Syracuse fans got thrilling news Saturday when Robert Washington called their name. But what will the rest of his 2015 look like? There’s been some questions lurking around Scott Shafer after last season. A 3-9 year will do that to a coach. But grabbing a huge name like Washington immediately gives optimism to the program. Did Washington’s commitment on Saturday change the mindset?
There’s some serious talks about giving him the legendary #44. How much does Washington’s commitment help Shafer’s case? Coming off a 3-9 season means there isn’t much patience for another losing campaign. The new AD coming is a wild card too. Whoever takes over may want his or her own hire at the top of the football program.
On the other hand, there’s no way that bringing in one of Syracuse’s most anticipated recruits in the last decade can hurt Shafer. Depending on how much of a factor Shafer was in the recruiting process, his firing could mean a decommitment from Washington. Washington could also open the floodgates for other quality recruits to look at Syracuse, and a good recruiting class can help Shafer keep his job.
But questions surrounding Shafer’s job security are also premature at this point. We know he’ll be the head man through this next season. And ultimately he has ultimate control over the decision. If he wins, everyone is happy, and he’ll remain the coach. The Washington commitment is going to be a fascinating storyline for the rest of the calendar year (and beyond). The verbal is huge for the Orange, but in the cut throat world of football recruiting, there will be major pressure from programs to sway his commitment during the fall and as we creep closer to signing day.
If SU is winning, puts together a bowl season, and overall the health of the program is high, then there wouldn’t be much reason to switch for Washington (unless he just wants to get more visibility at a larger program or play in the football playoff). But it’s hard to imagine the suitors that were snubbed this time around (Florida, Alabama, Michigan) won’t be knocking again as we head into the football season.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson