David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Recruiting in the Northeast has always been a bit tricky, but when you're the biggest university in the biggest state in the region, you have some pull. That was always Syracuse's advantage; however, times have changed for the Orange and so has their recruiting philosophy.
With the move from the Big East to the ACC for the 2013 season, Syracuse football upgraded its profile and needed to get into more talent-rich areas, as well. For new head coach Scott Schafer and his staff, it meant turning attention away from the home state and going after more talent in neighboring New Jersey, and heading to fertile ACC recruiting grounds in Florida and Georgia, as well.
From 2010 to 2012, the Orange put out 46 offers in their home state of New York, but since the switch to the ACC with the 2013 recruiting cycle, only 24 offers have gone out to players from the state. On the flip side, Syracuse has put out 43 offers in the more talent-rich state of New Jersey.
Just 19 offers went to players in Georgia over the three-year period from 2010 to 2012, but in the last three cycles, the Orange have put out 67 offers in the Peach state. Florida has seen over a 100 percent increase in offers as well, going from a high of 19 in 2012 to currently having 46 offers in the current recruiting cycle.
The staff's efforts have paid off, too, with six players from Florida and two from Georgia signing in the 2014 class. Most importantly, the Orange have focused on upgrading the skill positions, with all six of the players from Florida being of that variety—signing two wide receivers, two cornerbacks, a dual-threat quarterback and an athlete.
While the staff may not have initiated the change to the ACC, it has been smart by diving into the talent-rich areas that will allow players to see their home states during their four-year careers. Now it's about making those inroads with higher-level talents, as well.
*Andy Coppens is a national college football featured columnist. You can follow him on Twitter: @AndyOnCFB.