In-state rising junior makes early choice for Cuse

It didn’t take very long for Buffalo, New York class of 2017 defensive prospect Isaiah McDuffie to determine his college choice. The 6-1, 190-pound product of Bennett High School elected to stay close to home, as he committed to Syracuse on July 20. McDuffie became the second commitment for the Orange in the 2017 class, joining Florida wide receiver Daewood Davis.

“Syracuse was a good fit for me because I wanted to play close to home, and I love the coaching staff there,” McDuffie said to Stephen Bailey of

Playing for his father, Bennett High head coach Steve McDuffie, Isaiah is a talented young linebacker with excellent instincts. Most coaches’ sons are students of the game, and that appears to be the case with McDuffie as well. A versatile defender, McDuffie has the potential to gain some weight and be a quick outside linebacker, or play in the secondary as a safety.

Perhaps most importantly, McDuffie gives Syracuse a solid in-state pledge early on in the 2017 class, which could pay dividends in the coming months as they attempt to lure other players. A two-way standout in high school, McDuffie ran for over 1,300 yards and 23 touchdowns last fall, as well as recording over 150 tackles, earning an All-Western New York selection by the Buffalo News.

McDuffie chose the Orange over offers from Penn State and UConn, among others. McDuffie is currently unranked by the major networks, but he’ll get a chance his junior and senior seasons at Bennett High to prove he’s an ACC-caliber recruit.