The running back position has clearly been a priority for new Syracuse University head coach Dino Babers and his staff, and a new name has emerged – only this time, it’s an “old” name for running backs coach Mike Hart. The player is D’Wayne (Dee) Eskridge, who Hart recruited to Western Michigan out of Bluffton, Indiana.
Eskridge is rated as the No. 30 running back in the country by Scout, but has avoided a lot of attention from the big boys because he committed to Western Michigan way back on April 15 of last year. The 3-star talent’s only other offer right now is from Ball State, but the word is he’s one of the new Syracuse staff’s favorite prospects at the position and has become a priority target. Hart was his primary recruiter for WMU, and the two still have a tight connection that could potentially sway him Syracuse’s way.
One of Hart’s first actions after being hired by his hometown University was to get in touch with Eskridge, with whom he’d developed a strong relationship. As he told CuseNation.com’s Mike McAllister, Hart was instrumental in getting his grades in order (which McAllister and Scout were kind enough to share with me last night).
“He got my grades back up,” Eskridge told Scout. “We had a plan and developed the relationship we built with him and my family.”
In addition to being a talented football player, one enticing aspect of Eskridge is is overall athleticism. He’s a track star for Bluffton High, and in the spring of 2015 won the Indiana state championship in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.39 seconds, and placed second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.77 seconds. In other words: the kid can absolutely fly.
Of course, you can see that for yourself in his highlights above, with the majority of his runs that are on display showing him zooming past defenders for long touchdowns. According to MaxPreps, the 5-foot-10, 190 pound speedster ran for 1,020 yards on only 103 carries last year in nine recorded games (an average of 9.9 yards per carry) and scored 16 touchdowns. He finds a hole and accelerates through it, and he’s a true home run threat every time he touches the ball.
By the way, you want to see what kind of an athlete Eskridge is? Check out this video he tweeted of himself throwing down a sweet windmill dunk:
— Dee Eskridge (@deeeskrisge1) January 9, 2016