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Scouting SU’s Two Early Enrollees for 2022

Syracuse football’s season is likely over after being routed by both Louisville and NC State. SU was in a good spot a few weeks ago sitting at 5-4 and needing to win just one of its next three to earn bowl eligibility. It appears as though that won’t happen as Pitt is on the horizon.  

The Panthers are arguably the best team in the ACC and just clinched the Coastal division last week. Instead of harping on the negatives and beating a dead horse, let’s talk about the future. Now, Dino Babers may or may not be here for that future but let’s talk about two of the 2022 recruits that could make an early impact at SU: Mekhi Mason and Dom Foster. 

Mekhi Mason | LB | 6’1, 220 | 3-star with big offers 

We’ve covered the Opa Locka native pretty extensively here on the Fizz. Mason committed to Syracuse on the first day of July this past summer. There’s been no wavering or indecision regarding that commitment since then. This was a huge recruiting win for the Orange as Dino Babers plucked another stud from the Sunshine State. Mason had offers from Florida State, LSU, and Ole Miss amongst others big time programs. 

After watching Mason’s senior film, most of what we already knew about him was on display. He plays fast and downhill. Mason is very skilled at reading the opposing offensive line to figure out which direction a run is going, what kind of blocking concept it is, and even recognizing screen passes. Some of the things he’s been doing as a high schooler are things that current SU linebackers have yet to comprehend. Check out his film by clicking this link.

Mason’s play really reminds me of Stefon Thompson and Marlowe Wax, but a mixture of the two. Both Wax and Thompson hold down the two outside linebacker roles in Tony White’s 3-3-5. They’re both very good in pass rushing situations and overall just playing downhill. 

Mason appears to have a better grasp on defending the run and shooting those gaps on a downhill slope.  

The Monsignor Pace product could see the field within his first two years on the Hill for the sole purpose of helping to shore up the run defense from a linebacker perspective. SU fans should be very excited to see him suit up in the Navy and Orange.  

Dom Foster | ATH (DB) | 6’2, 175 | 3-star that’s shot up the rankings 

The Ohio native has really flown under the radar but that shouldn’t be the case. Why? Because Foster is SU’s top recruit in the 2022 class. The athletic prospect has risen up the Top247 rankings from not even being ranked to 87. He kind of committed to Syracuse out of nowhere, there wasn’t much buzz surrounding his recruitment process. However in mid-August he made his pledge and is sticking to it.  

Foster played his high school ball at Warren G Harding High School. It’s a place that has seen some prolific football talents over the years. Some notable names include Prescott Burgess (Michigan, NFL), Maurice Clarett (Ohio State, former Big Ten Frosh of the Year), Mario Manningham (Michigan, NFL Super Bowl 46 Champ), and Lynn Bowden (Kentucky and current member of the Dolphins). Perhaps Foster is the next great? 

Foster seems like a little more of a project than Mason; however, if he develops he could be something special. He comes to Syracuse with a similar build to current Lions corner Ifeatu Melifonwu. Foster is long but also very fast, faster than Melifonwu even. So if he can develop into the corner position his intangibles translate well.

Most of Foster’s film is of him playing wide receiver but most of the highlights are on broken plays where it just looks like high school foster. However, that speed and athleticism is why he projects to be something and is why he’s SU’s top recruit. You just can’t teach the velocity that he has. Check out his film by clicking here.

There wasn’t much to be seen from Foster as a cornerback but he showed a few things. He likes to blow up receivers and tackle, he has good tracking ability when the ball is in the air, and he’s comfortable on an island. In Tony White’s system, he asks the corners to be able to fend for themselves in the boundaries without safety help pretty often. Foster having that experience at the onset of his college career will prove valuable.  

As far as his outlook, he’ll be an early contributor on special teams and might burn his redshirt that way. Foster could also have an impact in the return game by the time he’s a sophomore. It will take some time for him to develop into being a power five starting defensive back but he can get there. So for Foster, it’s a low floor but a very high ceiling if he can couple his athletic traits with the great track record Syracuse has for developing defensive backs. 

Both Foster and Mason will enroll early and get an early jump on potentially making an impact in the fall of 2022 and beyond. 

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