If one thing is clear about Fran Brown in his two weeks on the job as Syracuse’s head coach, it’s that the man can flat-out recruit. He’s gotten three of the Orange’s four highest-ranked recruits for the class of 2024 to flip from other schools to sign with Syracuse next week according to the 247 Sports Composite, including SU’s new top recruit in the class, Emauel Ross (who was previously committed to Stanford), from you guessed it, New Jersey.
The other two flips by Brown were two other top-500 players according to the Composite, Jaylan Hornsby, who was committed to Texas A&M, and Yasin Willis, who was committed to Pittsburgh. Both of those players were also from New Jersey. So, with this recruiting momentum, it does beg the question of, what is Brown’s message to these guys that get them to want to play for him?
In his opening press conference as Syracuse’s head coach, he talked about his humble beginnings and relating to players that way, and his authenticity stuck out. But, when you’re in a room with a player and his family, how are you able to pitch yourself and your program, especially one that you haven’t even coached a game for before?
“It’s really cool for Syracuse to believe in Coach Fran,” Marcellus Barnes Jr, a cornerback from Chattanooga, Tennessee told syracuse.com. “The trust they have in him to bring a winning culture. I love the feel I get from all the coaches and staff. They made me feel good from the moment I got off the plane to the end. It was a really good feeling for sure.”
Barnes is one of a number of players who Syracuse hosted for an official visit last weekend, and Brown and his staff are doing the same this weekend with high school players and transfers from around the country. National Signing Day and the early signing period are just a handful of days away, so Brown and his staff of Elijah Robinson and Nick Williams for the most part have been on the trail working in different parts of the country.
Brown’s full staff is still coming together, as there still has not been an official announcement on an offensive coordinator, Nunzio Campanile looks to be moving to quarterbacks coach, and there are some other moving parts, but it’s taking shape slowly and steadily as the interim head coach prepares what is left of the Syracuse roster for the Boca Raton Bowl on December 21st.
A number of players from the current roster have entered the transfer portal, but that is not a surprise, nor should it be something to dwell over because Brown and his staff are clearly bringing in a new wave of talent and the type of player that Central New York has not seen over the past decade-plus. Koy Beasley, a player that SU is trying to flip from Purdue and would become their highest-ranking recruit, took an official visit last weekend. Barnes was with him on that visit and put Brown’s standing with recruits perfectly into context.
“We’ve been locked in a long time,” Barnes said to syracuse.com. “He’s welcome at our home any time. He’s family to us.”