With the recruiting dead period over and the Syracuse University football team’s class of 2016 getting close to full, the Orange are set to host a pair of big time recruits in just a couple of days. The big name coming to campus is Moe Neal, while priority defensive target Jamal Holloway will also be making the trip to get a more in depth look at campus life.
Since the beginning of this recruiting cycle, Neal has been one of the highest priorities for the Orange coaching staff. The 5-foot-11 hybrid from North Carolina is a dynamic playmaker, using his elite speed and agility to make big play after big play in the open field. Watching his highlight reel, you can’t help but note the similarities between Neal and current Syracuse hybrid Ervin Philips, though Neal may have even more wiggle and home run ability than the speedy Philips.
The other reason Neal has been such a priority is his closeness with prize recruit Robert Washington, with the duo potentially creating one of the most exciting 1-2 backfield punches in recent memory at Syracuse. While Washington is more of a Marshawn Lynch type of runner (though he’s been clocked running a sub-4.5, so he’s certainly no slouch when it comes to speed), Neal is more of a Tavon Austin type. The combination of these two elite athletes could go a long way toward curing some of the recent offensive ills the Orange have faced.
While it’s possible that Neal could commit shortly after his visit, don’t expect a quick decision. Chances are he will wait until sometime in August. Specifically, I’ve been told it will likely come around the time of Neal’s first game of his senior season, which is on August 21. Wake Forest looks to be the biggest threat right now for Neal’s services, but Florida has started coming on strong for the speedy playmaker.
Holloway just visited Temple yesterday, and also boasts offers from the likes of Virginia and Michigan State. The Camden, New Jersey product is one of the top defensive priorities for the staff, and like Neal he’s already got a friend in the 2016 recruiting class. Dymelle Parker, one of the top linebackers the Orange pursued this cycle, is a current Syracuse commit.
Holloway has been to campus before with his Camden teammates, and this follow up is more to give his family a chance to check out the campus and focus more on the academic side of things. The 6-foot-3, 220 pound defensive end is being eyed for a pass rushing role, with his speed and quickness potentially making him an agile playmaker on the weak side, opposite the much bigger, stronger Jake Pickard. Holloway has the size and speed to be a disruptive end who could cause quarterbacks a lot of problems with his ability to get into the backfield in a hurry.
Both players will be on campus on Thursday. Holloway could make a decision at any time, though it won’t be a surprise if he chooses to take a couple more visits to solidify his choice. Syracuse is in a very good spot with both players, and each would be welcomed with open arms should they decide to play for the Orange.