It’s been pretty well documented that last summer, safety prospect Devon Clarke tried to commit to the Syracuse University football program only to be told to hold off until he got a chance to visit. That was the directive from the old coaching staff, and it wasn’t until Dino Babers and the new staff came to Central New York that the 3-star prospect got a chance to check out the campus. As soon as an offer came his way on his official visit, the Kissimmee, Florida star committed. This time, it’s official.

Clarke is a 6-foot-3, 190 pound defensive back and is a big hitter out of the secondary, adding some size that the Orange were severely lacking during the 2015 season. Originally committed to Oregon State before backing off of his pledge last year, Clarke also holds offers from Purdue, Memphis, Temple, South Florida, UMass, Marshall, Bowling Green, and has been starting to get some interest from Miami.

Clarke becomes the second safety and third defensive back added to this year’s class, joining safety Scoop Bradshaw and cornerback Carl Jones. Of course, I’ve always felt that Bradshaw has what it takes to transition to corner, so we’ll see how many additional safeties the Orange decide to pursue in the remaining few weeks in the 2016 cycle.

Clarke was on his official visit this weekend along with fellow Florida prospect Stewart Reese; California targets DeVaughn Cooper, Sean Riley, and Cedric Byrd; Illinois Player of the Year Sam Brodner; and Ohio linebacker Andrew Armstrong. Clarke is the 14th member of the class of 2016 as it currently stands, though that obviously remains in flux, in particular with the status of in-state linebacker Taylor Riggins.

Clarke is the second player to commit to Syracuse today, joining California athlete Riley. Stay tuned, this might not be the last commit of the weekend for the Orange.

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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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