One of the most heavily recruited prospects in the class of 2017 for Syracuse is defensive end Jordan Wright. He plays a position of need, is a terrific athlete, and boasts offers from the likes of Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma, Miami, and USC. The Orange definitely have a shot at landing the stud defensive end, but believe it or not, basketball could wind up being a huge factor in getting a commitment.
Wright, you see, is also a D1 caliber recruit on the hardwood. The 6-foot-6 edge rusher also happens to be a swingman for Dillard High, regularly putting up double digits in the scoring column playing primarily as a shooting guard. He’s got offers to play basketball from schools like Virginia Tech, Binghamton, Florida International, Chattanooga, and UNC-Wilmington, among others.
And the athletic defensive end has made it no secret that he’s just as interested in playing basketball in college as he is in playing football. In some recent EYBL action, he averaged 12.4 points and 6.4 rebounds while shooting better than 60% from the field in eight games for D3 M.O.A.M. Elite.
If Wright decides he wants to try to be a two sport athlete at the next level, he may not get a better opportunity than he could at Syracuse. And in case you’re wondering, yes, he’s already talked to Jim Boeheim about walking on if he were to accept a scholarship from the Orange football team. Syracuse hasn’t had a ton of dual sport athletes, with guys like Donovan McNabb and Melvin Tuten being some of the more widely remembered players to join the hoops team in addition to playing another sport. Lacrosse player Charlie Lockwood and football player Malik Campbell are two who also come to mind.
But choosing Syracuse could give Wright his best chance at playing hoops on the big stage. And it’s not farfetched to believe he could actually get on the court, either. He’s got terrific size and he’s a good athlete, and he’s skilled enough to provide depth on the perimeter. And keep in mind, there’s a very real chance that when 2017-2018 rolls around, Syracuse could only have one guard returning to the roster (Frank Howard). Tyus Battle could certainly return for a sophomore run, but at this point I’m expecting him to jump to the NBA after his freshman year.
Syracuse is going to have a lot of open roster spots on to fill for that 2017-2018 roster. Getting a player of Wright’s caliber as a walk-on would be a tremendous coup. And oh yeah – he’d be a hell of an addition to the football team, too. He’d look awfully good lining up at defensive end opposite his cousin, current freshman pass rusher Kenneth Ruff.