Syracuse’s football recruiting strategy seems to have undergone as much of a change as the coaching staff has this offseason.
Hiring Khalil Ahmad away from Rutgers as the Director of High School Relations resulted in a reinvigorated focus on recruiting New Jersey. Syracuse also seems more focused on recruiting its home state of New York too.
New York will never be mistaken for a high school football hotbed like Florida, Texas, and the aforementioned New Jersey are. But Dino Babers has always been open to recruiting New York kids if they could legitimately play at this level. There is no sense in taking New York kids if they aren’t ACC-caliber simply to say they recruit their home state.
Two of the three players committed to Syracuse’s 2023 recruiting class are from New York.
Rashard Perry and David Clement are each rated as 3-star recruits by Rivals while both are unrated yet by 247Sports.
Perry, from Buffalo, is potentially a significant recruit given his dominant pass rushing skills. He had 24 sacks last season. And Syracuse struggles to land kids from Western New York – an area rival Pittsburgh tends to do well drawing talent.
Clement, a 6-foot-7 tight end, could pose problems in the passing game given his height. He is out of Albany.
To date, 247Sports has only ranked the top four players in the New York Class of 2023. Syracuse has offered three of them. The fourth – quarterback Ryan Browne – probably won’t be offered given that LaNorris Sellers is already in the fold.
The top three New York players are as follows:
Blanding, a 3-star recruit who attends Christ the King in Middle Village, recently visited campus. He stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 275 pounds. The defensive lineman is the top-ranked player in New York by 247Sports. His offer list includes Arizona State, Boston College, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, and West Virginia.
Fontus attends Canarsie in Brooklyn. Like Blanding, he’s a 3-star defensive lineman. He’s 6-foot-5 and weighs 245 pounds. His offer list includes Arizona, Boston College, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Wake Forest, and West Virginia.
Moultrie-Goddard, a linebacker who attends Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, has recently visited Syracuse twice. The 3-star recruit is listed at 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds. He also has offers from Arizona State, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
The Orange has also offered additional New York Class of 2023 recruits.
McGoy is a 6-foot-2, 160-pound cornerback from Staten Island. Syracuse is his only D1 offer.
Nelson is a teammate of Fontus at Canarsie. The 6-foot-1, 175 pound cornerback’s offer list includes Arizona, Arizona State, Kansas, Miami (FL), Ole Miss, Penn State, Purdue, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.
Smith plays for Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn. He stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 230 pounds. Like McGoy, Syracuse is his only D1 offer.
Herring is a JUCO offensive lineman out of Monroe College in New Rochelle. Herring is massive in size, standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 315 pounds. He recently tweeted his offer. Herring is scheduled to graduate this May according to his Twitter profile.
Class of 2024 NY Recruits
Syracuse coaches have also been establishing relationships with some of the New York Class of 2024 recruits as three of the top four in the 247Sports rankings already have offers.
Brown is a 4-star speedster at Holy Trinity Diocesan in Hicksville. He has offers from Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and West Virginia.
Brown is a 3-star defensive lineman who plays at Erasmus Hall in Brooklyn. His offer list includes Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, and West Virginia.
Bethea is a teammate of Brown at Erasmus. Like Brown, he is a 3-star defensive lineman. Bethea has offers from Maryland, Nebraska, Rutgers, and West Virginia.
Recruits with New York Connections
Syracuse is also pursing two other recruits with New York connections.
Shaffer is a quarterback in the Class of 2024. The former Rochester native now attends Palm Harbor University High School in Florida and just visited Syracuse according to Mike McAllister of Sports Illustrated.
The last name McClain should be familiar to Orange fans. His father, Maurice, played at Syracuse and his mother is an alum too. Like Shaffer, McClain recently the campus according to Mike McAllister.
McClain is a 4-star cornerback from West Orange, NJ. Besides, Syracuse, he has offers from Boston College, Duke, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina, and Texas A&M.
If Dino Babers and his staff can convince a handful of New York’s best players in the Classes of 2023 and 2024 to stay home, that will benefit the Orange in two ways. Obviously, it will improve their team, but it will also take talent away from league and regional recruiting rivals like Boston College, Pittsburgh, and Rutgers. All three schools historically recruit New York well.