Despite a lack of early dividends, offensive coordinator George McDonald has flexed his Florida recruiting muscle once again. Dowels is the third Sunshine State prospect to choose the Orange, all because of their relationship with McDonald.
Syracuse is trying to build a pipeline into the state to get some of their most talented targets to Central New York. The 2014 class is a good start, and they aren't likely done. Steve Ishmael and Adly Enoicy are top targets that are still available and high on the Orange.
Dowels is the latest example, as Syracuse identified a target at an important position and went after him. Despite offers from big name programs late (Clemson and Oklahoma), the Orange were able to win this recruiting battle.
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.
His upside is high, as has the potential to be a strong cover corner in the ACC. With some development, Dowels could plan inside or out and has solid ball skills.
Adding Florida speed and skill has worked for the Orange in the past, and could pay dividends in the defensive backfield once again with Dowels and fellow corner Cordell Hudson.
Where Does Syracuse Go From Here?
Syracuse will be focusing on adding one or two more linebackers. Kyron Watson and Jonathan Thomas are the top targets. Watson officially visited over the weekend, but there are mixed reviews on where things stand with him. Thomas is supposed to visit the weekend of the 31st.
To complete things up front, the Orange want a defensive tackle. Zeek Rodney, who also officially visited over the weekend, is the top target. Syracuse has him at the top of their wish list.
Offensively, Syracuse still wants to add skill position talent to take that next step in the ACC. Steve Ishmael is the top target, and has the Orange on top.
Rumor Mill: Ishmael is taking all five official visits to satisfy his coach's request. Syracuse is a strong leader at this point.
Adly Enoicy is another top target. He could play the roll of hybrid tight end/wide receiver at the next level, similar to Jamal Custis. Offensive tackle is also a priority. Denzel Ward is the guy there, and things appeared to go well during the official over the weekend. An in-home on Tuesday could be the deciding factor.
Dowels gives Syracuse another talented corner with upside. Regardless of how he ended up moving on from Oklahoma, picking up a prospect that the Sooners graded very high brings added talent and depth. Also having offers from Clemson, Northern Illinois, Cincinnati, Rutgers and others, the Orange won a solid recruiting battle in this one.