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What was already shaping up to be an important week for the Syracuse University football staff with the impending decisions by Jamal Holloway and Moe Neal just got even bigger, as 3-star defensive back Monquavion Brinson announced a surprise verbal pledge to the Orange on Monday night. Brinson had recently named the Orange among his top 10, but a Syracuse decision so quickly was unexpected (but welcome).

Brinson, a 6-foot, 165 pound cornerback from Atlanta, chose Syracuse over a group of offers that includes Louisville, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Memphis, Cincinnati, and Colorado State, among others. He becomes the second true defensive back added to the class, along with Scoop Bradshaw, though Will Harper could potentially wind up at safety down the road. Brinson is also the third Georgia native to join the class of 2016, alongside Harper and hybrid Darius Stubbs.

Brinson was recently named the top defensive back at the Atlanta MVP Camp, and had 45 tackles, nine pass breakups, and two interceptions as a junior. He was also recently singled out as one of the top performers at the Central Gwinnett (Atlanta) 7-on-7 camp by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He doesn’t have elite speed at the CB position (with a SPARQ verified time of 4.67, though Scout also reports a 4.58 time) but he shows good awareness and a definite willingness to come up and deliver punishing hits on ballcarriers and receivers. Watching his film, it’s clear he fits the recent trend of bringing in big hitters in the secondary, even at the cornerback position.

Going forward, Syracuse looks to have only a few spots left in the 2016 recruiting cycle now that Brinson is in the fold. His commitment could impact the recruitments of top safety targets Eric Burrell and Devon Clarke, and I have to think almost has to close the door on fellow Georgia CB prospect Martin Mangram. If Syracuse is able to snag commitments from Jamal Holloway and Moe Neal this week, it would put the commit total to 14 out of 18 current available spots. With Brandon Ginnetti still expected to arrive in January, and Adam Giordano potentially taking a scholarship from the 2016 class, that would push the number to 16, meaning there would conceivably be just two spots left at present.

Obviously things can change, and some attrition to the current roster would not only be possible, but I’d wager probable, with perhaps two or three more spots opening up by the time National Signing Day rolls around. Still, the class is filling up quickly, and at this point you would have to think priority will be given to Burrell, wide receiver Donald Stewart, and potentially a flip from defensive tackles like Bo Peek or Christian Colon, who are currently pledged to Stanford and Penn State, respectively.

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