Syracuse picked up yet another commitment today as Grafton, Massachusetts defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu pledged to the Orange, making him the latest in a nice string of commits over the course of the past week or so for Dino Babers and his staff. The Orange coaching staff is on about as good a roll as can be after a bit of a slow start to the recruiting cycle.

Melifonwu is a 6-foot-2, 185 pound defensive back who’s spent much of his high school career playing receiver. However, he projects to the secondary for defensive coordinator Brian Ward and secondary coach Nick Monroe. The long, athletic defensive back reports a time of 4.6 in the 40 and chose Syracuse over offers from Boston College and UConn, as well as Albany, New Hampshire, and UMass, among others.

Syracuse’s latest commit is a versatile athlete, as you can quickly tell from watching his HUDL highlights. He takes handoffs, hauls in long passes, and makes plays in the open field after catching bubble screens. Considering he’s going the playing in the secondary, it’s his ability to go up and get the ball on deeper passes as a receiver that stands out. On his defensive highlights – which start midway through the reel above – he shows good anticipation in pass coverage in addition to a good willingness to come up and make big hits.

All in all, Melifonwu looks like a strong addition to this year’s recruiting class. He’s a bit under the radar right now, probably at least in part because Massachusetts isn’t necessarily considered a recruiting hotbed, but with size and athleticism it’s easy to see why the SU coaches are high on him.

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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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