As the Summer rolls along, we‚Äôre only bound to learn more about Syracuse football‚Äôs incoming Class of ‚Äò23. Things have been fairly quiet on that front since quarterback LaNorris Sellers committed to the Orange back in March, but you figure SU is gearing up to net some commits and come up with more movie poster tweets to announce them.
However, SU‚Äôs Class of ‚Äò23 looks to be lacking in one familiar area: local and in-state talent. More specifically, top talent from in-state looks to be gravitating to out-of-state schools, including the No. 1 overall recruit from New York: Tyriq Blanding.
Blanding, a 6‚Äô3‚Äù 275-pound defensive lineman from Middle Village, NY, announced his commitment to Penn State two days ago. His status as the top talent from the state meant that offers from Syracuse and Buffalo were all but guaranteed among an impressive slate of suitors, but it should still disappoint ‚ÄòCuse fans that both those schools ended up in the exact same spot: without Blanding‚Äôs services. It‚Äôs a tough miss, particularly with defensive line clocking in as a primary position of current need for the Orange and Blanding having already visited The Hill.
Syracuse‚Äôs lack of ability to secure in-state talent has been chronic and well-documented since Paul Pasqualoni patrolled the Dome sidelines. We wrote about the issue around this time last year, and did so once again when SU‚Äôs early recruiting group came into the fray. Class of ‚Äò22 defensive lineman Q‚Äôyaier Price‚Äôs early-period flip to Rutgers from Syracuse certainly stung, but the Scarlet Knights also swooped up the top talent from New York state in that class in 4-star linebacker Moses Walker.¬†The issue seems to be circular – at some point, Syracuse’s relationships and pipelines with local high schools ruptured, leading to a decline in talent and win totals. Once the team started to lose, that only further repelled more recruits. It’s a challenging circle to break out of, and most SU coaches since Greg Robinson have struggled to break it.
Missing in-state doesn‚Äôt mean Syracuse is devoid of talent. Sean Tucker (Maryland), Mikel Jones (Florida), and Garrett Williams (North Carolina) all arrived from out of state to blossom into talented starters. However, if there‚Äôs a reason to pinpoint for the program‚Äôs struggles over the past 15 years or so, missing on talent growing in your backyard is a big reason why.