Syracuse Football: ‘Cuse misses on top-flight defensive back in 2023 class

Syracuse football (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /

Three-star prospect Saboor Karriem from New Jersey, who is a top-100 defensive back in the 2023 cycle, has committed to an Orange-colored school, but it’s not Syracuse football.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Karriem, a senior at West Orange High School in West Orange, N.J., said on Twitter that he has verbally committed to Big Ten Conference member Illinois.

Karriem received a scholarship offer from the ‘Cuse coaching staff in December of 2021. The Orange was the second college team to offer him.

In total, Karriem has landed more than 20 offers throughout his recruiting process from a wide range of high-major programs. Per a media report, he had taken two unofficial visits to the Hill earlier this year.

Syracuse football recruit Saboor Karriem, a talented DB, has picked Illinois.

First and foremost, while I’m bummed he didn’t choose the ‘Cuse, I’m wishing Karriem all the best. The Fighting Illini is a strong Big Ten squad, and Illinois is having a terrific 2022 season, compiling a 6-1 overall record to date and sporting a top-20 national ranking.

An August article from SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister noted that Karriem made unofficial visits to the Orange campus this past January and in March.

In that piece, Karriem spoke highly of his relationship with the Syracuse football coaching staff, and there was talk of him potentially taking an official visit to Central New York. But that didn’t materialize.

Besides Illinois and the ‘Cuse, Karriem’s offer sheet included Pittsburgh, Louisville, Duke, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Maryland, Indiana, West Virginia, Vanderbilt and UConn.

Recruiting services describe him as either a cornerback or a safety. He is a top-1000 national player in the 2023 class, per both the industry-generated 247Sports Composite and the industry-generated On3 Consensus.

The 247Sports Composite, the On3 Consensus, 247Sports, On3 and all rate Karriem as either a top-100 cornerback or a top-100 safety in his cycle.

Most recruiting Web sites list him as a top-20 prospect in New Jersey. On3 is the most bullish on Karriem, placing him as the No. 71 cornerback and the No. 10 player in New Jersey.

Leading up to a commitment announcement, multiple predictions went in the direction of Illinois for Karriem on the 247Sports Web site and

To date, Syracuse football has nine verbal commitments in its 2023 class, but I’m not aware of any commitments from defensive backs.

Per 247Sports, the Orange has offered more than 30 high-school prospects in the senior cycle who play one position or another in the secondary.

Last month, 2023 three-star cornerback Zion Tracy committed to fellow Big Ten group Penn State over other finalists Syracuse football, Rutgers and Buffalo.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Tracy is a senior at the St. Thomas More School in Oakdale, Conn. He had planned to officially visit the ‘Cuse in late October prior to committing to the Nittany Lions.

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