Elite 2026 DL Preston Carey, offered by Syracuse, calls visit ‘electric’

PJ Carey
Courtesy: PJ Carey

One of the top recruits in the 2026 class is Saint Anthony’s (NY) High defensive lineman Preston “PJ” Carey.

Only a freshman, he already holds offers from blue bloods Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Penn State and Texas A&M, among others. He was on the Syracuse campus to take in the Orange’s 24-9 win over NC State this past weekend, and was also extended an offer on the trip that Carey described as ‘electric’ on the latest episode of The Juice on the Cuse Podcast, presented by SNY.tv.

“It was upbeat the whole time from the time I stepped in the door to the time we rushed the field when they sealed the win against NC State,” Carey said. “It was just great vibes all around. It was great to see New York football in its truest form.”

Carey is a Long Island, NY native, and that geography is one big advantage that Syracuse has right now.

“Syracuse growing up is the top football program in New York, so to be able to be recruited by them, and offered by them, and just to be in that environment is amazing,” Carey said. “You can’t deny after that great of a visit that Syracuse is definitely up there for me.”

The Orange put on a show for Carey and approximately two dozen other recruits. SU led from its opening drive until the game was over, as it defeated its first ranked opponent this season.

The football team also had the entire Syracuse fanbase behind them, as the JMA Wireless Dome was sold out.

“The crowd was amazing. I saw a tweet the other day that said we reached 120 decibels in there,” Carey said. “It’s just crazy to think about, and that was my first recruiting visit game. It was an awesome experience.”

The win improved the Orange to 6-0, and has vaulted them to No. 14 in the AP and Coaches Polls ahead of its matchup with No. 4 Clemson at Death Valley on Saturday.

That has all combined to put the Orange in the mix in Carey’s recruitment.

“I’m not going to lie to you, ever since I was little, I was always a big fan of the SEC. I love southern football,” Carey said. “But I’m from New York, and I gotta stay true to where I’m from. So when it comes to New York, Syracuse is definitely the top school in the northeast for me right now.”

» Related: 8 recruits react to Syracuse football’s 24-9 win over NC State

There are several things Carey is looking for in a college, and Syracuse seems to check those boxes.

“I’m looking for a college that first of all has a great education,” Carey said. “I want to major in what I want to major in and learn at the highest level. But at the same time, play at the highest level. Football is life for me, and I want to go as far as I can with it. The goal is the NFL.”

As for his current season, Saint Anthony’s is 5-1, and 3-0 in league play.

“You see the 5-1 record, you think we had it easy,” Carey said. “We’ve played a lot of good teams. We played Iona, the No. 1 team in the state. We’ve played a lot of smash mouth football. Whatever you see we’ve done, we’ve earned.”

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About Wes Cheng 2831 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com 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]sujuiceonline.com.