What recruiting rankings tell us about the Clemson-Syracuse matchup

What recruiting rankings tell us about the Clemson-Syracuse matchup


What recruiting rankings tell us about the Clemson-Syracuse matchup


The Clemson Insider thought it would be interesting to analyze the matchups on Clemson’s 2020 schedule from a recruiting standpoint by going back and looking at where the Tigers’ projected starters were ranked as recruits versus where the projected starters for their opponents were ranked.

In this article, we break down Clemson’s game against Syracuse at Death Valley on Oct. 24. Below is a rundown of the projected starters for both teams, as it stands now, and their high school star ratings and prospect rankings according to the 247Sports Composite:

Clemson offense:

LT – Jackson Carman (5-star, No. 17 national, No. 2 OT)

LG – Matt Bockhorst (4-star, No. 240 national, No. 17 OG)

C – Cade Stewart (3-star, No. 2021 national, No. 163 OT)

RG – Will Putnam (4-star, No. 101 national, No. 5 OG)

RT – Jordan McFadden (3-star, No. 819 national, No. 66 OT)

TE – Braden Galloway (3-star, No. 858 national, No. 41 TE)

WR – Joseph Ngata (4-star, No. 52 national, No. 9 WR)

QB – Trevor Lawrence (5-star, No. 1 national, No. 1 QB)

RB – Travis Etienne (4-star, No. 213 national, No. 15 RB)

WR – Justyn Ross (4-star, No. 45 national, No. 7 WR)

WR – Amari Rodgers (4-star, No. 117 national, No. 16 WR)

Clemson defense:

DE – Justin Foster (4-star, No. 156 national, No. 11 WDE)

DT – Tyler Davis (4-star, No. 137 national, No. 12 DT)

DT – Nyles Pinckney (4-star, No. 327 national, No. 34 DT)

DE – Xavier Thomas (5-star, No. 3 national, No. 1 SDE)

SLB/NB – Mike Jones Jr. (4-star, No. 210 national, No. 15 OLB)

MLB – James Skalski (3-star, No. 680 national, No. 44 OLB)

WLB – Baylon Spector (3-star, No. 609 national, No. 45 S)

CB – Derion Kendrick (5-star, No. 26 national, No. 4 WR)

SS – Lannden Zanders (3-star, No. 781 national, No. 61 S)

FS – Nolan Turner (NR)

CB – Mario Goodrich (4-star, No. 114 national, No. 4 ATH)

Syracuse offense:

QB – Tommy DeVito (4-star, No. 327 national, No. 13 PRO)

RB – Abdul Adams (4-star, No. 336 national, No. 15 RB)

WR – Cameron Jordan (3-star, No. 1536 national, No. 219 WR)

WR – Taj Harris (3-star, No. 830 national, No. 124 WR)

WR – Nykeim Johnson (3-star, No. 972 national, No. 138 WR)

TE – Aaron Hackett (3-star, No. 1614 national, No. 78 TE) or Chris Elmore (3-star, No. 1390 national, No. 88 DT)

LT – Airon Servais (3-star, No. 1577 national, No. 132 OT)

LG – Darius Tisdale (3-star, No. 145 national, No. 25 OT – JUCO)

C – Carlos Vettorello (3-star, No. 915 national, No. 37 OG)

RG – Dakota Davis (3-star, No. 1162 national, No. 106 OT)

RT – Matthew Bergeron (3-star, No. 952 national, No. 80 OT)

Syracuse defense:

DE – Kingsley Jonathan (3-star, No. 593 national, No. 40 WDE)

DT – McKinley Williams (2-star, No. 2282 national, No. 107 SDE)

DT – Josh Black (3-star, No. 1493 national, No. 70 SDE)

DE – Tyrell Richards (3-star, No. 1798 national, No. 122 OLB)

LB – Mikel Jones (3-star, No. 437 national, No. 24 OLB)

LB – Juan Wallace (3-star, No. 1128 national, No. 42 ILB)

NB – Allen Stritzinger (3-star, No. 839 national, No. 62 S)

CB – Trill Williams (4-star, No. 356 national, No. 20 ATH)

S – Eric Coley (3-star, No. 940 national, No. 103 CB)

S – Andre Cisco (3-star, No. 929 national, No. 73 S)

CB – Ifeatu Melifonwu (3-star, No. 1591 national, No. 120 S)

Notes: Syracuse has a talented quarterback-running back tandem with former four-star recruits Tommy DeVito and Abdul Adams, respectively. But no other projected starter on Syracuse’s offense was ranked higher than the No. 830 prospect in the country coming out of high school. Left guard Darius Tisdale, who transferred to Syracuse from Lackawanna Community College before the 2019 season, was ranked as the No. 145 JUCO player in the country. Meanwhile, the lone former four-star prospect on Syracuse’s defense is cornerback Trill Williams. Clemson has eight more former four-star prospects in its projected starting lineups than Syracuse, not to mention the four former five-star prospects and six former top-100 national prospects that the Tigers have among their projected starters.

Syracuse played Clemson close in losses in 2014 (16-6 final), 2015 (37-27), 2018 (27-23) and even upset the Tigers at home in 2017 (27-24). However, Clemson is clearly the more talented team again heading into the 2020 season and if the recruiting rankings are any indication, this year’s matchup at Memorial Stadium could be more like the 2013, 2016 and 2019 Clemson-Syracuse matchups when the Tigers defeated the Orange by an average of 41 points.

**All ratings/rankings according to the 247Sports Composite

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