ACC Recruiting Breakdowns: Syracuse Orange(men)

Note: This is not COVID-19 related. You're welcome.

It's the barren offseason for college football, which is the perfect time to start back up with looking at some recruiting classes!

I tried going through every ACC team last year, but my tendency to dive way too deep into these things made it so I couldn't get all the teams done before the season started.

So, instead of bringing you anything but my best I'll just start as early as I can this year!
Last year I went alphabetically, so I'll switch it up and go North to South. So, Syracuse, you are on the clock...!

2020 Class:
ACC Rank: 10
National Rank: 59
# of Signees: 22
Average Recruit Rating: 0.8404
Top Recruit: Latarie Kinsler (0.8675, Edge, Pahokee FL)

Biggest Need: Eric Dungey 2.0
I don't think there's a program in the ACC that has a stronger direct relationship between QB play and winning than Syracuse. What Dino Baber's system is able to do to even the stoutest of defenses when it's working is nothing short of magical, just ask Bud Foster and Brent Venables. Last year, we saw what it looks like when this team fails to have the quick-thinking relationship between QB and WR that made 'Cuse so good when Dungey was at the helm of that offense. Tommy DeVito was only as good as the team around him, and just didn't seem to run that offense as vibrantly as Dungey could.

Syracuse has little depth at the QB position, so DeVito is what they got. Although DeVito's numbers were middle-of-the-pack in the ACC last season, that's not good enough for Syracuse to win at any sort of level.

The Orange(men) signed Dillon Markiewicz (0.8255) out of Texas as well as Jacobian Morgan (0.8152) out of Mississippi. Both fit the taller, pocket passer build that Babers has had success within the past, but neither look to really compete for the starting job while DeVito is there. Syracuse also has a walk-on QB commit in Luke MacPhail (79, 247Sports) out of Massachusetts.

Most Exciting Recruit: Damien Alford (0.8633), WR, Hollywood FL
Alford is a 6'5", 210lbs. WR that was targeted by Florida, Florida State, Miami, Georgia, Oklahoma, and others. He's one of the more high profile recruits that Syracuse has gotten in a while. Truthfully, I'm shocked his grade on the 247Composite isn't above 0.88.

Dino Babers has done wonders with bigger receivers in his time at Syracuse. Having a downfield threat opens up the short and intermediate routes that are the bread and butter of Babers's offense.
He can come in and instantly impact the offense. I don't see a reason why you wouldn't throw him out there to run fade routes in the end-zone. Having a guy like that can be the difference between 7 and 3 points for an offense that struggles in the close quarters of the redzone. Alford can be the matchup nightmare and gamechanger that gives the Orange a couple wins here and there.

Early Contributor: Latarie Kinsler (0.8675), Edge, Pahokee FL
The highest rated player in the 2020 class for the Orange, Kinsler gives you a dynamic pass rusher with plenty of speed. He lacks size at 6'3" and only 205lbs., but he's on campus now which should bode well for his physical development. Still, he projects more to an OLB/"Whip linebacker". Syracuse runs a similar defense to Tech's 4-2-5 with a physical nickel back/whip linebacker, he could fit in really nicely in that sort of scheme.

But truth be told, I'm not sure any of the guys in this class will really make an impact on an All-ACC Freshman Team level. The previously mentioned Damien Alford has the chance to put up some nice numbers if they decide to put him on the field, but other than that this young class may take some time to reach their full potential.

Sam's Grade: C
Syracuse is never going to make a living on the recruiting trail. But even for Syracuse's standards, this class was two or three good signings away from being what this program would internally label as a "good" recruiting haul. It looks like that surprise 10-win season didn't do too much on the recruiting trail.

There's some potential with this class. Kinsler is a dynamic athlete, and Alford can be a matchup nightmare for any defense. But, underperforming in QB recruiting is a death sentence for any ACC program. Especially Syracuse. If you want to know why Dino Babers is still at Syracuse and not being courted by a bigger program, this may be the reason why.

ACC Grades:
Syracuse – C

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


I think Babers is a solid coach, but I don't see that being a place where you can sustain much success. I think we have already seen the best of Babers' Syracuse.

Nice write up Sam. I'm looking forward to the rest of these.

Thank you! I promise the rest are more interesting than Syracuse lol.

I think he's a GREAT football coach. I mean look at what he did at Bowling Green. And I do think Syracuse is a sleeper for hardest P5 team to win with in college football. But his recruiting classes have been mid to upper 50's in the nation. When you think of 64 P5 teams + Notre Dame, you're not gonna win too much getting talent in the upper 50's.

It will be interesting to see if he can do anything this year with Syracuse. Another bowl appearance would be a really good success.

Agreed, People love to bang on ACC football, but Babers will always be a 45ppg 6-6 team in this league. He can't get enough good defensive players to Syracuse to compliment that finese offense-first mentality to compete in the ACC.

They've had decent defenses in the past, but consistency on a year to year basis is just so tough there. They'll need to find a way to continue to recruit New Jersey, because going down to Florida all the time is just so tough on an already smaller recruiting staff. It'll be interesting to see if Syracuse can go bowling this season with Louisville, Florida State, and NC State all going to be improved teams.

Isn't there a CG about not flaming the boards? I can already feel the fire emanating from the future UNC recruiting post.

Oh I'm pumped to look at UNC. That program can be a case study in group think mentality.

Who knew Syracuse was north of Boston?

Great write up!

Syracuse, NY - 43.0481 N
Chestnut Hill, MA - 42.3329 N

I honestly had to check it.

I did, But I grew up in the Adirondacks. Heck, it's even north of all of Massachusetts

Run to Win. Pass To Score
Josh Jackson on Ricky Walker - β€œβ€œHe is the captain of this team, He’s the leader. He’s the bell cow, the Pail Holder.β€œ