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Syracuse football has picked up a MASSIVE (both literally and figuratively) recruit for the 2018 class. On Tuesday afternoon, Tyrone Sampson of Detroit committed to Syracuse and Head Coach Dino Babers while on an unofficial visit. Sampson, a center who has offers from the likes of Louisville, VIrginia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Minnesota, is one of the highest rated prospects to commit to Syracuse football in the internet recruiting era.

At 6-foot-3 and more than 300 pounds, Sampson is a center who will make his presence felt immediately once he steps on campus. It’s not far fetched to think he could be a starter from day one at the center position. After taking a look at his junior highlights, I have some exciting takeaways.

I couldn’t care less that his current 40 yard dash is listed at a 5.5. Sampson possesses very good feet and agility, which his high school team utilizes very well. In the first minute of his tape, we seem him pull numerous times from the center position and see him as an effective blocker in the second level as well. He has no problem finding a different jersey when coming around the corner and does a good job at staying low while getting up field.

Take a look at the 2:20 mark on his junior highlight. We actually see Tyrone lining up at left tackle on this play. His stance is very technically sound. His back is straight, weight is balanced, and he fires out of his stance with perfect footwork. Pay attention to his adjustment steps as he fires into the defensive end. This allows him to be balanced at the point of attack and control the leverage upon contact. As soon as his hands get into the defender, he quickly shoots his hips and seals him off, while driving him at an angle, which gives the running back ample room to break off the long TD run.

That’s an important trait to have for a center, as they often have one or zero techniques right over them, and need to make quick contact after the snap. How they move their hips is important to opening up the right space in the running game. Tyrone is a terrific run blocker (now let’s make sure he doesn’t tackle anyone like he does in that clip – no TDs called back!). This dude has reach.

There are not a lot of pass blocking clips in his highlights, which is unfortunate as Syracuse is a very pass happy offense. One thing, however, is for sure: if Tyrone gets his hands on defensive linemen and linebackers HE.WILL.WIN. Sampson is very strong, and will only get stronger, which is scary to think about. His potential just soars throughout his video.

Final Thoughts: This is a huge pickup for the Orangemen in so many ways. From a player standpoint, this is a prospect who has the ability to come in and be a 3 or 4 year starter from day one at a position that is the anchor of the offensive line. He will only get faster and stronger once he gets to campus. Offensive line coach Mike Lynch is going to bed a happy man tonight.

From a recruiting standpoint, how huge this is cannot be understated. I mentioned earlier in the day on Twitter that talented players want to play with talented players. Now that a Scout 300, consensus 4-star player has committed to Syracuse, it makes other prospects take notice. When a Syracuse football coach can tell someone that is rated high on their recruiting board, “we have a player who just won MVP at The Opening Regional Camp and has already got his invite. He committed – why not you?”, that is huge for a program that has consistently been in the 60s and 50s among recruiting rankings.

I have no problem predicting this, and readers can hold me accountable if it doesn’t happen, but this will not be the last 4-star prospect to commit to Syracuse football this season. Good things are happening on the hill right now. Jump on the train right now, football fans. IN DINO WE TRUST.

GO ORANGE!

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Justin is a 2011 graduate from SUNY Buffalo State. Since that time, he spent several years coaching high school football in North Carolina while also working at NC State, and has also served as a head and assistant tennis coach at the Division III and Division I levels. During this tenure coaching high school football, he sent players to continue their football career at Alabama, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Purdue, North Carolina State, East Carolina, and other Division II and III schools.

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