Garcia: Enrique Cruz adds to ‘one of the best’ recruiting classes for Syracuse

Babers Tunnel
Syracuse coach Dino Babers waits in the tunnel of the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

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Syracuse football just finished off a great summer of recruiting. It started on July 3 when California quarterback Justin Lamson picked Syracuse over finalist Louisville. The momentum continued through September, with the Orange landing Virginia wide receiver Umari Hatcher and Illinois offensive lineman Enrique Cruz Jr.

Sports Illustrated’s director of football recruiting, John Garcia Jr., joined me on The Juice on the Cuse podcast to break down the commitment of all three prospects.

He said that he impressed by Cruz’s athleticism and explosiveness, while noting that Hatcher was a physical wide receiver that would work well with Dino Babers’ up-tempo offense. He added that while Lamson was a project, he had the potential to have a similar impact that Eric Dungey did.

» Related: Can Syracuse make a bowl game in 2020? We ask Syracuse.com’s Stephen Bailey

All together, the 20 prospects that Syracuse has committed so far in 2021 are “one of  the best” classes that the Orange have ever had since rankings first starting being compiled. Garcia also looks forward at what’s remaining for SU in the 2021 class, including American (Fla.) Heritage receiver Oronde Gadsden.

TJO associate editor Jim Stechschulte then calls in and we chat about some unusual additions in Syracuse’s latest depth chart, especially on SU’s offensive line and freshmen that dot the chart in the new 3-3-5 defense.

Jim’s closing thought centers on how Syracuse’s offense will look under Sterlin Gilbert, while I talk about former Syracuse linebacker Zaire Franklin being named a captain of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.

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Wes Cheng
About Wes Cheng 2580 Articles
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.