Since taking over for Scott Shafer two years ago, Dino Babers has said all of the right things. From his pump-up speech during halftime of a Syracuse basketball game, to his electric locker room speeches to his confidence-inducing statements in press conferences. During his introductory press conference, Babers said that we would start to see his philosophy take shape during year two, game four. That game came, and Syracuse knocked off Clemson, the defending national champions and number one team in the country. Now, Babers has come through with another prophecy. This year’s recruiting class will be the one that proves to be a major breakthrough for the Orange.
So, that sounds all well and good, but should we actually believe that? Well context is important. Part of his claim suggested that key players are already on the roster and that the incoming class will be able to redshirt, learn from the upperclassmen who are active and push them to be better. He strongly believes that this class will be able to quickly climb the depth chart and make an impact on the field.
On paper, there is something to this. According to 247, this class ranks 9th in the ACC and 50th in the country. That is the highest rank in the conference since Syracuse joined the ACC and the highest national ranking in more than ten years (Syracuse ranked 45th in 2007). This goes hand in hand with something else that Babers said at his press conference.
The longer you are in the league, the more you understand what you do need and maybe what you don’t need.
The second part of this statement is very interesting. And, when you think about it, makes a lot of sense. Though it seems like college football teams have unlimited scholarships to give out, they actually don’t. It is important that Syracuse takes that limited number and puts them towards players that will buy into Dino’s system and be effective in it, on both sides of the ball. Babers says that this class has eighteen guys who will do just that, and we have no real reason to doubt that until we see these guys take the field. Yes, the 2017 season was very disappointing but the Orange have to put trust in Dino Babers and if what he says is true, this recruiting cycle will justify that trust.