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The first commitment.  It always says a lot about a new head football coach.  It could be a small footnote in a hopefully successful story.  It also could be a way that new head coach saying “I’m here, let’s get started.”  The big question being asked by a lot of Syracuse fans right now is, who will be the first recruit to commit under Head Coach Dino Babers?

There’s an overwhelmingly good chance the answer to that question is 2016 WR Terrance Landers.  A 3-star, former Bowling Green commit, Landers has Power 5 offers and is a wideout that Babers trusts to perform well in his system.  The #CuseTwitterArmy has been all over him for a couple of days now, and Landers seems to be soaking up all the attention – already saying he is thinking about an official visit to Syracuse.  Well what kind of Wide Receiver is Terrance Landers? Let’s go to the tape!

The first thing I notice when watching Landers on film (outside the fact that he’s not helped by his QB) is that he is very comfortable planting his feet in the ground.  Why is this important?  It takes agility and strength to be able to cut while running full speed, and in the very first minute of his tape, Terrance makes a cut on a 10 yard out that creates major separation.  Very impressive for someone who is 6-foot-5 and has long legs.  Also, the bubble screen is going to be a big part of HCDB’s offense.  Some fans may groan when thinking of the bubble screen because of a certain someone who ran it both too often and seemingly at the wrong time.  Landers shows the ability to sell the down the field route, plant his foot to come back for the ball, and navigate his blocks to find room in the open field.

Next, let’s highlight the play at 3:13.  When you’re 6-foot-5 and weight 175 lbs, you should be able to physically block a corner.  On this jet sweep, Lander’s engaged the CB in a block, and drives him 25 yards down the field.  He keeps his fee moving and doesn’t hold, which is often a problem for young receivers when run blocking.  This is especially important for HCDB’s offense, as we saw from his MAC Championship Game, he wants to be able to run the ball out of the spread.  When you have receivers who can block, it becomes much easier.

Lastly, Landers possess the speed and hands that you really want to see in a highlight video.  All throughout the tape, Landers gets behind the defense for long scores.  You have to imagine he’s being game-planned for, and the fact that he makes it look easy is a testament to his natural speed.  You can also see in his bubble screen plays that he shows some great burst in separating from the defense.  He does a very nice job of high pointing the ball when running routes, but also shows the ability to catch the ball in stride.  He seems to be very sure-handed.

HCDB obviously knows the type of wide receivers he likes for his unique system and it’s easy to see why Landers could be a very coveted recruit.  He’s definitely a Power 5 recruit, and I think he has major potential in a Dino Babers offense.  I think Terrance Landers could make an excellent footnote in the Dino Babers story.

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Justin is a 2011 graduate from SUNY Buffalo State. Since that time, he spent several years coaching high school football in North Carolina while also working at NC State, and has also served as a head and assistant tennis coach at the Division III and Division I levels. During this tenure coaching high school football, he sent players to continue their football career at Alabama, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Purdue, North Carolina State, East Carolina, and other Division II and III schools.