Earlier today I mentioned wide receiver DeVaughn Cooper as a potential target for the Syracuse University football staff as we close out the 2016 recruiting cycle, and a new name has emerged as another option in the passing game: Dez Fitzpatrick.
The 6-foot-3 Fitzpatrick was originally committed to Louisville before backing off of his pledge in November, and is one of the top uncommitted wide receivers in the nation. The 4-star talent is a native of Waterford, Michigan, and has offers from the likes of Arizona, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Cincinnati, Wake Forest, Washington State, and Kentucky, among others. He’s a big, dynamic playmaker who would almost certainly challenge for immediate playing time if he were to choose the Orange.
Of course, he has to actually get an offer from Syracuse for that to happen, and right now, it’s incredibly early in his potential recruitment. For now, Fitzpatrick and new running backs coach Mike Hart have begun following one another on Twitter, and assistant coach and wide receivers coach Kim McCloud also follows the talented wideout.
Watching his film, it becomes immediately clear both why he’s so highly regarded, and why the new Syracuse staff would be intrigued by his particular abilities. Fitzpatrick excels in turning short passes into long gains, with a number of his highlights being screen passes and short drag routes he then uses his athleticism to turn into big plays. He’s only listed at having around a 4.6 time in the 40, but at least in looking at the film, he absolutely has the “football speed” to run past defenders, and the quickness and agility to make defenders look flat out silly and avoid tacklers.
At this point it’s more than likely a long shot for Syracuse to get in the door with Fitzptrick, but he’s absolutely a name to keep an eye on moving forward. To say he’s a big time talent is an understatement, and he would immediately become arguably the gem of this year’s recruiting class. Now, let’s just wait and see if an offer and, potentially, an official visit are forthcoming. Fitzpatrick has mentioned making a decision on February 1.