I know it doesn’t feel like it, but believe it or not we’re still extremely early in the football recruiting cycle for the class of 2016. After the commitment of Robert Washington on Saturday, it kind of feels like Syracuse University has gotten its big win and we can all go home now. But in reality, things are just getting started, and the Orange coaches will be turning their attention to some of the other top names on their wish list. Among those is wide receiver Gene Coleman II.

I’ve mentioned Coleman before as a possible early commit, and while the talented wideout from Bergen Catholic appears to be leaning toward Rutgers at the moment, he is still very much in play for Syracuse. But don’t take my word for it, check out what was going through Coleman’s mind in the wake of Washington’s commitment on Saturday:

The Daivon texting Coleman, by the way, is Syracuse class of 2015 signee Daivon Ellison, a fellow New Jersey native clearly trying to get more of his Garden State brethren to join him on the Hill. Coleman has been up to visit Syracuse a couple times in the past and despite being a Rutgers lean at the moment, is very high on the Orange.

So what kind of player would the Orange be getting in Gene Coleman? He’s a 6-foot receiver who’s a little smaller than a lot of the wideouts Tim Lester and the offense have been looking at in the last couple of years (and 6-feet might be a stretch, as he’s listed some places as being 5-foot-10), but the 3-star prospect makes up for it with great speed and quickness. He reports a 4.47 time in the 40, and had 31 catches for 612 yards as a receiver last year and 843 all purpose yards.

Thanks to his cutback ability and the agility to make people miss, he’s the kind of player who could really excel as a slot receiver at the next level. He’s got the speed to beat defensive backs off the line, but it’s his shiftiness and potential for some big time YAC that will really make him stand out in college. Right now, Coleman has offers from Syracuse, Rutgers, UConn, Buffalo, and Army, but has gotten some strong interest from the likes of Penn State and NC State, as well. He plays with highly touted quarterback Jarrett Guarantano – who missed some of last year with an injury, limiting Coleman’s numbers a bit – so another full year playing with the elite signal caller should put Coleman into even more of a spotlight.

It would be in Syracuse’s best interest to lock up Coleman early, before he starts garnering even more attention from power five schools, and to keep the burgeoning New Jersey pipeline flowing.

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