Syracuse will use its freshman to rebuild the defense and boost its offense.
Nick Robinson: OL - Baker H.S. (NY)
At 6’6” and well over 250 lbs, Nick Robinson is big. Okay, he’s a mountain. Although ESPN lists Robinson at 280 lbs, SU Athletics lists him at 265 and if that is true Robinson needs to spend some time in the weight room putting on some muscle. If he does bulk up, he has incredible size and as long as he has some semblance of proper technique and footwork, he could be a solid starter in a few years. Those are all ifs, though.
Sam Rodgers: LS - Mercersburg Academy (PA)
Sam Rodgers is a long snapper. Quite frankly there’s not much else to say. He worked out at the Ray Guy/Prokicker camp and has also worked out with prolific long snapping teacher Chris Rubio. Rubio could bulk up a little but snapping at the college level simply about getting the ball to the kicking and punter in a timely, and accurate manner. Rodgers has put in all the work a high school recruit can at the position.
Donnie Simmons: DE - Archbishop Stepinac H.S. (NY)
At the high school level Simmons was fast enough to chase down running backs from behind and strong enough to make offensive tackles look silly. Unfortunately, he isn’t strong enough or fast enough to do the same against college players. What will make him stand out at the next level is his quickness off the line and he will still be fast enough to torment offense tackles off the edge. These skills will make up for his slight lack in size.
Ryan Sloan: DL - Bellport H.S. (NY)
With a player of Sloan’s size, 6’4” 294 lbs, the scouting report would usually talk about strength, but from watching the film it is Sloan’s speed for a man of his size that impresses. Not only can Sloan penetrate into the backfield, he can also get down the line to stop screens and contain a scrambling quarterback. He also shows some decent technique on a few pass rushing moves and could contribute right away at a position of need.
Tyree Smallwood: RB - Cornwall Central H.S. (NY)
Practically a clone of Prince-Tyson Gulley only with a slightly bigger frame and he might be a tad bit faster. Smallwood certainly has breakaway speed and some good moves in the open field but what is really nice to see is that he doesn’t shy away from contact either. Right now Syracuse already has two small, fast, home run-hitting backs and they might not need another in 2011, but Smallwood should be an impact player eventually.
Rob Trudo: OL - Farrell H.S. (PA)
Syracuse stole Trudo from some bigger name programs including Michigan, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia. His size is probably what intrigued the coaches at these schools and for good reason. Trudo has the athleticism to pull, and always finishes his blocks. His feet are a little slow and got away with some questionable techniques at times in high school. Might translate better to guard at the college level but he has great potential.
Oliver Vigille: OLB - Miami Central H.S. (FL)
Vigille has the best frame of any linebackers in Doug Marrone’s class of 2011. He needs to fill out that frame to play at the next level, however. Vigille is much more of a pass coverage linebacker than a blitzing one but if he gets stronger his speed could make him an effective pass rusher eventually. His cover skills are great for a high school linebacker but he’ll need to learn how to get off of blocks better if he wants to be college linebacker.