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How Did Syracuse Steal Charlottesville’s Justin Taylor from ACC Powers?

This has been an incredible recruiting cycle for Syracuse. While the saga of Dior Johnson left Orange fans smarting after last year, the haul of Kamari Lands and Justin Taylor is an enormous influx of talent for the Class of ’22. Lands is ranked as a top 25 prospect in the nation and Taylor slots in the top 100. While being close only scores points in cornhole, even if the Orange miss on Donovan Clingan and Chance Westry, they’ve been running a tight race. Both of those players are top 50 talents. And the duel for Kyle Filipowski, now ranked 20th in the class, has shown how powerful the SU recruiting pull is.

Taylor was viewed as a player who would likely end up with an ACC power closer to his hometown of Charlottesville. While ESPN puts him at #99 in his class, Rivals has him at #54. When Taylor began his recruiting process, his top schools were Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, and North Carolina. The Cavaliers recently won a national championship and the Tar Heels are one of the most decorated programs in history. So how did SU end up winning him over? He told the Daily Progress everything changed when he stepped foot on campus.

“The official visit I took up to Syracuse was incredible. The whole recruiting process with talking with Coach Boeheim and Coach McNamara had been online, so actually being able to see them and the players in person was awesome for me. I think the comfort level I have with the coaching staff, as well as the players, is a huge part that sold me because, it just felt like home and the family atmosphere they have there is incredible.” – Justin Taylor

The Fizz has detailed the effectiveness of Gerry McNamara on the recruiting trail, and why he may be lining up as the heir apparent to Jim Boeheim.

“Syracuse just felt like home to me and is the best place for me to have the opportunity to achieve my goals and aspirations in college and beyond. I have built incredible relationships with all the coaches there, especially Coach Boeheim and Coach McNamara, and I just feel like it was the best situation and opportunity for me to come in and play for that coaching staff and to work with them to develop my game.” – Justin Taylor

G-Mac came up in the clutch once again, and add Taylor to the growing list of elite players he’s nailed down for SU. And it certainly seems like he was able to connect with Taylor on a personal level. Sure sounds like the recruit sees a lot of himself in McNamara’s path to stardom.

“Coach Boeheim loves guards who can shoot and make plays, as well as guys who are long and versatile for that [2-3] zone. He believes in me and expects me to have a big role as a freshman (in ’22-’23), with his son, Buddy, leaving, as this is about to be his senior year.” – Justin Taylor

Freshman guard who can shoot and make plays. Where have we seen that before? The regional ACC powers around Taylor’s hometown certainly had an inside track, but at the end of the process it was Syracuse which landed Taylor.

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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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