Instant Juice: Syracuse adds impressive class on 2016 National Signing Day

A quick take on Syracuse’s 2016 recruiting class on LOI day:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse is set to announce its first recruiting class under new head coach Dino Babers on Wednesday afternoon. Here are the 20 players who have signed their letters to play at Syracuse:

babers_presser

Babers will announce his first recruiting class later today

  • Andrew Armstrong, LB, 6-2, 215 (Canfield, Ohio)
  • Josh Black, DE, 6-2, 237 (Loves Park, Ill.)
  • Scoop Bradshaw, DB, 6-0, 175 (Tampa, Fla.)
  • Devin Butler, WR, 6-0, 185 (District Heights, Md.)
  • Michael Clark, OL, 6-7, 277 (Exton, Pa.)
  • Devon Clarke, DB, 6-3, 235 (Kissimmee, Fla.)
  • Kendall Coleman, DE, 6-3, 235 (Indianapolis, Ind.)
  • Rex Culpepper, QB, 6-1, 216 (Tampa, Fla.)
  • Evan Foster, DB, 6-2, 197 (West Bloomfield, Mich.)
  • Sam Heckel, OL, 6-5, 265 (Waukesha, Wis.)
  • Carl Jones, DB, 6-2, 175 (Twinsburg, Ohio)
  • Moe Neal, ATH, 5-10, 165 (Gastonia, N.C.)
  • Jaquwan Nelson, DE, 6-4, 230 (Lauderhill, Fla.)
  • Liam O’Sullivan, OL, 6-7, 240 (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Sean Riley, ATL, 5-9, 165 (Playa del Rey, Calif.)
  • Kenneth Ruff, LB, 6-1, 250 (Lauderhill, Fla.)
  • Airon Sevais, OL, 6-6, 260 (Green Bay, Wis.)
  • Jo-El Shaw, RB, 6-1, 215 (Swissvale, Pa.)
  • Tim Walton, LB, 6-2, 225 (Detroit, Mich.)
  • McKinley Williams, DT, 6-5, 255 (Miramar, Fla.)

» Related: DeVaughn Cooper to choose between Syracuse, Arizona, Arizona State

ANALYSIS:

  1. NLI day wasn’t without its last-minute drama. Rashad Smith, who Syracuse had flipped earlier in the month from Florida Atlantic, made a last minute change on NLI day, and flipped back to FAU.
  2. Not that it was a surprise to anyone, but target Adrian Killins kept his commitment to Central Florida. The Florida product had taken an official visit to Syracuse this past weekend, but had previously told the Orlando Sentinel that he was completely on board with UCF.
  3. But it wasn’t all bad for Syracuse. The Orange held off a furious rally from Georgia to retain Jaquwan Nelson. The Peach State defensive end had been previously committed to Miami. His high school coach told Syracuse.com’s Stephen Bailey that Georgia’s class was full, but Nelson was still leaning toward Syracuse regardless.
  4. Sean Riley is the only verbal commit yet to send in a letter. Don’t worry, though. Riley is a California product and as of publish time, it isn’t even 8 a.m. there. UPDATE: As of 10:29 a.m., head coach Dino Babers announced via Twitter that Riley is officially on board.
  5. The last name to keep in mind is wide receiver DeVaughn Cooper, who is high school teammates with Riley. His announcement is set for 4:30 p.m. EST, though a source has told Rivals.com’s Scout Brown that Cooper will keep his commitment to Arizona. UPDATE: Cooper indeed did announce that he would keep his commitment to Arizona.
  6. Of note in this class is that six of the incoming freshmen are from Florida, and eight of the recruits are from the midwest (Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana). None are from the New York/New Jersey area. In an interview with Scout, Babers said that those two states had been “picked over” by the time he took over at Syracuse.
  7. Overall, Syracuse’s class is ranked 57 on Scout.com after the Smith flip. Compare that with 2015 (50), 2014 (53) and 2013 (73). But what’s impressive about this class is that of the 20 commits, 19 of them are rated three stars, which gives Syracuse an overall average of 2.95 per recruit. According to Scout.com’s Mike McAllister, that is the highest average for Syracuse since Scout started its rankings.
  8. One other interesting sidenote is that former commit Robert Washington, once considered the crown jewel of Scott Shafer’s class, signed with Charlotte.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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