4 takeaways from Syracuse football’s 2020 National Signing Day

Syracuse football tunnel
The Syracuse football team, led by head coach Dino Babers, gets ready to enter the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

It was a relatively quiet February signing day for the Orange, with most of their incoming freshmen having inked their National Letters of Intent during the early signing period.

Still, there were a few headlines of note by the end of the morning:


SU won a recruiting battle during a live ceremony on Wednesday morning, getting a commitment from 2020 defensive back Jahad Carter. The three-star defensive back, ranked as the No. 2 prep school player by 247 Sports, selected Syracuse over finalists Texas Tech and Florida Atlantic.

Carter took an official visit to Syracuse over the weekend, and seems to fit the 3-3-5 scheme that will be implemented by new defensive coordinator Tony White.

Carter was originally a Virginia Tech commit, but wasn’t able to sign because of academic reasons. He spent a year at Jireh Preparatory Academy (N.C.) to become eligible.

Carter was a two-time Virginia all-state selection at Henrico High School and recorded 40 tackles and seven interceptions to go along with 63 receptions for 1,233 yards (19.6 avg.) and 11 touchdowns in 2017.


There were no other surprises for the Orange, with defensive back Chase Atkinson and quarterbacks Jacobian Morgan and Dillon Markiewicz.

Atkinson had committed back in July but chose not to sign during the early period. His other offer was from Coastal Carolina, and he is rated three-stars by all of the major recruiting services.

As for Morgan and Markiewicz, who both committed in January, Syracuse addressed an area of need. While Tommy DeVito is the unquestioned starter, the Orange lost depth behind him in the offseason with the graduation of Clayton Welch.

» Related: Syracuse picks up commitments from 2020 QBs Morgan and Markiewicz

That leaves senior Rex Culpepper as the likely backup, redshirt freshman David Summers, Morgan and Markiewicz.

Markiewicz was the fourth-leading passer in the state of Texas in 2019, throwing for 4,187 yards and school-record 45 TDs. Morgan passed for 2,487 yards and accounted for 30 touchdowns (27 passing 3 rushing) as a senior at Canton High School in Mississippi.

Quarterback had been a particularly frustrating position to fill for the Orange this cycle.

SU lost out on priority quarterback target Cade Fortin, a UNC transfer who ended up committing to USF. That came after the Orange also lost out on quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (Miami) and Christian Veilleux, who decided to delay his recruitment until 2021 to get more high-major offers.


Two-star quarterback Luke MacPhail from Dexter (Mass.) Southfield also committed to the Orange on signing day as a preferred walk-on.

MacPhail ran a similar offense at his high school, and certainly looks the part, with a 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame.

He had also had a preferred walk-on offer from UMass.


Charles Bell, a three-star defensive back who had previously pledged to the Orange, ended up with Marshall on signing day.

Bell had previously committed to the Orange in June, but then decommitted in December prior to the early signing period.

He is the 63rd ranked safety in the 2020 class according to 247 Sports.

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, 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 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]sujuiceonline.com.