After a double-digit win season in 2018, the hype train for the upcoming season in Syracuse is packed to the brim. The Orange are less than a month away from beginning their most-anticipated season in recent memory. If SU wants to continue its rise to national prominence, a few players are going to need to thrive.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll detail the five players that need to have healthy, productive seasons if the Orange are going to meet the rising outside expectations.
#1 QB Tommy DeVito
Ok, this one is a no-brainer. DeVito is no doubt the most important piece to Dino Babers’ 2019 Syracuse football puzzle. All reports say this dude is locked in and ready for a monster year. After gaining valuable experience as a backup to Eric Dungey last fall, DeVito appears to be more-than-ready to take the next step. The redshirt-sophomore says he’s been working hard with receivers like Trishton Jackson and Taj Harris to ensure they are on the same page this fall.
Known more for his arm, DeVito describes himself as an Aaron Rodgers type quarterback. His mobility gives him the opportunity to make plays with his arm on the run. DeVito also won’t be afraid to tuck it and run when he needs to.
Why DeVito’s production is crucial
This one is pretty simple: there is no obvious answer behind him. Last year, Babers knew he could turn to DeVito in a pinch if he needed him. In fact, he did. Times are different this year with David Summers and Clayton Welch expected to fill out the quarterback depth chart. Without DeVito as the Orange’s signal caller, it’s hard to imagine the program sniffing double-digit wins for the second consecutive season.
When national outlets dissect the 2019 Orange, they start with the loss of program-changing quarterback Dungey. Those that aren’t very familiar with DeVito chalk it up as a huge loss, while others see the possibility for an even stronger offense. Who will be proven correct?
Given all this, there is even more pressure for the offense line to come together. The Orange continue to rotate the five men up front. With the week one matchup against Liberty looming, they’ll have to settle on the starting five sooner rather than later.
The most important assignment for the upcoming year? Protecting the Orange’s most important player.
That does it for our rankings of the five most important Syracuse football players. Check back here daily as we continue to get you ready for the much-anticipated 2019 football season. Also, make sure to check out our audio content on SoundCloud at Orange Fizz. We post a weekly show, podcasts and more.
August 1st: #5 Andre Cisco
August 15th: #1 Tommy DeVito