Syracuse has used its bye week to prioritize recruiting, particularly at the running back position. Several offers went out to backs in both the 2017 and 2018 classes, and today one of those offers paid off. 2017 tailback Markenzy Pierre announced that he has flipped his commitment from Western Kentucky to Syracuse.
— Markenzy Pierre (@MarkenzyP) October 29, 2016
Pierre rushed for 1,677 yards with 19 touchdowns as a junior, earning him All-State honors in his home state of Florida. The 6-foot, 210 pounder also caught 17 passes for 325 yards during his junior campaign. Along with Western Kentucky, he also holds offers from East Carolina, Memphis, and Middle Tennessee, among others.
Pierre is a big, strong tailback with the ability to grind out yards between the tackles… which, you may have noticed, is what Dino Babers and his staff want to do in this offense, and what has been largely unsuccessful during the 2016 campaign. The current Syracuse roster doesn’t have any traditional short yardage backs, with Dontae Strickland and Moe Neal, in particular, players who rely much more on quickness and agility than strength, and operate better on the edge than straight up the gut.
By adding Pierre, Syracuse has that guy who can pound away at the defensive line and open things up even more for the high octane passing attack. Syracuse may not be done at the running back position, either, having also recently offered another big tailback from Florida in BJ Daniels.
Syracuse also has Allen Stritzinger in the fold for next season, though the 6-foot, 184 pounder from Michigan is another player who is more of a speed-back than a power runner. Assuming he sticks at the RB position (many schools, including Michigan, were recruiting him as a defensive back), Stritzinger and Pierre will complement each other well with their different strengths as runners.