Syracuse football snags 1st 5-star recruit in over 18 years

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Dino Babers
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Dino Babers /

Syracuse football has snagged their 1st 5-star recruit in over 18 years. Here are all the details and why when it rains it pours in college football.

Syracuse football head coach Dino Babers has officially arrived in year No. 3. No, it’s not the 10-3 record or the bowl win that did it, it’s the recruiting.

SU has *unofficially* locked in their first five-star recruit since 2001 (more on that later). This man picked the Orange over four other offers and interest from the Alabama Crimson Tide, per 247 Sports.

We dug through the record books on a year-by-year basis and the first five-star recruit that popped up was five-star quarterback Cecil Howard out of Mckeesport, Pennsylvania.

He was supposed to change the program and maintain the excellence that had preceded him throughout the 1980s and 90s. Sadly he never delivered on the hype as “one of the nation’s most physically-gifted prep quarterbacks” and transferred several times before disappearing off the face of the Earth, Chico Harlan of the Daily Orange has the full report from 17 years ago.

The only other five-star player that we know of via 247 Sports:

  • Johnnie Morant, WR (2000)
    • 6-foot-5, 225 pounds
    • Played at Syracuse from 2000 through 2003.
    • Finished 10th on the all-time receiving yardage when he left the Orange.

In other words, it hasn’t happened in a very long time.

On Wednesday Syracuse secured a verbal commit from five-star 2020 punter James Williams he announced the decision on Twitter.

The pairing can’t become official until he signs his National Letter of Intent. Two opportunities exist in which he can: the early signing period (December 18 through 20) or after National Signing Day which is February 5.

James is rated five-stars by “Kohl’s Kicking”. What’s that?

"“Kohl’s rankings and ratings use charting numbers, camp drill work performances, and camp competitions to judge an athlete. This system was developed to help college coaches find prospects. Our reputation for honest and accurate evaluations has earned us the respect of the college coaching community. ESPN uses Kohl’s rankings exclusively to rank athletes for them.  Our respect among college and pro coaches is at an all-time high because of our previous campers’ success.  Kohl’s rankings include ONLY athletes that we have personally seen at a Kohl’s event. These rankings are considered the Gold Standard in college football recruiting.” — via their official site."

Syracuse already enters 2019 with the best kicker in the country (Andre Szmyt) who won the Lou Groza Award in 2018 which is given annually to the nation’s best kicker.

Next. Syracuse Football: Ranking every SU first round pick in NFL Draft history. dark

If James lives up to the hype, the Syracuse special teams unit could have the best kicker and punter combination for the foreseeable future.