Syracuse Recruiting Roundup: Isaiah Johnson, JD DiRenzo, Tapuvae Amaama

Sep 18, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange defensive lineman Cody Roscoe (18) sacks Albany Great Danes quarterback Jeff Undercuffler (13) during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse football program has made plenty of news off the field recently. And much of it has the potential to positively impact recruiting.

Offensive Injections

Dino Babers hired a pair of former Virginia coaches to revamp the offense, specifically get the passing game going. Robert Anae and Jason Beck were hired as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, respectively.

Both coaches were at the helm of Virginia’s lethal aerial attack this past season. As much as the Orange’s ground game dominated opponents, the passing game struggled mightily.

Optimism exists around the program and the fanbase that Anae, and especially Beck, can morph Garrett Shrader into a dual-threat quarterback. Syracuse needs to be able to strike through the air as quickly as they can on the ground to compete in a loaded ACC Atlantic next season.

Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

For a team that has seen its share of players enter the transfer portal, Syracuse has received plenty of positive news regarding who’s coming back.

Garrett Williams recently announced that he will be returning next season. Williams burst onto the scene two seasons ago with a sensational year at cornerback as a redshirt freshman. He was solid once again this year as the leader of the secondary.

With his return, Syracuse will have two of the most talented starting corners in the entire ACC next year in Williams and Duce Chestnut. Williams’ joins linebacker Mikel Jones in opting to return to lead what should be a very good Orange defense.

More Transfer Portal Help?

Jared Verse is one name Orange fans have been keeping an eye on in this brave new world of the Transfer Portal Giveth and the Transfer Portal Takeeth.

Verse is the defensive end standout from Albany who got an up close and personal look at the Orange this season on the field and when he visited them after the season. The No. 6-ranked player in the 247Sports portal rankings would be a major score for Syracuse.

The Orange loses all three starters along the defensive line in addition to Curtis Harper who announced his transfer to Akron. Verse has received plenty of high-end interest. Tennessee, Miami, and Florida State seem to have the inside track though. Chris Hummer of 247Sports reports that Verse could announce his destination in the next few days.

Isaiah Johnson is a cornerback from Dartmouth worth keeping an eye on as well. Johnson, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 205 pounds, was recently offered by Syracuse.

JD DiRenzo is a massive offensive lineman who recently announced his decision to transfer from Sacred Heart. A grad transfer, DiRenzo is listed at 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds. He was recently offered by Syracuse.

» Related: The latest with Syracuse prospects Steven Stilianos, Juwaun Price, Ethan Stangle

Another SU-UVA tussle?

Tapuvae Amaama out of Lehi, UT is a 3-star offensive lineman that Syracuse has been after for some time. Both SU and UVA are listed as “warm” on his 247Sports profile.

New Virginia coach Tony Elliott recently reoffered Amaama. This will be one recruiting battle to watch with the February signing period not far off.

Kamari Lands

Moving to the hardwood, former Syracuse verbal Kamari Lands recently committed to Louisville. Lands said at the time that he decommitted from the Orange because he wanted to be recruited with NIL in mind. The 6-foot-8, 4-star small forward out of Indianapolis (Ind.) Hillcrest Prep chose the Cardinals over offers from Kansas, Memphis, Arizona State, Maryland, Auburn, and Georgia.

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About Steve Auger 165 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. 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. And according to Rutgers' fans, he's "not a take."