Syracuse needs to address its problems in the secondary.
Recruiting is such a difficult topic to cover because there are so many moving parts, often words mean little and everything is always changing. Something that often gets lost when one is caught up in the latest commits to their given team is what their team actually needs. When talking about Syracuse, things get even more dicey because the holes that Syracuse has are so glaring that they cannot be ignored. There is nothing wrong with a coach going after a big-time player, but he must also remember that he needs to flush out an entire team.
With that said, let’s breakdown what Syracuse has and what they still desperately need. On National Signing Day back in February, Dino Babers said that building a team starts in the trenches. And he made a concerted effort to fill out his lines, signing four offensive tackles and four defensive ends. It is impossible to know how big of an impact these big guys will have, but Babers has clearly shifted his focus as only one of the ten 2017 commits that the Orange have in their strong recruiting class play in the trenches.
So what does Syracuse really need? Well, the Orange had the 98th ranked defense in the country last season, giving up almost 439 yards per game. The defensive struggles were due, in large part, to a very weak secondary. And therein lies Syracuse’s biggest need.
Syracuse’s offense was far from good last season, only averaging 320 yards per game. However, it was an offense led by a freshman in Eric Dungey. It may take some time for Dungey and co. to click in Babers’ new offense but offense is what Babers does best. If Babers fails to utilize Dungey and improve this offense, this team isn’t going anywhere. One has to trust that Babers will do that. The concern remains on defense.
As of now, three of the ten commits for 2017 are on defense. Babers needs to continue to fortify a severely depleted secondary. Syracuse will likely add another 6-10 recruits for its 2017 class, and there is no doubt that the secondary is the biggest concern that needs to be addressed.