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I mentioned last week that one of the players Syracuse is going to take a hard run at is Neru N’Shaka, a wide receiver who at the time was committed to Virginia, and this morning the possibility of snagging the speedy wide receiver became a lot more realistic as he officially decommitted from his commitment to the Cavaliers.

The 5-foot-11 receiver from Hallandale, Florida was recruited to Virginia by Chris Beatty, who as you may recall is the new running backs coach for Dino Babers and the Orange. His relationship with N’Shaka gives Syracuse a valuable leg up on the competition, which also includes schools like Toledo and Northern Illinois, as well as, potentially, schools like Cincinnati, Pitt, Marshall, or if he decides he’s interested in sticking closer to home, Florida International. Those are just a few of the schools who offered him a scholarship before he chose Virginia, with Wisconsin also having offered.

Wide receiver is clearly a position of immediate need for Babers and his offense, with only guys like Steve Ishmael and Brisly Estime being proven playmakers for Syracuse on the outside. Ben Lewis will slide back to wide receiver, presumably, but going by where he was playing last season as a hybrid and occasional tight end, after Ishmael and Estime, the next four leading receivers for Syracuse were either hybrids or tight ends, with Alvin Cornelius and all six of his catches being the third leading traditional wideout on the roster. Outside of Estime and Ishmael, the only receiver to catch a touchdown was Jamal Custis, and that was his only reception of the season.

Clearly, Babers will need to upgrade the talent at the position, and N’Shaka would give him a fast, athletic player to work with, though it should be noted he’s coming off of an ACL injury that could prevent him from seeing the field early on at Syracuse (or whichever school he chooses). N’Shaka is rated as a 3-star talent in the composite rankings compiled by 247sports.com, and could be the first of several wide receivers joining the mix for Syracuse in the near future.

N’Shaka claims a 4.4 time in the 40, and he certainly looks like he’s got speed to burn. That’d be a nice trait to be able to exploit in the friendly, turfed home environment of the Carrier Dome. Syracuse has already flipped one Chris Beatty recruit from Virginia. It’d be nice to go 2-for-2.

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