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The writing has seemingly been on the wall ever since Jake Pickard returned from his official visit to Ann Arbor without pledging to Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines, but today the three star defensive end from New Jersey made it official and committed to play for Syracuse. Pickard had previously verbally committed to Wisconsin, but a great visit to upstate New York two weeks ago helped swing him to the Orange.

Pickard’s commitment gives Syracuse their second bit of great news in two days, as defensive tackle Steven Clark re-affirmed his commitment to the Orange last night. Pickard is a massive coup, as Scott Shafer’s staff was not only able to swing the highly regarded, 6-foot-6 defensive end from the Badgers, but also managed to hold off the late charge by Michigan. As soon as the Wolverines became involved, we admit that even we thought the battle was lost.

But then, momentum seemed to be shifting. A great in home visit from the SU coaches gave Orange fans hope, and earlier today, fellow New Jersey native and SU commit Daivon Ellison (who spent his official visit with Pickard) sent out a mysterious tweet letting SU know that Cuse Nation would be going crazy tonight.

And then, when Pickard tweeted the following, things seemed to be set in motion, everything falling into place:

And then, at 5:45 p.m., Pickard tweeted his intent to sign with the Orange. Allow me a moment to fist pump.

And now, with Pickard’s commitment, Syracuse has put together one of the strongest crops of defensive line commits in recent memory for the Orange. Tim Daoust has multiple possible difference makers with Pickard, Steven Clark, Qaadir Sheppard, Amir Ealey, Brandon Ginetti, Anthony Giudice, Ty Cross, and Dana Levine.

Syracuse sent six coaches through a blizzard to visit Pickard earlier this week, and the reports were that the visit went incredibly well. Tonight’s news just affirms that it went even better than we could have hoped.

Oh, and because it’s Bobby Acosta’s birthday, I just want to toss this out there and thank Jake for following through on the great gift I recommended:

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including Cracked.com, Spike.com, TheSportster.com, Gunaxin.com, and TopTenz.net, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He’s got a wife, and a toddler he’s brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff’s a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish