Syracuse football now has a new No. 1 wide receiver to build around for the present and the future. Here are all the details and what it means.
With early national signing day rapidly approaching, the Syracuse football team is putting the final touches on its 2020 recruiting class.
Over the weekend they found a piece to the puzzle that’s been missing for a while: a true No. 1 wide receiver.
3-star wide receiver prospect Damien Alford committed to the Orange during an official recruiting visit. The news was first announced on Sunday via Mike Tunsil.
Syracuse may have a No. 1 wide receiver in Trishton Jackson, but they now have another different kind of weapon they didn’t have previously.
Alford stands in at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds.
Per the Syracuse roster sheet, there isn’t a player that stands over 6-foot-3 and the only two that are even that tall (Ed Hendrix, Cameron Jordan) didn’t have a significant role on the team due to injury or playing time in 2019.
Damien became the 16th member of the 2020 class and the first wide receiver to join the squad.
Syracuse lacked that big body this season. It hurt them in the red zone, in the middle of the field as a mismatch nightmare, and at the very least as a decoy to open things up for the rest of the offense.
Tale of the tape.
On his highlight tape from last year, he’s listed as both a wide receiver and a slot guy. With his size that poses some unique challenges for defensive coordinators to try and figure out.
On the very first play at the :10 mark, Damien high points the ball in double coverage, makes the catch, breaks a tackle and takes it over 90 yards to the house.
He has great size vertically, but if he can add some more muscle to his frame he can be even more physical at the line of scrimmage. Several times during the highlight reel he gets a free release off the line of scrimmage and he blows past his defender.
His talent level is obvious: great hands and uses his frame well.
Part of being in the Syracuse offense is doing a little bit of everything. Sure he’s going to hit you deep on a few occasions, but the Orange likes to use quick bubble screens and that’s something Alford has shown he’s more than capable of executing.
At the end of his highlight reel he shows his abilities as a return man. You aren’t often going to witness a 6-foot-5 punt returner, but that is something he brings to the table.
If opponents thought it was hard guarding Trishton Jackson in 2019, imagine how hard it’ll be to contain Trishton and Alford in 2020? Good luck.
Syracuse has done a very nice job developing a pipeline to Canadian prospects over the last several years and it has produced some good one. The Orange were able to successfully fend off big-name schools like Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Miami, and even Florida State.
Early national signing day is on December 18, that’s when Alford can make his partnership with the Orange official in ink. Although with him making this declaration just a few days prior, this thing is as close to official as it can be.