While the official word still hasn’t come out about Virginia assistant coach Chris Beatty joining the staff at Syracuse University, the reports have been flowing that the running backs coach and ace recruiter is headed to the Orange to handle those same tasks. And it’s taken practically no time for Beatty to get started on recruiting for his new program, targeting multiple players he previously got to commit to the Hoos.

One of those players is already on campus for an official visit: Florida native Kenneth Ruff. Ruff is a 6-foot-1, 240 pound middle linebacker who hits like an absolute Mack truck. He’s a 3-star talent who also has offers from Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, and a host of other schools in addition to currently being a Virginia commit. Beatty, however, was his primary recruiter at UVA, and his jump to Syracuse has a lot of folks thinking that his prized linebacker recruit will be switching one set of blue and orange for another in the very near future.

And then there’s Neru N’Shaka, a 5-foot-11 wide receiver from Florida who, like Ruff, was recruited to UVA by Beatty. N’Shaka is a shifty, speedy receiver who holds offers from Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Northern Illinois, Cincinnati, and yes, Bowling Green, with the Orange being the latest to offer the current Virginia commit.

This has been a hectic week, and it needed to be given the fact that we’re about to hit the dead period for recruiting. Now, that doesn’t mean things will be entirely dead, of course. It just means there are no in home visits, but coaches can still talk to recruits either by written form or on the phone, per NCAA rules. Right now, Ruff is on campus along with current commits Moe Neal, Jamal Holloway, Scoop Bradshaw, and Rex Culpepper, along with a few other targets who will remain surprises for now, but whose identity I expect to come out soon enough (one, specifically, is currently committed to another school, so that’s why he may want to retain a little anonymity for the time being, while the other is a former teammate of a current Syracuse freshman who has another current teammate also being looked at by the Orange).

It’s not a surprise that Beatty has targeted a couple of his former Virginia recruits to come to Syracuse, and there’s a solid chance they won’t be the last. Right now, there are nine players committed to the Hoos for whom Beatty was the primary recruiter, according to Along with Ruff and N’Shaka, that list also includes: DE Christian Brooks, RB Laderrien Wilson, OT Stephen Spanellis, DB Deedrick Daniels, TE Andrew Trainer, RB Tre Harbison, and LB Landan Ward. It will be interesting to see if any of those players become targets for the Orange sooner than later, keeping in mind that Harbison, in particular, has re-affirmed his commitment to UVA.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including,,,, and, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He's got a wife, and a toddler he's brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff's a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish


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