Garcia: Syracuse in good position for Zyian Moultrie-Goddard, Jalil Smith

Dino Babers
Syracuse head coach Dino Babers speaks to media at 2021 ACC Kickoff.

Syracuse football is in the midst of a huge recruiting push having hosted several high-priority recruits over the weekend, and we caught up with John Garcia Jr., Director of SI All-American at Sports Illustrated, to see where SU stands on this week’s The Juice on the Cuse Podcast, presented by

In particular, two 2023 recruits took official visits this weekend: linebacker Zyian Moultrie-Goddard from Iona (NY) Prep in New Rochelle and defensive lineman Jalil Smith from Lincoln (NY) High in Brooklyn.

Moultrie-Goddard is a three-star prospect and the No. 9 recruit in New York, and will choose between West Virginia and Syracuse on Wednesday. Should he choose SU, Garcia likes the fit in defensive coordinator Tony White’s 3-3-5 system.

“He’s an old school linebacker,” Garcia said. “He’s going to play his best football coming downhill. We get lost in the desire for three-down linebackers. That’s still needed, but you still need that classic downhill tone-setting linebacker. He’s got a lot of that in his game, and that’s why he’s become a more coveted recruit over time.”

And SU appears to be in good position for Moultrie-Goddard.

“The Syracuse is not only the most recent (visit), it’s also the only official visit he took,” Garcia said. “He’s an in-state kid at Iona Prep. For Syracuse, they have to pluck the FBS talent that comes from the State of New York.”

As for Smith, Syracuse has been pursuing the edge rusher for quite some time.

SU was his first offer, though he’s received offers since from schools like Bowling Green and Temple. A decision from Smith should be coming in the near future.

» Related: Former Syracuse offensive lineman predicts a bowl game for SU in 2022

“Syracuse has really been the go-to school for a long period of time,” Garcia said. “He took the visit and was pretty impressed. There should be some confidence there, too.”

I also chatted with Garcia about a variety of other topics, including Syracuse bolstering its quarterback room with the addition of Florida transfer Carlos Del-Rio Wilson and the commitment of 2023 quarterback LaNorris Sellers, a previous Virginia commit.

Afterward, editor in chief Brad Bierman calls in to chat about the return of The Basketball Tournament and defending champions Boeheim’s Army. They announced their roster this week, which includes newcomers Marek Dolezaj, Tyler Ennis and Rakeem Christmas.

Catch up on all episodes of “The Juice on the Cuse Podcast,” a Syracuse Orange podcast, by subscribing to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for 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]