5 notable tidbits from Dino Babers’ National Signing Day press conference

first_imgSyracuse inked 17 players in its Class of 2016 on National Signing Day to round out Dino Babers’ first recruiting class as SU head coach. Babers addressed the media for just under 20 minutes Wednesday afternoon, discussing a wide variety of topics surrounding the 20-person group.Here are the five most notable things he talked about:Honesty with Scott Shafer’s recruitsOf the 15 commits former SU head coach Scott Shafer reeled in, only four remained as National Signing Day came to a close. Moe Neal, Rex Culpepper, Scoop Bradshaw and Sam Heckel stuck with Babers and a revamped staff while 11 players decommitted.When he took over, Babers was tasked with balancing his own views for a winning template with providing perspective to the players already verbally pledged to Syracuse.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We’re going to be completely honest,” Babers said of what he told players already committed when he got the job. “We’re going to be crystal clear. Those young men, they still could’ve attended school here if they wanted to. In the giant scheme of things, when you look at things, if someone’s being absolutely crystal clear with you and telling you the gospel truth then you have to decide whether you want to swim up that river or not.”In the trenchesThe bulk of Syracuse’s signees were at the big-body positions, with a combined total of 11 linemen and linebackers. Babers hauled in four defensive linemen, four offensive linemen and a trio of linebackers, honing in on the “big guys” in his first recruiting class.“The emphasis is those guys take the longest to develop,” Babers said, “so you want to get them into your program as fast as you can.”Some of the more notable names in the class fall in this group, with Florida defensive end Jaquwan Nelson and linebackers Tim Walton and Kenneth Ruff – who is already on campus – included in those position groups.Updates on suspended defensive ends and recruiting after NSDRising sophomore defensive ends Qaadir Sheppard and Amir Ealey are still indefinitely suspended, SU Athletics confirmed Wednesday evening. Babers declined comment on their statuses and said their situations are “tied in with our policies.”The Orange is thin at defensive end after Luke Arciniega stepped away with a year of eligibility left and Ron Thompson declared early for the NFL Draft. SU also lost Donnie Simmons Jr. to graduation. Babers didn’t specify if he’ll further seek Class of 2016 defensive ends in particular, but did say the recruiting efforts for this class aren’t done yet.“I can tell you this … that we need every able capable man that can play,” Babers said. “We’re even looking for more players. We may put an ad out in the school newspaper, see what we can get out of the fraternities.”Right in his backyardAt his introductory press conference, Babers harped on beginning his recruiting efforts in-state before spiraling out to the New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas. But in his first class, only two players hail from those three states combined.Offensive lineman Michael Clark and running back Jo-El Shaw come from Pennsylvania, representing a targeted area that simply didn’t produce enough standout evaluations in the period Babers had to assemble a class.“We want to get as many people in New York, New Jersey, (Pennsylvania),” Babers said. “I felt that with the short time that we had we just didn’t know enough about the young men who didn’t make that cutoff to go on them this year.”Reeling him inAs signed letters of intent trickled in on Wednesday morning, Nelson pushed back his college announcement to 10 a.m. The time came and he still hadn’t made public his final choice, with the Syracuse commit also in play with Georgia and Kentucky, among others.Nelson eventually signed with the Orange, capping off the courtship of one of the higher-rated players in the group. Babers ignores star rankings, but still raved about the scouting report around the Fort Lauderdale (Florida) High School defensive end.“We think he’s a really, really good player obviously based off of all the attention he had in the SEC,” Babers said. “He’s ranked a little bit higher than anyone else but stars can deceive you. I do really get into the evaluations and we think that’s a hell of an evaluation. We really think he can help us.” Comments Related Stories How Syracuse football picked up 8 signees from 1 weekendSyracuse football recruiting: Track the Class of 2016Syracuse football recruiting: What to know about Syracuse’s Class of 2016Syracuse football recruiting: Dino Babers will prioritize northeast talentStorify: Syracuse recruits react to National Signing Day Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on February 3, 2016 at 5:49 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidmanlast_img

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