Can Syracuse have a Baylor-type resurrection? That’s what two of the newest Orange commits, Augustus Edwards and Zach Allen, believe. Edwards told The Fizz of a conversation he had with the Texas quarterback as Gus was deciding.
“He really thinks we can accomplish a lot here. We can have a season like Baylor, the season they had to get our name out there.”
Allen hails from Temple, a mere 45-minute ride up I-35 to Baylor’s Waco campus, so the Bears splash happened in his backyard. On the shoulders of Hesiman winner Robert Griffin III BU surged from 4-8 (just 1-7 in the Big 12) in ’09, to 7-5 in ’10, and then the breakout 10-3 campaign last year. Baylor capped it off with a wild 67-56 victory over Washingon in the Alamo Bowl, one of the most memorable bowl games ever.
Can Syracuse possibly follow that dramatic arc and dream of 10-win seasons? Not so fast. Baylor was recruiting in the hotbed state of Texas, and landed one of the most special talents in recent college football history to push it forward. Syracuse is still doing business in the northeast, and RG3’s aren’t exactly growing on Orange trees.
But the idea that a recruiting class or two which come in together, feel a common purpose, and push the program to the next level can absolutely happen on the Hill. The first step in any great accomplishment is envisioning it, and it sounds like Allen is the perfect leader to begin hammering that image into his teammates’ minds.
Allen looks like a total steal for SU. He’s been garnering national attention since committing, and was invited to partake in the prestigious Elite 11 camp. He’s already helping recruit his future teammates, and has an incredible start on becoming the face of the program down the road. He doesn’t have to be as electric as Griffin to be just as vital to a program’s maturation.
This is one of the most highly-regarded classes SU has had in years. The magnetism of NYC stars to come north and play at Syracuse is building. There is an important bond forming between the last two recruiting years for Doug Marrone. Wayne Morgan and Alvin Cornelius are connecting with Allen and Edwards. Maybe SU will land the program-changing big fish in Ebenezer Ogundeko in two weeks. Heck, maybe the program is changing already.
No one should expect ten-win seasons and Heismans around the corner. But the kids are thinking big for SU. And you gotta believe it before you’re going to achieve it.