One of the most important areas the Syracuse University football staff has been looking to bolster through the 2015 and 2016 recruiting cycles is the defensive backfield. A potentially key piece to the future of the secondary is back in play, as highly touted safety prospect Devon Clarke recently decommitted from Oregon State.

Clarke originally pledged to the Beavers back on March 23, but was always high on Syracuse’s radar. The 6-foot-3, 190 pound safety would be a huge pick up for the Orange, and lately the Florida native has been indicating on Twitter that New York’s College Team is firmly on his mind.

For those who don’t speak Twitter, that’s just one example of Clarke reaching out to Syracuse fans to engage with him on social media. He appears to be very high on the Orange, and vice versa. With his size and athleticism, it’s also easy to imagine a safety duo of Clarke and Marquise Blair in a couple of years and get extremely excited about the future of the position at Syracuse.

The 3-star prospect from Kissimmee has mainly mid-major offers, but his star is very much on the rise as more Power 5 teams catch a glimpse of his size and speed (he runs a reported 4.56 in the 40 – at his height, and just finishing up his junior season, there’s no reason to think he can’t ultimately get into the 4.4-4.5 range). Watching his film, it’s clear that Clarke is a hard hitting safety with an affinity for delivering a strong tackles, and he also shows good awareness both in coverage and in stepping up against the run. His ability to make open field, one on one tackles is also impressive.

Landing Clarke would be a big win for the Syracuse football staff, and right now the Orange appear to be in a very good position to do exactly that. He’d be a key piece to the 2016 recruiting puzzle.

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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