Syracuse has to win its final three games of the season to be considered for a bowl game.
Considering how most of the season has gone for the Orange, a win against Duke, Pittsburgh, or Boston College seems incredibly unlikely. Saturday’s game against the Blue Devils will most likely be the one where SU knows it is out of contention.
The season has been rocky, to say the least. It started with a near loss to Villanova at home back in August, then it became all about injury problems, followed by demotions. George McDonald was demoted from offensive coordinator, and one big question was how would that impact probably the best thing he offers to the table: recruiting?
McDonald is responsible for some of the most recent names to commit to Syracuse University and with that, he is a big reason for the team’s success. The game against BC could be his last with Syracuse, considering his struggles this season. Syracuse is losing commits. Gerald Robinson spoke to The Fizz’s Brendan Glasheen and Connor Morrissette about his decommitment from Syracuse, and that raises questions as to the future of this program because of McDonald’s current and future role.
Some of his recruits may decide to decommit and attend another university because they had intentions of playing under McDonald as the offensive coordinator. It would be tough to fill the void. A player should attend a university because of the program, not one specific coach. That is why players commit to a university, rather than one specific coach. Although Syracuse has to find a way to get better coaching in for on-the-field success, recruiting is what tends to get the job done.
If the Orange loses to Duke on Saturday, it is immediately time to shift the focus to not only next season, but to keep recruits interested in Syracuse and to keep talent coming in. Without talent coming in and players shifting their commits to another school, Syracuse will continue to fall.
So what can Syracuse specifically do to continue to attract football recruits? A commitment to building the program is still evident. They play in a major conference, so getting the opportunity to play top teams in the country is still a solid reason. The new indoor practice facility is the commitment to give the athletes the best resources to practice and get better.
Something huge for football is playing time. Scott Shafer has a set lineup and depth chart for his players but he is known to give freshmen and younger players more playing time to help them adjust to the new system and be prepared for a bigger role. A prime example of this is Ervin Philips, the current freshman running back, who is getting many touches for the Orange.
Commitment to the growth of the program and giving the players what they need to succeed will go a long way for the recruiting process.
Posted: Austin Pollack