Among the buzz of football recruiting, it is also important to keep an eye on players who have already established themselves on the Orange roster. Dino Babers’ recent comments about the SU defense preparing to get more physical in the year to come may make some people wonder if the same expectations apply to the offense.
And speaking of offensive physicality is still too sore of a reminder of Syracuse’s physical-yet-fragile quarterbacks over the past few years.
- In 2014, Terrel Hunt broke his leg early in the year. He didn’t play the rest of the season.
- Later in 2014, AJ Long suffered a nerve issue in his throwing arm that sidelined him.
- In 2015, Long was medically disqualified from playing as a result of having a number of concussions.
- In 2015, Hunt injured his achilles in the first quarter of the first game of the season, ending his season (and his Syracuse play, as the NCAA did not grant him an extra year of eligibility).
- In 2015, Eric Dungey was sidelined after a head-to-head collision.
- Last year, Dungey left the game against Clemson with yet another hit to the head and another concussion, sidelining him for the remainder of the season and raising questions about whether his career was over.
Heading into 2017, should Syracuse be ready to add another hit to the list?
— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) September 19, 2015
— LJ tha Fiasco (@LJthaFiasc0) October 17, 2015
Dungey does it all. He passes the ball. He hands the ball off. He runs it himself. He scores touchdowns through the air and on the ground. He jumps over defenders. And yes, he also plays wide receiver.
So with an injury-prone Dungey who will do nearly anything to help his team win under center, should Syracuse football worry about who is in line to take his place?
Right now, SU’s roster features Dungey — a junior — along with senior Zack Mahoney and two redshirt freshmen. Add four-star quarterback signee Tommy Devito to the team and there are three reliable play-callers plus two more for insurance.
So, no, the Orange shouldn’t need to worry about it’s QB lineup. That is as long it does worry about protecting its quarterback from situations where he takes unnecessary hits. Protect Dungey and there is no fear.
And maybe Dungey’s new year’s resolution can be to be recognized on the highlight reel for how hard he plays rather than how hard he gets hit.
Published: David Edelstein