With the Fourth of July now in the rearview mirror, it’s time to take a look at the fireworks display Dino Babers and his staff set off on the recruiting trail throughout the month of June. In a 9-day span, the staff hauled in seven verbals. That hot streak has continued through the start of July with three more commitments over the weekend bringing the 2017 class to a total of 13 verbals.
The jewel of the class is quarterback Tommy DeVito. Babers previously said he likes to get a QB commit early in the class and it appears he has his man with the New Jersey product.
Another highlight of the class is four of the commits are wide receivers: Sharod Johnson, Nykeim Johnson, Joshua Palmer and Cam Jordan.
If Syracuse’s offense under Babers is going to resemble the latest installment of Madden NFL, the Orange is going to need receivers who can fly and go up and get the ball. Nykeim Johnson clocked a 40-yard dash time of 4.42 while Jordan ran it in 4.51. Additionally, Jordan stands 6’4” while his future teammate, Palmer, is an inch shorter at 6’3”.
Geography was initially a question when Babers accepted the job as Syracuse typically draws players for the Northeast corridor along with getting its share from Florida.
Six of those kids fit the bill as two are from New York (Jordan and ATH Eric Coley), OT Dakota Davis is from Maryland, Ifeatu Mellfonwu is from Massachusetts, Nykeim Johnson is from Washington D.C. and as previously mentioned, DeVito is a Jersey kid. Palmer, Sharod Johnson and Kierston Johnson are all Florida products.
Michigan is an area that Syracuse is starting to successfully mine as both Zach Morton and Allen Stritzinger are from the Great Lakes state.
While the 2017 class is starting to take shape under Babers, the mens basketball 2017 class is so far a bunch of “what ifs.” As he usually does, Jim Boeheim is shopping from a Who’s Who list of 5-star recruits and future NBA draft picks.
The class is a crucial one for the Orange as Tyler Roberson, DaJuan Coleman and John Gillon will all exhaust their eligibility after this season. Additionally, Tyler Lydon is projected as a first-round draft pick. Freshman Tyus Battle could join Lydon in declaring if he is as good as advertised.
So, Syracuse could suffer heavy personnel losses next Spring. And without a single verbal from that class, some fans might be getting anxious.
One of the biggest names to know is point guard Quade Green out of Philadelphia. SU’s toughest competition appears to be recent offers from Duke and Kentucky.
But Philly has been kind to the Orange in the past delivering Hakim Warrick, Rick Jackson and Scoop Jardine. Hamidou Diallo, a 6’5” shooting guard from Connecticut would be a nice backcourt mate to pair along with Green. He has offers from heavyweights Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and that local school, UConn.
A nice replacement for Coleman at the center spot would be 6’11” Mohamed Bamba from Pennsylvania. His offer sheet includes North Carolina in addition to the other four schools hot on the trail of Diallo.
Jordan Tucker is a 6-foot-8 small forward out of White Plains, NY who the Orange might have the inside track on. Arizona, Indiana, Maryland and defending National Champion Villanova are also after Tucker.
And while the majority of basketball recruiting focus turns towards the 2017 class, Syracuse bolstered its 2016 class with the addition of 4-star forward Taurean Thompson. The Orange fought off Seton Hall and Michigan State in adding a key recruit who will certainly provide some much needed depth to Syracuse’s front court next season.
How things pan out over the next couple of months for the football and basketball teams will certainly be compelling to watch. Much like the July weather, recruiting season is starting to heat up.