Unfortunately for Syracuse, the most highly-rated member of its most recent recruiting class will have to wait to make an on-field impact for the Orange.
In a text message to the Syracuse Post-Standard, head coach Scott Shafer confirmed that talented wide receiver K.J. Williams failed to qualify academically and will not play for the Orange in 2014. Additionally, fellow 2014 signee Treevon Prater is in the same academic boat as Williams and will be on the FBS sidelines this season.
It’s unclear what route either player will take for the 2014 season, be it the JUCO ranks or a prep school. The good news for both is that the door will likely be open once they get their academic house in order, with the Post-Standard writing that “[t]raditionally, Syracuse and Shafer have stood by most recruits who didn’t qualify initially, allowing them to join the Orange after prep school or junior college.”
By far the bigger of the two losses will be Williams.
The Bethlehem, Pa., product was the only four-star member of a recruiting class that was rated 41st in the country and 10th in the ACC. The 6’2″, 188-pound Williams was rated as the No. 31 receiver in the country and the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Pennsylvania.
He chose Syracuse over offers from, among others, Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.
Coming out of high school in East St. Louis, Ill., Prater was given a three-star rating by Rivals.com.