Syracuse Football: New commits from New York pumped about program’s energy, direction

Syracuse football, over the weekend, landed commitments from two talented New York prospects who rave about 'Cuse coaches.
Syracuse football, over the weekend, landed commitments from two talented New York prospects who rave about 'Cuse coaches. / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Over the weekend, the Syracuse football 2025 class expanded from one verbal pledge to three, and those two new commitments are from talented prospects who hail from New York state.

Orange head coach and ace recruiter Fran Brown, along with his top-notch staff, did a wonderful job with their 2024 class and now they’ve gotten off to a strong start in the 2025 cycle.

What’s even more encouraging (and exciting) to me is that Brown and his assistants have hit the Empire State hard with their recruiting efforts to date in the junior class.

Brown and several assistants hail from New Jersey, and their recruiting has focused on the Garden State, the Philadelphia area, the Washington, D.C., region and the rest of the Northeast corridor.

Yet Brown & Co. are also faring well in the ‘Cuse home state of New York, while also branching out to other geographic areas like Ohio and the Mid-west region, along with Florida.

New Syracuse football recruits rave about the Orange coaching staff.

In recent days, the ‘Cuse received 2025 verbal pledges from three-star wide receiver Darien Williams and speedy defensive back Javon Lawrence.

The 6-foot, 165-pound Williams is a standout at the Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, while Lawrence attends North Rockland High School in Thiells, N.Y.

Both Williams and Lawrence picked up scholarship offers from the new Orange coaching staff in early March and verbally pledged to Syracuse football roughly two weeks later. That, to me, says something about how highly Williams and Lawrence think of Brown and his assistants.

In an interview with SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister, Williams cited in part that the Orange “had everything I really wanted. The high energy they had when I went to the workouts. They really have the true love and passion for the sport. I feel like the coaching staff have a true bond already with them just coming in a few months ago. They’re building a strong brotherhood and love for each other already. Also, Fran Brown played a big part as to why. He’s a really honest guy. I liked his personality and vibe. He’s a great coach and it will be great to be coached by him.”

Williams, by the way, is rated the No. 1 prospect in the 2025 class coming out of New York state, according to several recruiting services. As a junior, he helped lead the Christian Brothers Academy to a 14-0 record and the New York Class AA championship.

Lawrence, in an interview with 247Sports director of recruiting Steve Wiltfong, said he was jazzed to be coached by Brown, who before taking over the ‘Cuse served as the defensive backs coach at Southeastern Conference powerhouse Georgia.

Lawrence called it “the opportunity of a lifetime” to play for the Orange. Regarding Brown’s prior role at Georgia, Lawrence said to Wiltfong, “That he’s one of us, he’s a DB coach and that’s my position so I am going to learn from one of the greats. What excites me about the program is the new energy coach is bringing to Syracuse the whole state is excited and can’t wait for Syracuse to get back on the map.”

We’re right there with you, Javon. The buzz surrounding the ‘Cuse program, these days, is undeniable, but of course, we’ll have to watch how Syracuse football performs in actual games in the upcoming 2024 season and beyond.

The Orange’s other commit so far in the 2025 cycle is from four-star edge Sharlandiin Strange of Cheltenham High School in Wyncote, Pa., who verbally pledged to the ‘Cuse in late January over Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Southern California.

On Sunday night, this three-member 2025 class for Syracuse football ranked just inside the top 50 across the country, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.

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