When five-star point guard Dior Johnson committed to Syracuse in early February, he said he planned to bring other recruits with him. And it seems like that goal started to take fruition when Benny Williams committed to Syracuse last week.
From Johnson’s tweet, it seems like he was in the ear of Williams for some time. For Syracuse to have a top-five player committed makes it much easier to recruit other elite talent. Williams – a top 50 recruit – may have given SU a longer look because of Johnson. Of course, assistant coach Adrian Autry was Williams’ primary recruiter and undoubtedly had a large influence too. But as a player, it’s good to know you’ll be teaming up with elite talent. When Johnson visited campus and watched Syracuse take on UNC late last season, Williams was visiting as well.
Another elite recruit present in the Dome against UNC was Chance Westry, a top-25 player in the 2022 recruiting class. According to 247 Sports, Westry is considered a Syracuse lean. During the UNC game, he was sitting besides Johnson. If Westry did commit to the Orange, it would give Syracuse one of its best backcourts in years.
Throughout the country, coaches remark that their best recruiters are their players. While it’s the coaches jobs to recruit, high schoolers want to talk to players to learn what the program is really like.
But it’s also a great recruiting tool to have fellow high schoolers pitching other recruits on Syracuse. Not only does Johnson’s efforts help Syracuse in their pitches to guys like Westry, it creates excitement around the program.
After a few underwhelming seasons, SU is in desperate need of excitement. Even though he’s a couple of years away from joining the team himself, Johnson is raising the ceiling of the program. Already Williams is aboard. Westry may not be too far behind. While those three make up a very solid foundation, will Johnson stop there? Or will he continue to recruit other elite talent to Syracuse?
Only time will tell, but right now, I wouldn’t bet against Dior.