Terrel Hunt took big steps Saturday to become the early front-runner under center.
It’s a season of change for Syracuse football. Scott Shafer takes over as head coach, SU moves from the Big East to the ACC, and yesterday’s Spring Game underscored the ever-changing race at quarterback.
Right now the three main combatants are Charley Loeb (Ryan Nassib’s backup the last three years), Terrel Hunt, and John Kinder. The Orange also has Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen coming in. He’ll graduate from OU in May and do his graduate work on the Hill.
In terms of change, the offense will have to get used to the new faces. George McDonald is in as a first-time coordinator, and SU’s two top receivers, Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales, are gone. Enter Jarrod West. In the Spring Game, West caught six passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his scores came from Hunt on 49 and 15 yard passes.
Hunt helped lead the White team (starters) over the Blue team (reserves) 27-10. Shafer reiterated no decisions have been made at the QB position yet. There’s all summer to pick a starter. But Hunt’s performance opened some eyes, completing 19 passes for over 200 yards. It appears Loeb and Kinder have fallen behind. Loeb didn’t enter the game until the fourth series, and only threw 8 passes for 9 yards. He also threw the ball away twice to avoid blitzes.
Could it be shaping up as Hunt vs. Allen in August?
Although West isn’t focused on who the quarterback is, he developed a rapport with Hunt.
“I’m not really worried about the quarterbacks. No matter who the quarterback is, as long as they put it in the area.”
Few figured Hunt would be the guy to beat, but he’s not taking anything for granted in this race.
“I’m not counting anybody out. If I’m the frontrunner now, I want to continue doing that… I think I did very well this spring. I learned a lot, picked up a lot.
Hunt knows what a go-to receiver like West can mean to a quarterback. It’s someone who can help take the pressure off the signal caller.
“Jarrod’s a great receiver. If I can just throw it to him and he’ll go get it, that’s what I like.”
Hunt used the entire field to connect with West, going over the middle, and throwing sideline passes to the outside. Hunt’s performance stood out and this coaching staff won’t make a decision based on anything but who gets the job done. For Loeb, this starts a summer where he needs to close the gap. For Hunt, maybe we have our first lead in SU’s quarterback race.
Posted: Austin Pollack