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Pain: Syracuse Football Recruiting Misses in the NFL Draft

Photo Courtesy of The Athletic

While brainstorming topics to write about for this article, I did a simple search into my Twitter. I typed “Syracuse offer”, hoping to find a new high school recruit either Syracuse Football or Men’s Basketball offered a scholarship to. However, instead of finding what I was hoping for, I stumbled upon this tweet:

My first reaction, as I assume everyone is experiencing right now, was pain. I started dreaming about Zach Wilson donning the Syracuse orange and throwing absolute bombs off one-leg rolling out the opposite way. It was the best three minutes of my life. For anyone that is currently envisioning the same thing, this is your sign to snap out of it. It’s not possible, so don’t keep hurting yourself.

Despite the pain Ralph Vacchiano unknowingly caused me, he made me think– out of the top prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft, who received an offer from Syracuse coming out of high school? Who did the Orange miss on? I’m sure you are asking yourself those same questions, but before I give you these answers just remember that offers are only offers. It does not mean that SU was actually in the running for every one of these players. Now, without further adieu here are the guys Syracuse whiffed on:

Quarterback: Zach Wilson & Justin Fields

Ah, yes, let’s start off with the most painful misses of them all. Wilson is believed by many to be the second pick in this year’s draft. Fields is a little more questionable. Depending on the scout, the Ohio State product is anywhere between QB3 and QB5. Both of these guys have true pro-potential, but even if they don’t live up to their hype in the NFL, their college days were fantastic. Wilson brought BYU a bowl win and a spot in the top-25 for most of the season. Fields led OSU to back-to-back college football playoffs, including the championship this past season. If you put either of them on Syracuse, things would be a whole lot different for this Orange program.

Running Back: Chuba Hubbard

It’s no surprise Hubbard received an offer from Syracuse, the Oklahoma State product held 25 offers by the time he graduated high school. He would go on to be an All-American, Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, and Doak Walker Award Finalist. Having Hubbard in the Orange backfield would have helped quite a bit. He’s a big step up from Moe Neal and Jarveon Howard.

Tight End: Kyle Pitts

Pitts is currently being praised as one of the best tight end prospects of all time. He put up ridiculous numbers at Florida and is most likely going to do the same thing in the NFL. Coming out of high school, Syracuse offered Pitts, but so did Alabama, and Baylor, and Georgia, and Ohio State, and Penn State, and Wisconsin, and Tennessee. The list goes on and on. Everyone wanted a piece of the four-star and the Gators were the lucky ones. Yet another big miss for the Orange.

Linebacker: Micah Parsons

Yes, Syracuse did offer Parsons, who is most likely going to be the first defensive player off the board when the draft starts on Thursday. He, too, garnered a lot of attention from big-name schools, rightfully so. Just imagine how good the Syracuse defense would be if it actually had a real linebacking group. The Orange are set on the outside and have a decent front line. Now, replace Andrew Armstrong with Micah Parsons. Wow. Big difference.

Defensive Line: Kwity Paye

You can cut Syracuse a lot of slack for its misses so far, since most of the guys received offers from better schools and would have been silly to go to SU. However, with Paye, the Orange actually did miss. The defensive lineman only held five offers out of high school– Michigan, Boston College, Rutgers, Toledo, and Syracuse. Sure, Michigan is the biggest program on that list, but Paye was only a three-star coming out of Rhode Island, aka he wasn’t guaranteed time at UMich. The Orange missed big time on this one.

Defensive Back: Patrick Surtain II & Jaycee Horn

If you look both of these guys up and check out their offer sheets, you’d be scrolling for a while. Surtain was a five-star and the best corner in the 2018 class, while Horn was a four-star and a top-25 recruit at his position. Sure, the Orange missed on both of them, but they still brought in Trill Williams and Andre Cisco that year, who are also going to be drafted in a couple days.

Obviously you are not going to get every player you extend a scholarship offer to. Especially with most of these players, they were top recruits that received countless offers from big programs.

But just imagine Justin Fields throwing a fade to the back corner of the endzone and Kyle Pitts skying to grab it while the Dome erupts. Or Kwity Paye and Micah Parsons blitz around the edges and crunch the quarterback simultaneously. Or Patrick Surtain locking up his assignment and Jaycee Horn flies across the field to snag an interception. Ahhh, one can dream.

Best of luck to all of these guys and the three Syracuse players in the 2021 NFL Draft!

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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