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FB Recruiting

Analyzing Syracuse’s New Players

Lost in the commotion of Judah Mintz’s return is that football recruiting for the Class of 2024 is about to gain serious steam. It’s no secret that Syracuse’s performance in last year’s cycle left plenty to be desired. Losing Syair Torrence a few weeks ago didn’t help anything. Needless to say, the pressure is on Dino Babers, on and off the field.

It’s only June 7, but for a program that needs recruiting momentum desperately, any new additions are good additions. Both recruits are 3 star defensive linemen from the DMV, an area that has been heavily focused on on the hardwood. Is that something that spreads to the gridiron? Only time will tell, but these two players can hopefully wake Syracuse up from its recent recruiting woes.


Any time 247 Sports lists you as the top player in any given state, you’re doing something right, even if it’s a state like Delaware that doesn’t jump out in terms of producing big-name guys. And it’s not as though SU was the only power program making a run for Graham- Michigan State, Penn State, and West Virginia were all in the mix for the edge rusher. That in itself is a good sign.

A good edge rusher is one of the most under-appreciated members of a team in all levels of football, especially now as quarterbacks become more mobile and can easily move outside the pocket at will. Is it fair to expect Graham to come right in and live up to the billing of a Mikel Jones? Absolutely not, nor is it fair to expect him to play a starring role straight away. But when his opportunity comes, if he can play an athletic, shifty game, the Orange may finally solve what has been a problem for a few years- ultra-athletic quarterbacks. Guys like FSU’s Jordan Travis have killed them in the past. Graham has an opportunity to help change that.


The high school is the first thing that jumps out with McMorris. Gonzaga College High School in the nation’s capital plays in one of the best private school athletic conferences in the Northeast. That’s the first thing the three-star defensive lineman has going for him. West Virginia was also in the mix for McMorris, as were some ACC rivals in Pittsburgh, Boston College, Wake Forest, and Virginia Tech. Not too shabby.

Plain and simple, SU’s run defense down the stretch last year was nothing short of horrendous. Week in and week out, the opposition as good as force-feeded its RB1, and for good reason. It’s been mediocre in years past as well, but when it’s one of the primary reasons behind a five-game losing skid after a 6-0 start, it really sticks out. Enter McMorris into the equation. The run defense will in all likelihood not be completely solved over the course of just one season, especially with a new defensive coordinator in the house. His solid high school and recruiting background as well as the position he plays show he could be a difference-maker on that front early on.

In this day and age of NIL and the transfer portal, the only certainty in collegiate athletics is that nothing is certain. Many members of Syracuse’s core could be gone at this time next year. If we want to take guys in the front 7, it’s very possible that Caleb Okechukwu, Marlowe Wax, and Stefon Thompson could have all moved on a year from now. Therein lies the importance of adding players like Graham and McMorris. It adds depth for the future, and we all know how a lack of depth has bitten the Orange over the years. The question is, will these depth additions lead to even more?

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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