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Offensive Line Issues Could Continue if Syracuse Doesn’t Improve Recruiting

At this point in the season, as SU sits at 3-4, it’s obvious what’s gone wrong. Syracuse is home to the worst offensive line in the FBS. In its three ACC games, the Orange have allowed 25 sacks. Over the course of the year, Syracuse has allowed an FBS-worst 35 sacks. That averages out to five sacks per game. During last week’s game against Pittsburgh, Tommy DeVito and Clayton Welch were visibly hobbled on the sideline. If this injury-inducing performance by the O-line continues, Syracuse may be fielding try-outs for a starting quarterback in the last couple weeks of the season. 

Generally, this is where we would mention the recruiting class and the offensive linemen who may have to contribute immediately next season. But currently Dino Babers and his staff have just two commitments from linemen.

That’s Garth Barclay, a six-foot-seven, 250 pound offensive tackle from York, Pennsylvania. 247sports rates Barclay as SU’s seventh best commit and a three-star prospect. 

SU’s other commit is Josh Ilaoa, who 247sports lists as a defensive tackle, but will suit up as an offensive guard for the Orange. He’s a big body at 6-foot-3, 280 pounds, and had offers from ECU, Hawaii, Elon, Illinois, Colorado State, James Madison, Kent State. 

Syracuse also has a tight end commit in Steven Mahar who is 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds. Babers has said that for tight ends to get on the field, they have to know how to block. After Aaron Hackett’s breakout game against Western Michigan, Babers said that Hackett was only catching passes now because he learned how to block. So it’s possible Mahar sees the field early as a blocker to his sheer mass. 
It’s also interesting to note how many offers Syracuse sends out, and how few of those offers are given to O-linemen. In this recruiting class SU has offered scholarships to 62 wide receivers but only 25 offensive linemen. While Dino Babers has an eye for the flash and speed of the skill positions, this season is showing he needs to put more time and effort into recruiting the offensive line.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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