As is tradition, the ACC hosted its media kickoff weekend which concluded with head coaches taking the podium on Tuesday. And when Scott Shafer takes the podium, it’s must-watch content, as he’s been known to say some pretty crazy things while in front of the microphones.
Over the weekend, Syracuse selected quarterback Terrel Hunt and defensive standout Zaire Franklin as their player representatives. As noted earlier in the week, the Orange will be leaning on the sophomore Franklin to be a leader on defense.
Second, the ACC media polls were released, and the Orange was picked to finish second-to-last in the Atlantic Division ahead of Wake Forest. Surprisingly enough, Clemson was chosen over Florida State, and Louisville was chosen to finish third. NC State was picked to finish fourth, Boston College fifth, and then the Orange sixth. Syracuse was also picked to finish ahead of Virginia, although they are in the Coastal Division.
Yet, as expected, the most exciting news of the extended weekend came when the head coach spoke with reporters. He gave insight on a lot of different issues with the team starting with Tim Daoust. Shafer clearly has a lot of respect for the coach, and even hinted at promoting him to defensive coordinator if the Orange’s current DC, Chuck Bullough, were to leave.
On the recruiting front, the Orange are still waiting on high-profile safety Marquise Blair. Blair has not been able to join the team on campus yet due to academic issues because has not been cleared by the NCAA. According to Shafer, Blair has the grades he needs to join the team and noted that he “worked his tail off,” but all the team can do is wait now.
Furthermore, when asked about the tragic comedy that has become the 44 saga, Shafer provided no insight. He’s happy that it can be used as a recruiting tool, although that provided no hints as to whether it would be worn anytime soon. He added that he’s happy its part of the storied culture of Syracuse football – and emphasized that it’s all about the story. So, no conclusion on this front (of course…)
Some other tidbits that he touched on had to do with the open competition at cornerback, despite Julian Whigham and Wayne Morgan returning, the potential of hiring a new offensive coordinator, and the fact that SU has three kickers under scholarship.