The Syracuse University football staff is, kind of amazingly, already nearly finished with the recruiting class of 2016 and already getting started on the class of 2017, but we’re jumping ahead to the 2018 class to talk about a player who will no doubt end up high on Scott Shafer and Tim Lester’s wish list. Jalen Mayden, the younger brother of former SU target and current Oregon commit Jared Mayden, earned an early offer from the Orange and has recently been given a 4-star rating from

Mayden hasn’t yet played a varsity snap, though that’s not particularly surprising given how young he is, along with the fact that he plays in one of the most competitive levels of football in the state of Texas. Mayden’s Sachse High produces high level Division I players each year, but it’s beginning to look like he may wind up just as hotly pursued as any prospect to come along in awhile for the Mustangs.

In recent years, Sachse has produced Nebraska commit Devine Ozigbo, along with Mayden’s older brother as well as the Duvernay brothers, Devin and Donovan. Devin is one of the most sought after wide receivers in the country, and Donovan is certainly no slouch himself at the WR position with offers from Baylor, TCU, and Michigan, among others.

Jalen, meanwhile, earned a Syracuse offer shortly after the Orange received a commitment from elite running back Robert Washington. The ties between the Washington family and the Maydens are strong, having played together and become close friends through Team USA. The Maydens still regularly visit the Washingtons in North Carolina, and are basically an extended branch of Team Washington. That puts the Orange in a rather unique position to potentially land the talented signal caller from the Dallas area.

So far, Jalen has offers from Oregon State and Houston, in addition to the Orange, but more are sure to roll in quickly. The 6-foot-2, 200 pound Mayden is a terrific athlete at the quarterback position with a reported time of 4.56 in the 40, and the lefty can also sling it. He shows solid accuracy on his deep ball, and his arm is only going to get stronger as his body continues to mature. Once he takes the reins at Sachse on the varsity level, he’s poised to put up some big numbers both with his feet as well as his arm and has the talent to become one of the most highly sought after quarterbacks in the class of 2018.

Syracuse was smart to get in on Mayden early as one of his first offers, and if the Orange can get him to campus for a visit they can make some serious in roads not just with Jalen but also some of his very talented friends. Among his favorite receivers are Sachse teammate Drue Jackson, a 6-foot wideout already receiving interest from several high level programs, as well as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native Shaquon Anderson-Butts, another 6-foot receiver who already has offers from Penn State and Temple. Both players are members of the 2018 recruiting cycle.

We’re a very long way from the 2018 recruiting cycle, but Syracuse already has strong ties to one of the top prospects in the class, which is about as good a starting point as we could hope for.

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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