SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SYRACUSE ATHLETICS) – A total of 18 high school and junior-college players signed National Letters of Intent with Syracuse University on Wednesday, Dec. 18, the first day of college football’s early signing period.
The group makes up the majority of the Orange’s 2020 incoming class, which will also include players who announce their college decisions during the regular signing period beginning on Feb. 5, 2020.
Head coach Dino Babers said the Orange were trying to add as much size as possible to the program in this class. He and his staff accomplished that by inking eight players who stand 6-foot-4 or taller and 10 who are at least 6-3.
“We really feel like this is one of our better classes,” Babers said. “It has a lot of length. What we were trying to do was get a lot taller and a lot bigger. I think it’s really imperative in this conference, especially on the ACC Atlantic side, that you have the type of size that you need to withstand the pounding that’s going on in college football today.”
Syracuse’s crop of signees includes three wide receivers, three defensive linemen, three offensive linemen, two defensive backs, two running backs, two tight ends, one linebacker, one specialist and one athlete. Nine states are represented, with four players coming from Florida, two from Maryland, two from New Jersey, two from North Carolina and one each from Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.
The class also includes four foreign-born players, two of whom are originally from Canada and two from Germany. The addition of wide receiver Damien Alford (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) and defensive back Ben Labrosse (Greenfield Park, Quebec, Canada) raises the number of Canadians in the Syracuse program to seven – the most in the FBS. Offensive lineman Mark Petry (Hochheim am Main, Germany) and tight end Maximilian Mang (Nuthetal, Germany) are believed to be the first German natives to ever play for the Orange (records date back to 1946).
Five signees – offensive lineman Garth Barclay (York, Pa.), wide receiver Justin Barron (Tolland, Conn.), defensive lineman Kevin Lemieux (Ashburnham, Mass.) and tight end Steven Mahar Jr. (Rochester, N.Y.) and Labrosse – are considered Top-10 players in their respective states or provinces by at least one of the three major recruiting services (247Sports, Rivals, ESPN).
Babers said now that the foundation of the 2020 class is in place, the coaching staff will reconvene to assess the team’s existing roster needs. Those conversations will determine Syracuse’s priorities leading up to February’s traditional signing day.
“Now you can let the holidays happen and let it settle a little bit,” Babers said. “Now we can take the entire staff and redirect our energy into certain areas – whether that’s high school recruits, junior-college recruits or transfers.”
In 2020, Syracuse is expected to return 14 starters (8 offense, 4 defense, 2 specialists) from a squad that finished the 2019 season strong, winning two of its last three games.
New season ticket orders and renewals for next season are being accepted now. Tickets start at $100 for Syracuse University Young Alumni (Class of 2016 to Class of 2020 graduates) and $125 for the general public. They can be purchased online (Cuse.com/tickets), by phone (888-DOME-TIX) and at the Carrier Dome Box Office located in the Ensley Athletic Center.
The deadline to renew current season tickets is March 6, 2020.