Orange Fizz

FB Recruiting

Syracuse has the ACC’s Worst Recruiting Class

After National Signing Day, if you look at rankings, then, by every standard, Syracuse’s 2023 class is bad. How bad? 247Sports ranked it the worst in the ACC and 69th in the nation. There are only three power five schools behind SU: Indiana (70th), Kansas (76th) and Cal (84th). 

For added context: Syracuse finds itself behind group of five schools like Boise State, Tulane, Colorado State and UTSA. 

It’s the first time SU has had the bottom class in the ACC since joining the conference, but it seems like the culmination of a three year trend. In 2020, the Orange’s class was ranked 9th in the conference, the highest point it has reached under Dino Babers. But, it dropped to 13th (out of 14) in 2021, and was 12th last year.

It could get even worse. Those rankings are factoring in LaNorris Sellers’ commitment. The quarterback is the only four-star in Syracuse’s class, and, while he has been committed to SU since the spring and hasn’t decommitted, rumors are swirling that he may flip to South Carolina. 

Fans have every right to be disappointed. With the promise that this season brought and the Pinstripe Bowl to come, the hope was it could mark the beginning of a consistent run. Recruits are attracted to winning programs that send players to NFL. Syracuse won seven games against a brutal schedule and three of its departing players-Matthew Bergeron, Sean Tucker and Garrett Williams-are sure fire draft picks.

Even with that success, the recruits aren’t coming. Fans have every right to be upset about that. Sure, there are the classic excuses like “it’s Syracuse, the weather’s bad, nobody wants to come” or “the NIL money opportunities aren’t there.” When compared to Miami, Clemson and Florida State, the top three classes in the ACC, and programs of that nature, sure, those apply. But, compared to a program like Boston College, or, more egregiously, Boise State and Colorado State, they don’t. That’s on the coaching staff for not convincing enough talent to choose them.

It’s bad on the high school front. There’s now way around that fact, but there is some solace to be taken in other areas. Syracuse did manage to bring in two exciting JUCO transfers. Interior offensive lineman J’Onre Reed and linebacker Lonnie Rice are both the second ranked players at their respective positions among players looking to make the jump from the junior college ranks.

There’s also the transfer class. Jaeden Gould from Nebraska and Jayden Bellamy from Notre Dame were two of the top 10 players in New Jersey last year. Both defensive backs come in with a good chance to make an immediate impact. Plus, Braylen Ingraham gives Syracuse something it desperately needed: a defensive lineman who weighs almost 300 pounds. The former four-star in the class of 2019 played four games at Alabama before medically retiring. If he’s healthy, he can also be an upgrade right away.

That’s the thing about the new landscape of college football thanks to the transfer portal. Recruiting classes aren’t as program defining as they once were because there’s another option for teams to improve, and, just because you sign a great class doesn’t mean they’re all going to be there for three or four years. Odds are, a big chunk of them will leave within a couple of years.

That being said, having the worst class in the ACC is still an embarrassing “achievement” for Syracuse. It may not be the crushing blow it would have been just a few years ago, but it certainly doesn’t bode well.

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.


Copyright © 2022 Orange Fizz

To Top