June Recruiting Fruitful for Orange

Dino Babers
Dino Babers speaks to referees during Syracuse's game. Mandatory photo credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

Securing commitments for the Class of 2019 got off to a slow start for Head Coach Dino Babers and his staff. Courtney Jackson, a 3-star athlete from Monroeville, PA, was Syracuse’s lone commit. June has always been a productive month for pledges with Babers at the helm. And this June proved no different as the Orange received six verbals to bring its class to seven commitments.

Joe Rondi is a 3-star defensive tackle out of Wayne Hills High School in New Jersey. Shoring up the defensive line is an area of need for the Orange. And at 6-foot-4, 250-pounds, Rondi seems to have the frame to pack on the necessary size required in the ACC trenches. Rondi also had offers from Rutgers, Cincinnati, and Temple.

Syracuse reached into Connecticut to snag a pledge from offensive tackle Anthony Red. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Red is a product of the St. Thomas More (Oakdale, Conn.) School. Red also had offers from Temple, Massachusetts, and Buffalo.

The Orange went north of the border for its next commit in linebacker Geoff Cantin out of Quebec City. Cantin is listed at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds. He has yet to be assigned a star rating.

The jewel of Syracuse’s class to date is safety Cornelius Nunn out of Miami Palmetto High School in Florida. The 6-foot, 170-pounder committed while taking his official visit on June 23. Rated 3-stars, Nunn received offers from a host of well-known schools including Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Miami (FL), Nebraska, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Pittsburgh, and Boston College. Nunn had been scheduled to announce his college destination on July 2.

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Mere hours after Nunn announced his commitment, fellow Floridian Adrian Cole announced his. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound cornerback out of Plantation High School in Fort Lauderdale has yet to receive a star rating. Some of Cole’s other offers included Pittsburgh, Kansas, USF, and Western Michigan.

Syracuse added a tight end to the mix with a commitment from Luke Benson from Doylestown, PA. Benson is listed at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds. The 3-star product joins Courtney Jackson as the Orange’s second Pennsylvania commit.

One more recruit to keep an eye on is wide receiver/tight end Jeremiah Pruitte out of Georgia. Pruitte tweeted his top five schools with a possible commitment coming this Saturday. In addition to Syracuse, the 3-star Georgian will be choosing from Indiana, Louisville, Pittsburgh, and South Florida.

Class of 2018

Syracuse also added one more player to the Class of 2018 in JUCO defensive back DuWayne Johnson. Johnson, who is not related to The Rock as far as we know, was at one time committed to Virginia Tech. Listed at 6-foot-2, 172 pounds, Johnson adds some much-needed height to the Orange secondary. Johnson is rated 3-stars and ranked the No. 8 cornerback in the JUCO Class of 2018. Missouri, Iowa State, and Arkansas also pursued Johnson. He is expected to vie for immediate playing time this season.

Director of Player Personnel

Babers recently hired Landan Salem as the director of player personnel. Salem replaces Asil Mulbah, who recently left for a position in the Buffalo Bills’ scouting department. Dave Boller will assume Mulbah’s former role of director of recruiting operations.

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About Steve Auger 127 Articles
Steve Auger is a freelance writer whose work has covered a variety of topics including sports, pets, parenting, healthy living, local government and human interest stories. His work has been published on Care.com, Tom’s of Maine, Purina’s Petcentric.com and the Westford Patch. Steve’s been a diehard Syracuse sports fan for over 25 years. To this day, the words “Smart takes the shot” still make him cringe. Follow him on Twitter @Corner_Cube.