Scott Shafer and Syracuse have kicked off the new year in style. Less than a week after the recruiting dead period ended, the Orange have picked up two new commitments - both of whom are defensive backs.
First, on Sunday, Treevon Prater of East Saint Louis (Ill.) Senior High committed to Syracuse on the last day of his official visit. The three-star Prater was initially committed to the Western Michigan Broncos - which occured back in late May 2013. However, after recently reopening his recruitment, Prater began to reconsider offers from Kansas, Syracuse, Indiana State, and Illinois State.
Prater has great size - 6-2, 180-pounds - and athleticism, which he used to play all over the field for East Saint Louis - wide receiver, safety and cornerback. 247Sports.com has him rated as the No. 170 wide receiver in the class, but many believe, including Prater, that he will play on the defensive side of the ball once he gets to upstate New York.
According to what Prater told CuseConfidential.com after his commitment, Shafer's staff mirrors these thoughts: "Syracuse wants me as a defensive back. It is still up in the air if I will play corner or safety."
Prater told CuseNation.com that getting to play in the ACC played a large role in his decision. "That was a big factor for me. You get more exposure playing at big schools and playing against Florida State and all them. It’s a better chance of me going to the NFL."
Here's Prater in action on his Hudl page.
Syracuse wasn't done there, though. 24 hours later, Shafer and Co. landed another recruit: three-star cornerback Juwan Dowels. According to CuseNation.com, another DB was just want the good doctor ordered: "Defensive backfield has been one of the key target areas for Syracuse’s 2014 class. They have added several talented prospects already, but wanted more depth. Dowels gives the Orange that and more."
Dowels - who plays prep ball for Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage - was at one point in time committed to Northern Illinois. After de-committing from the Huskies, he was viewed as a lock to go to Oklahoma to play for Bob Stoops' Sooners. However, a schism seemed to have recently developed between both sides - Dowels and OU. Then, after visiting the Syracuse campus this weekend, too, Dowels decided to make the call.
In the end, he selected Syracuse over Clemson, East Carolina, Ball State, Cincinnati and Rutgers.
247Sports.com has Dowels rated as the No. 78 cornerback in the nation, and the No. 137 overall player in the state of Florida.
According to Nate Mink of the Syracuse Post-Standard: Dowels was a first-team all-state selection in 2013, and "he started getting recruited by offensive coordinator George McDonald last spring."
If you'd like to see the 5-10, 170-pound DB in action, check out his Huld page.