Syracuse football has prioritized its lines in the 2021 class

Carrier Dome
Sep 26, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; General view of the Carrier Dome prior to the game between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Syracuse Orange. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off an exciting first win of the season against Georgia Tech, the bye week comes at just the right time for Syracuse. Their next two opponents, Duke and Liberty, both appear to be winnable games.

That allows us to look at the recruiting class Syracuse has assembled to this point. And there seems to be a lot to like, especially down in the trenches.

Where’s the Beef?!

The offensive line appears to be an issue three games into the season despite the win against the Yellow Jackets.

But help appears to be on the way.

Syracuse has recruited an entire offensive line with five commits in all.

Enrique Cruz, the highlight of the OL group, is a 4-star recruit from Illinois. Cruz seems primed to be a multi-year starter at left tackle given his 6-foot-5 height and that he currently weighs 252. His frame seems prime to add size and strength without losing his athleticism.

Dino Babers and his staff ventured all the way to Hawaii for Kalan Ellis and Austyn Kauhi.

Ellis is already a mountain of a man. At 6-foot-5 and 350 pounds, the Honolulu native seems ideal to run behind from the guard position. Kauhi, also from Honolulu, is built like Cruz; 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds.

The other two commits are guard Wes Hoeh from Illinois and tackle Tyler Magnuson out of Minneapolis.

All five players are long, standing either 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5, and lean, except for Ellis. The other four commits all weigh between 250 to 260 pounds. A year or two in the strength and conditioning program will have them all physical ready to handle the rigors of the ACC.

More importantly, they will be able to open holes in the run game while spending more time pass blocking as opposed to picking up their QB off the ground. That type of offensive line will, finally, allow Babers to run the type of offense he has desired since arriving in New York.

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Hold the Line

On the other side of the ball, Syracuse’s collection of defensive linemen appears to be a mix of depth and difference makers.

Jaelin Moss of Fairport, NY leads the way. Moss has great bloodlines as Syracuse fans will surely recognize two of his cousins, Arthur and Chandler Jones. Moss, a defensive tackle, is only a 3-star recruit. But playing in lightly recruited western New York certainly plays a role in Moss flying under the radar.

Terry Lockett and Elijah Fuentes will both join Moss at tackle. Lockett is a 3-star recruit out of Springfield, MA while Fuentes plays at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx.

Rounding out an underrated class are two defensive ends in Jatius Geer of South Carolina and Wisconsin native Hayden Nelson. Both will be counted on to make life difficult for opposing quarterbacks.

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About Steve Auger 106 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.