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Francois Nolton Highlights

Francois Nolton Highlights

Evaluation: What Syracuse is Getting in Francois Nolton

The Orange picked up one of the best pass rushers in the 2022 recruiting class.

Syracuse picked a significant commitment on Saturday in elite pass rushing defensive end Francois Nolton. Nolton's offer list, which includes schools like Alabama, Florida, Penn State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M, speaks for itself. As does racking up 25 sacks during his senior season at Edison High in Florida. Why were elite schools in hot pursuit? How was he able to rack up 25 sacks? We took a look at the film to get a better feel for his skill set. 

Nolton is 6-4, 235 pounds. His frame allows him to add another 10-15 pounds without losing his explosiveness, quickness, fluidity and burst. Enrolling this month will give him a head start into doing that. Nolton is long, explosive and strong. 

In high school, Nolton has shown elite pass rushing ability from standing up and with his hand in the ground. That gives Syracuse some versatility with how it uses him. 

Nolton attacks opposing offensive linemen in two ways. First, he shows burst in his first step and accelerates to top speed quickly. That puts pressure on opposing tackles to match his speed around the edge. He can get low if the linemen engages, gaining leverage to get to the quarterback. In addition, he has uncommon strength for someone who moves as well as he does. That allows him to bull rush at times or use a punch to disengage linemen.

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At Edison, Nolton also lined up along the inside of the defensive line in obvious passing situations as well. His quickness and strength allowed him to be a proficient pass rusher against interior offensive linemen. Whether or not he will play that role at Syracuse remains to be seen, but it, once again, gives the Orange coaches options. His strength and ability to get into the backfield suggests the ability be a weapon against the run as well. He should be able to set the edge on stretch plays while quickly disrupting off tackle runs that come in his direction. 

In addition to adding some weight to his frame, the biggest area where Nolton can show growth is his pass rushing repertoire. He has shown a punch move and a dip, but there are certainly different techniques and moves he can add to his bag of tricks. 

Overall, this is a tremendous get for Syracuse. Nolton has all of the potential to be a day one impactful player. Especially given what Syracuse lost along the defensive line from last season's squad. His talent, his potential and his offer list make this the headliner of Syracuse's 2022 recruiting class. 

Syracuse picked a significant commitment on Saturday in elite pass rushing defensive end Francois Nolton. Nolton's offer list, which includes schools like Alabama, Florida, Penn State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M, speaks for itself. As does racking up 25 sacks during his senior season at Edison High in Florida. Why were elite schools in hot pursuit? How was he able to rack up 25 sacks? We took a look at the film to get a better feel for his skill set. 

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