Eight student-athletes have joined the Orange football program, head coach Dino Babers announced on Monday in conjunction with the start of Syracuse University’s spring semester.
All eight early enrollees signed National Letters of Intent with the Orange on Dec. 19 and will compete as true freshmen in 2019. In addition to beginning classes, the student-athletes have started offseason football activities and will participate in spring practice, which opens in March.
Linebackers Mikel Jones (Miami, Fla.), Lee Kpogba (Winston-Salem, N.C.), defensive linemen Cooper Dawson (Hanahan, S.C.) and Andrew Tuazama (Knightdale, N.C.), and defensive back Adrian Cole (Plantation, Fla.) are the newcomers on defense.
On the offensive side of the ball, wide receiver Courtney Jackson (Monroeville, Pa.), running back Jawhar Jordan (Long Island, N.Y.) and offensive lineman Anthony Red (Bloomfield, Conn.) have joined the team.
The two highest-rated members of Syracuse’s signing class, Jones is No. 296 in the ESPN 300 and Kpogba is No. 124 on the Rivals Top 250 prospect list. Kpogba was voted the North Carolina state defensive player of the year by USA Today.
Dawson was a consensus top-25 player in South Carolina despite missing his senior season due to injury. Dawson made national headlines last month by including friend Kingsley Feinman, who has cerebral palsy, in his signing-day ceremony.
Tuazama, the No. 2 prep-school prospect in the Class of 2019, tallied 72 tackles and 12 sacks last season at North Carolina’s Jireh Prep. Cole was named to the Sun Sentinel’s Broward 8A-6A All-County First Team as a senior at Plantation (Fla.) High School.
Jackson and Jordan are Syracuse’s two additions at the offensive skill positions. Rated the No. 5 prospect in Pennsylvania by ESPN, Jackson caught 153 passes for 3,015 and 47 touchdowns in his career at Gateway High School. Jordan amassed nearly 4,000 yards and 53 touchdowns from scrimmage in four seasons at Hamilton High School in Arizona.
Red, who was named a 2018 All-USA Connecticut First Team selection by USA Today, rounds out the group.
Syracuse went 10-3 in 2018 and ended the year ranked No. 15 ranking in the final Associated Press Top 25 and Amway Coaches polls. It was the seventh double-digit win season in program history and the Orange’s first since 2001.
New season ticket orders for 2019 are being accepted now. Tickets for next season’s six-game home slate start at $100 for Syracuse University Young Alumni (Class of 2015 to Class of 2019 graduates) and $125 for the general public. They may be purchased online (Cuse.com/tickets), by phone (888-DOME-TIX) and at the Carrier Dome Box Office (Gate B).
The deadline to renew current season tickets is March 8.
The Orange open the 2019 campaign on Aug. 31 at Liberty. Syracuse will also face Maryland (Sept. 7), Western Michigan (Sept. 21) and Holy Cross (Sept. 28) next season in non-conference action. The ACC portion of the schedule is expected to be released later this month.
2019 SYRACUSE FOOTBALL EARLY ENROLLEES
Name Pos. Year Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School
Adrian Cole DB Fr. 5-10 170 Plantation, Fla./Plantation
Cooper Dawson DL Fr. 6-5 245 Hanahan, S.C./Hanahan
Courtney Jackson WR Fr. 5-10 165 Monroeville, Pa./Gateway
Mikel Jones LB Fr. 6-0 215 Miami, Fla./IMG Academy (Fla.)
Jawhar Jordan RB Fr. 5-9 165 Long Island, N.Y./Hamilton (Ariz.)
Lee Kpogba LB Fr. 6-1 215 Winston-Salem, N.C./Parkland
Anthony Red OL Fr. 6-5 285 Bloomfield, Conn./St. Thomas More
Andrew Tuazama DL Fr. 6-5 215 Knightdale, N.C./Jireh Prep