On Monday, we dove deep into Syracuse’s 2020 recruiting targets. Things don’t look great as it stands right now, but it is very, very early. Let me make that clear right at the top: we’re a long time away from National Signing Day. Everything related to the 2020 cycle is subject to drastic change from now until December.
With that being said, the Orange are off to a slow start in terms of racking up verbal commitments. Syracuse is currently dead last in the ACC with three.
ACC 2020 Verbal Commits: Clemson (17), Miami (15), Florida State (12), North Carolina (14), Georgia Tech (13), Wake Forest (13), NC State (8), Boston College (8), Duke (6), Louisville (6), Virginia (5), Virginia Tech (4), Pitt (3), Syracuse (3). *teams appear in order of overall class rankings by 247Sports.
So what does this tell us? The Orange are falling behind. Again, there’s plenty of time to make up the ground but this is how things stand right now. Isn’t this a little surprising considering SU was the second best team in the ACC in 2018? I’d say so. That’s the only thing concerning about this. Over the past three years (Dino Babers’ first three recruiting classes), the Orange have ranked 11th, 9th and 10th in the conference according to 247Sports.
That ranking could improve this year if a few talented four stars decide to bring their talents to Central New York. Here are a couple names to keep an eye on: Jaden Dottin (WR) and Amin Vanover (DE). Those are two guys that could instantly improve the status of the Orange’s 2020 class. Vanover has already made a visit to campus and has put Syracuse in his top-ten potential destinations.
Other sings of progress include Syracuse making recruits’ top tens and top fives more often and competing with the bigger schools. Obviously none of that matters if the players decide to go elsewhere. Maybe recruits are hesitant considering last year’s 10-3 season was such an outlier. Maybe Babers needs another year to prove to the country that he’s for real. No matter how you look at it, the SU program hasn’t seen much improvement in recruiting over the past several years.
At this point, Babers has shown signs of being a top coach in college football. So much so that he was rumored to be in contention for a number of high-caliber job openings last year. If the Orange have another big year, you’ll see his name in the conversation of top-20 coaches in the country this time next year. However, he’s not a proven recruiter. Let’s be honest, though, Babers is dealing with a number of disadvantages. The weather is one most people talk about, but how about the facilities? The best programs this day and age have the best technology and facilities for its athletes. Syracuse doesn’t have much to boast about.
That’s the next step for Syracuse. If Babers wants to take his program to the next level, the talent will need to improve. The fourth-year head coach has found some diamonds in the rough like All-American Andre Cisco. Babers has also found players that fit his system. We’ll find out this year if that is sustainable enough to rise to the top of ACC for the second straight season.