Syracuse football’s class of 2021 is one of the most heralded, if not the most, of the Dino Babers era. The Orange offense is certainly in need of some exciting new talent. Here’s a quick overview of the players SU is bringing in on the offensive side of the ball.
Oronde Gadsden II
Gadsden is a 6-foot-4, 190 pound senior from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He’s a three-star prospect according to 247Sports, and comes in just over a .85 on their recruit composite score. Gadsden verbally committed to SU on September 14th over Penn State, Rutgers and Arizona State. His dad, Oronde Gadsden, was an NFL receiver for seven years with the Cowboys and Dolphins.
Gadsden projects to be an “X” (outside) receiver at the next level. His best skill is the jump ball, as he uses his height and frame to “Moss” high school corners. After developing his route running and adding more muscle to his frame, he will be a solid outside threat in the SU offense.
Ellis is a 6-foot-5, 350 pound offensive lineman from Honolulu, Hawaii. 247Sports lists him as a guard, but he could probably play anywhere on the offensive line with his measureables. He’s a three-star prospect, the seventh-best player from the Aloha state, and a .8410 on the 247 composite. Ellis chose SU on July 23rd over Hawaii, UCLA, San Diego State and Virginia.
Here’s some of 247Sports evaluator Brandon Angulo’s thoughts on Ellis: “Big, wide frame with strong lower half and projectable length. Strong, immovable lineman with power and impressive agility. Does well to set his base and stonewall defenders. Moves well in run game with ability to seal gaps and create lanes inside. Athleticism to slide his feet gives him line versatility, but projects best at offensive guard in college.”
Morris is another three-star prospect, this time from Illinois. He’s 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, and plays tight end and wide receiver. He comes with an impressive offer sheet, as he picked the Orange over offer from Michigan, UCF and Iowa State. SU running backs coach Mike Lynch was his primary recruiter. Morris is one of three commits expected to enroll early.
It is extremely easy to see Morris finding a spot in the SU offense. Like Gadsen, he’s tall and lanky, but has filled out a bit more. He can line up on the line of scrimmage or flank out wide. Also similarly to Gadsen, he’s a jump ball guy with great hands and the ability to make tough contested catches. He played with future Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy at Nazareth Academy. Hopefully SU’s quarterback situation can shake out before Morris is ready to make an impact, which could be as soon as next season.
Long is the third receiver of the group (Morris is technically a tight end), and comes in at just .002 below Morris on the 247 composite. He’s a native of Lexington, South Carolina, and stands 6-foot-3, 215 pounds. Syracuse was Long’s only Power Five offer, but he could’ve gone to Appalachian State or Coastal Carolina, two Sun Belt schools that are making some noise this year. He verbally committed to SU on May 5th, the same day as Derek McDonald.
Long shows real catch-and-run ability. He was a major threat in the screen game in high school, something that the Orange love to utilize with Taj Harris. Long can accelerate extremely quickly. He doesn’t necessarily have track speed, but leaves defenders behind him with an easy glide. He could play outside or in the slot, which could lead to major matchup problems for a defense.
Kauhi, the first of the group of offensive lineman rounding out our list, is another Hawaii product. He’s a three-star offensive tackle from Kamehameha H.S, rated as the eighth-best player in Hawaii and a .8282 on the 247Sports composite. Syracuse was his only Power Five offer, but UCF and San Diego State were also in the mix.
Kauhi played mostly right tackle in high school. At 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, he has the measurables that you’d expect from a tackle. He shows a great sense of leverage. He can use defenders’ momentum against them and pin them in the line. He also has extremely strong hands which can deflect oncoming pass rushers.
Hoeh is a 6-foot-4, 250 pound offensive lineman from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He is a three-star prospect, the 80th best offensive guard in the country, and is a .8234 on the 247 Sports composite. Just like Kauhi, Syracuse was his only P5 offer. He verbally committed on June 19th.
Hoeh also played rugby in high school and it shows in his tape. He excels at getting lower than his opponent, then driving his legs through him. However, his high school ran the triple option, so his pass blocking skills are going to be a question coming to the Hill.
Magnuson is a three-star offensive lineman from Minneapolis. He stands 6-foot-5, 260 pounds. He is the 83rd best offensive tackle in the country and a .8282 on the 247Sports composite. He chose Syracuse over Duke and Arizona, among others. Magnuson verbally committed to SU on August 7th.
Magnuson explodes off of the line of scrimmage. He beats the defender to the punch nine times out of ten. However, he does need to work on staying lower in his blocking.
That’s a quick overview of Syracuse’s offensive commitments in the class of 2021. Make sure to check out the Game Changers and Defensive Commits as well, and keep it locked to @orangefizz on Twitter for all SU recruiting updates.