Syracuse Football welcomes 23 new players on signing day

SU Football welcomes 23 new players on signing day

The Orange finished with the 59th-ranked recruiting class in the country.
Published: February 5, 2020
Dino Babers stands with his Syracuse football team prior to the Louisville game in the Carrier Dome on Nov. 10, 2018.
Dino Babers' football team landed the 10th-best class in the ACC with 23 high school recruits signing to play at Syracuse next season.

The Orange football team may be licking its wounds from a disappointing season, but hope may be just around the corner. There is no greater look at what the future holds in sports than National Signing Day, and on Wednesday four high school athletes officially announced they will head to the Hill next fall. Those players, along with 19 others who had previously committed, are set to contribute some massive improvements for the Orange in the coming years.


Dillon Markiewicz, QB

This 6’4”, 215-pound gunslinger was ranked the no. 4 passer in the entire state of Texas this past year. He threw for an impressive 4189 yards and 45 touchdowns, leading his team (McKinney North) to a 10-2 record. His large stature, huge potential and loads of throwing experience have him primed to contribute to Syracuse in a year or two.

Jacobian Morgan, QB

Morgan has only been a quarterback for one year, but he’s made an impact. He threw for 27 touchdowns and 2,487 yards. It certainly can’t hurt that his home is Canton. Well, Canton, Mississippi. Prior to his move from center, he played Wide Receiver. He’s an athletic recruit with a lot of upside, and at 6’4”, 200 pounds, he has room to grow.

Sean Tucker, RB

A 5’10”, 190-pound rusher, Sean Tucker was considered the No. 14 prospect in the state of Maryland by ESPN. He works hard year-round, running for both the indoor and outdoor track teams for Calvert Hall. As a Junior, he won the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash for the MIAA indoor championship, and for the past two years, he won the 55-meter dash. This past season, he ran for 1,204 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Marlowe Wax, RB

Wax is six feet tall and weighs 225 pounds. He’s a big man ready to make a big difference. This upcoming freshman from Baltimore was the captain of his high school team (Mount St. Joseph), and he led them to their conference title game with a 10-2 record. He also holds his school’s rushing records with 1,330 yards and 18 touchdowns. If that wasn’t enough, he played on the other side of the ball with 111 tackles, five sacks and five forced fumbles at linebacker.

Damien Alford, WR ranks Alford as the No. 118 receiver in this rising class, and his 6’5”, 210-pound frame make him a huge target moving forward. Originally from Montreal, he played for McArthur High School in Florida, leading them with 1,379 total yards and 12 touchdowns. He was a member of the 2019 International Bowl U-18 Canadian team and competed against the United States.

Justin Barron, WR

Hailing from Tolland, Connecticut, Barron cracked ESPN’s top 100 on the list of the best athletes in the class of 2020 at 85. He led the Suffield Academy Tigers to an undefeated, 9-0 season with five touchdowns and 525 receiving yards. Those receptions averaged for 18.1 yards per catch. Off of the gridiron, he found success on the baseball diamond with another undefeated season in 2018.

Ja’Vontae Williams, WR

Williams is a 6’0” 196-pound receiver who averaged 35.8 yards per reception in his senior season. It only equaled out to 278 yards and two touchdowns, but he missed a few games in the 2019 season. Rated 171st among receivers by, he will look to make a difference in the upcoming years.

Steven Mahar Jr., TE

Not looking too far from home, this Rochester native comes in at a whopping 6’5” and 225 pounds. In New York State, he was ranked the No. 4 player by This past year, he pulled in 20 receptions for 340 yards with four touchdowns. Barely missing out on the top 25 at 26 for tight ends in the nation, ESPN seems to have high hopes for this versatile player.

Maximilian Mang, TE

Traveling further than most recruits this year, Maximillian Mang is a native of Nuthetal, Germany. He made his presence known in his home country, being ranked the No. 7 prospect in all of Germany by It’s no wonder he’s a popular prospect, as the European is a massive 6’7” and tips the scales at 250 pounds. An all-around athlete, he also played volleyball and looks to bring his strength and agility to Central New York.

Garth Barclay, OL

Another 6’7” athlete, Barclay excels more in the trenches. regards him as the No. 85 offensive tackle in the class and his staggering size has him primed to provide some help to an already suffering Syracuse line. His efforts this past season were so strong his running back, Savion Harrison, was able to rush for 21 touchdowns and over 1,700 yards.

Chris Bleich, OL

Far and away the biggest player in the bunch, Chris Bleich is 6’6” and 330 pounds. Had he played for Syracuse in the 2019 season, he’d have been the third heaviest man on the roster. On top of that, he comes with experience. One of the few non-freshmen that’s been recruited, he was with the University of Florida for two seasons after being redshirted in 2018. In all four of his appearances this past season, his team rushed for over 200 yards.

Josh Ilaoa, OL

6’3”, 295-pound Josh Ilaoa knows what it’s like to win. In all four years of his high school career, Mallard Creek won the I-MECK 4A Conference Championship. He was also selected to the Polynesian All-America Bowl this year. He’s a young player with a long pedigree of success who looks like he might rub some of that off on the Orange.

Mark Petry, OL

Another German native will travel to Syracuse this year. The 6’4”, 265-pound lineman spent his freshman year with Ellsworth Community College. He originates from Hochheim am Main, Germany, playing tight end and defensive end for the Mainz Golden Eagles. His performance there lent itself to Ellsworth, who averaged 119.7 rushing yards per game.

James Williams, P/PK

The offensive star of the recruiting class, James Williams is ranked in the top ten kickers in the nation by Rivals,, and ESPN (2, 9, and 10, respectively). At his school, Athens Academy, he set a school record with a 57-yard field goal as just a junior. He’s a five-star recruit and one of the few immediate prospective starters for the 2020 Orange.



Chase Atkinson, DB

Atkinson was ranked as the No. 40 player in his native state of South Carolina by ESPN. In the Class of 2020, they consider him the 122nd best safety in the nation. No doubt, his stock was lowered by an injury that considerably shortened his senior season at Blythewood High School. Despite the absence, he was still named to’s All-State Second Team.

Ja’Had Carter, DB

In 2019, Ja’Had Carter was considered the No. 45 athlete in the United States by He spent this past year at Jireh Prep Academy in North Carolina, where he contributed to a 7-2 season. His efforts paid off as he joins the Orange as a three-star recruit.

Robert Hanna, DB rates this 6’0”, 170-pound safety as the 38th player in the country at his position. He brought in 36 tackles, a sack, and an interception in a season-long performance that earned him an opportunity with Syracuse. His high school team only averaged 10.3 points per game in the 2019 season.

Ben Labrosse, DB

In the class of 2020, ranks Labrosse as the No. 2 player in Quebec. He’ll hop the border and look to create a new legacy separate from 124.5 tackles and 11 interceptions in his CEGEP career. He racked up 42 of those tackles and three of the interceptions in this most recent season.

Stefon Thompson, LB

The sole linebacker recruited this year, Stefon Thompson, enters his college career following a senior season that saw him help his team hold opponents to an average of 9.1 points per game. By himself, he recorded a stellar 162 tackles, 13 sacks, and three interceptions. With a new system coming on defense thanks to new defensive coordinator Tony White, there’s no telling how much Thompson could contribute in the near future.

Latarie Kinsler, DL

In his senior season, this 6’3”, 215-pound defensive end was sidelined with an injury. Despite the setback, ranks him as the No. 47 end in the 2020 class. This is no doubt aided by his junior season, wherein he collected 56 tackles and 12 sacks.

Kevin Lemieux, DL

Kevin Lemieux is rated in the top ten best players coming out of Massachusetts this year by, and ESPN. He’s a natural leader, being a captain for two straight seasons, and on the field, he recorded 48 tackles and seven sacks in 2019. His team finished with an 8-2 record.

Leon Lowery, DL

A versatile athlete, this 6’4”, 225-pound defensive end split time as a wide receiver in his native New Jersey. His senior year, he had the second-most receiving yards at North Brunswick High School, and on the other side of the ball, he got 46 tackles and 13 sacks. He led the team to a 9-2 record.

Trebor Pena, Athlete

In high school, Pena was a running back, wide receiver, safety and kick returner. A 6’0”, 185-pound athlete, he will most likely be a wide receiver in the coming season. However, as with any young player, special teams could certainly be in his future. considers him the No. 91 athlete in the class of 2020, and with so much upside, he could be important in a year or two.