The calendar month hasn’t even turned to July, and the Orange already have a pair of four-stars, according to 247Sports, coming to the Hill in 2022. Justin Taylor joins Kamari Lands in a star-studded class, with over a year out until the two don SU colors.
The 6-foot-6 small forward at the St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville, Virginia chose Syracuse over Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana and Virginia Tech. This decision comes just two weeks after his official visit to SU, where Taylor had plenty of complementary things to say.
Taylor is ranked as the second best player in the state of Virginia by 247Sports, and 56th nationally. He brings a shoot-first stretch forward/guard to the mix when Buddy Boeheim ultimately departs after this season, and a possible instant impact from the jump depending on where other pieces fall. His commitment doubles the amount of recruits that SU was able to land entering this season, with four-star Benny Williams as the lone player to pick Jim Boeheim and company in 2021.
There are plenty of positives to take away from the Virginia native choosing Syracuse.
First off, a pitch from Jim Boeheim is still valuable and hasn’t fizzled out with rumors that he might retire. Taylor debunked that with his choice to sport Orange in 2022. It’s also a great sign that Williams’ recruiting tactics, as a former AAU teammate of Taylor’s on Team Takeover, worked to perfection, giving SU fans hope that commits can still persuade recruits to join them at their respective school.
Even with Syracuse’s decline during the past few regular seasons, this marks the sixth four-star that the Orange have landed in the last four years (Brycen Goodine and Quincy Guerrier in 2019, Kadary Richmond in 2020). This further proves SU’s continued attractiveness as a top tier program.
But the biggest takeaway from Taylor’s commitment is that Syracuse was able to land one of its prioritized recruits. He has already bolstered the Orange’s chances at a top 20 recruiting class entering the ‘22-’23 season and did so by leaving three other ACC teams in the dust. It’s a perfect fit for Taylor and an even better situation for SU.
There’s plenty of time to see if Taylor’s decision parlays into other commitments to Central New York. With the choices of Kyle Filipowski, Donovan Clingan, Chance Westry, JJ Starling and others still on the horizon, the Orange turn their focus to landing their third four-star recruit or better in a single class for the first time since 2015 (Malachi Richardson, Frank Howard, Tyler Lydon).
But for now, we know Justin Taylor is coming to Syracuse, and that’s something to smile about.