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Syracuse’s Class of 2023 Early Signing Day Defensive Commits

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SU men’s basketball may be about to hit a holiday hiatus, but there’s no such rest for Syracuse football. Dino Babers and crew have put together a hefty Class of ‘23 recruiting bunch set to sign on to the program today. We’ve already previewed the offensive Orange commits on the Fizz, but now it’s time to turn our eyes towards the defense.

LB Lonnie Rice

With Mikel Jones’ future uncertain and Stefon Thompson recovering from injury, SU’s linebacking corps needs all the depth it can get. Enter Lonnie Rice, a 6’0” 225-pound 3-star and JUCO prospect out of Lackawanna Community College in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Rice is ranked as the No. 2 JUCO linebacker in the class and advertises himself as a “OLB/Edge/Hybrid” player who can play anywhere. On the season, Rice ranked second on the Lackawanna College Falcons in tackles (39) and sacks (4.5) across 10 games, and clocked in with the most tackles-for-loss on the squad (12.5). Consider Rice an interesting piece for new defensive coordinator Rocky Long to unleash.

DL Rashard Perry

On Early Signing Day, Dino Babers expressed his excitement about how many players within the class played in or around New York state. Rashard Perry is one of those guys. The 6’3”, 245-pound 3-star lineman hails from Buffalo, where he played for Bennett High School. At the moment, Perry profiles as a defensive end but could fit in as a tackle if he gets bigger. The Buffalonian also received offers from Temple and UConn.

EDGE Oluwademilade Omopariola

Omopariola is one of the talents who came aboard during Early National Signing Day. The 6’4”, 250-pound edge rusher from Gwynn Oak, Maryland is rated as a 3-star and received an offer from Temple. Omopariola’s size suggests he’s a natural fit at the edge, but his strength could provide him with time at tackle. At Woodlawn high school, Omopariola also threw shot put and discus in track and field and was a wrestler.

EDGE Jalil Smith

Smith joins Omopariola as “edge” players in SU’s class. The 6’5”, 230-pound Smith committed to ‘Cuse on the morning of Signing Day, and could help fill a pass-rushing vacancy on SU’s defense following Steve Linton’s transfer. Smith also attended Lincoln High School in Brooklyn along with fellow alum and current Pitt running back Izzy Abanikanda.

LB Zyian Moultrie-Goddard

Moultrie-Goddard joins Rice as a fellow 3-star linebacker in SU’s incoming class. The New Rochelle, NY native is another in-state get for Dino Babers and company. Moultrie-Goddard played at Iona Prep, where he built his profile into 247Sports’ No. 11 overall player in New York State and received interest from schools like Arizona State, Army, Tennessee, and Rutgers. Despite the Power Five competition, Moultrie-Goddard is headed to ‘Cuse, where he projects as an outside linebacker.

DL Ty Gordon

Gordon is the current biggest defensive body in Syracuse’s class, bested only by a few offensive linemen. Standing at 6’2”, 267-pounds, Gordon did his playing at Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Virginia. He’s an unrated recruit per 247Sports, flipped from Old Dominion back on the 17th, and officially committed on signing day.

ATH/LB Josiah Jeffrey

Josiah Jeffrey rounds out SU’s current defensive commitment group. The unrated Greenwood, South Carolina native played both quarterback and outside linebacker at Greenwood High School. The 6’2”, 215-pounder also received an offer from Appalachian State and now joins Rice and Moultrie-Goddard as ‘Cuse linebacker commits.

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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