composite rankings). From watching his tape, it’s apparent that Clemens best quality as it stands is his athleticism and ability to get to the second level. Clemens excels when he can get himself out in open space and make blocks to free up backs in the secondary. That ability becomes especially apparent when he pulls to make blocks on misdirections and tosses to the other tackle side. He would be a perfect fit for an SU offense that likes to get out in open space and create havoc in the open field. After picking up the offer from SU on Tuesday, Clemens got offers from Arizona State and Vanderbilt later in the week, but Babers’s connection to the state of Hawaii (he played for the Rainbow Warriors after all) may be enough to entice the big man to come nearly 5,000 miles across the country to Central New York.
A few days later, Syracuse put their bid in on two more offensive linemen. One of them is Walter Rouse who posted a collage of his visit to SU on Twitter:
— Walter Rouse (@wrouse19) March 31, 2018
From the looks of these pictures, it certainly seems as if Rouse enjoyed his time on campus and that is a very good sign because Rouse could be a big get for SU down the line. The Washington, DC native is a rising senior at Sidwell Friends School. At 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, Rouse is a brick house who is rated as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports’s composite rankings. Like Clemens, Rouse plays left tackle, but the two youngsters’ styles could not be more different. Rouse’s strength lies in his unrelenting strength and power. He’ll run you over to plow the way for his running backs and quarterbacks and he specializes in the pancake block. He also moves very well for his size, but could do with a little more lateral quickness to really maximize his potential. Again like Clemens, Babers may have a bit of an upper hand recruiting Rouse because of his location. Class of 2018 recruits Ed Hendrix and Caleb Okechukwu both hail from the nation’s capital, so Babers has had success in that area. He will, however, have to contend with the likes of Stanford, Wake Forest and Maryland, all of which have also extended offers to Rouse.
The other offensive tackle to receive an offer from SU on Saturday was Jay Amburgey who also announced his offer via Twitter:
— Jay Amburgey (@jamburgey5) March 31, 2018
Amburgey hails from Reynoldsburg High School in Ohio. Standing at 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, 247 Sports ranks rising senior as a three-star recruit and one of the best offensive linemen in a state that has produced former Pro Bowlers like Nick Mangold, Eric Wood and Matt Light. He is the most athletic of the trio offered in the last week and even dabbled at tight end a bit during his junior season last fall. Amburgey is a good hybrid of Clemens and Rouse’s styles, but could definitely improve his strength moving forward. He’s got a lot of great skills and will be somebody to keep our eye on as his senior season approaches and progresses. He also has offers from Bowling Green and Cincinnati and has piqued the interest of West Virginia, Michigan State and Ohio State.