Eric Dungey should be locked into the starting quarterback job come August. Incoming freshman Rex Culpepper, coming off of a torn ACL, could challenge Dungey for the starting job. SU also has Austin Wilson ready to step in at the drop of a hat, as he did many times in relief of Dungey last season. 2017 three-star Don Bosco quarterback Tommy Devito committed to the Orange yesterday.
So the Orange should be set at quarterback, right? Wrong. Fellow 2017 three-star quarterback Jairus Grissom named his top three schools on Thursday and surprisingly enough, SU made the cut along with Rutgers and Toledo. It should be mentioned that Devito announced his decision before Grissom named his top three, so it is yet to be seen if Grissom is still interested in becoming the Orange’s second quarterback in the class.
While these two quarterbacks would slot into the same position on the depth chart, their play styles differ drastically. Devito, a pro style quarterback out of New Jersey, attended one of the best football prep schools in the Northeast. Grissom, on the other hand, is a dual-threat quarterback that is very comparable to Dungey. What does this mean? Only that Babers doesn’t require a specific type of quarterback to run his system. He now has two different style play callers in Culpepper and Dungey, and is looking to bring in a diverse class in the future.
Since Ryan Nassib graduated from Syracuse and was drafted into the NFL in 2013, it has been a constant revolving door at quarterback in the Dome. Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen transferred to Syracuse with hopes of running Scott Shafer’s offense, but was quickly replaced by Terrel Hunt. When Hunt’s career began to fall apart due to injuries, Shafer asked AJ Long to step up. With Long’s SU football career being cut short due to concussions, Dungey was the next man up. However, after Dungey took hit after hit, the responsibility fell on Wilson and walk-on Zach Mahoney.
So, either Babers doesn’t want injuries derailing his team, or he truly is trying to find the perfect quarterback for his system. It should be noted that Bowling Green used a pocket-passer on offense and produced one of the most efficient offenses in the nation. Babers could use Dungey as a guinea pig for running a dual-threat QB in the system. If it works like he thinks it will, Babers could then slot in Grissom down the road. Or, if it doesn’t go as planned, Babers will always have two pocket passers to substitute, in Culpepper and Devito.
Be sure to follow the Fizz @OrangeFizz on Twitter for all SU football recruiting news. Which QB do you think will start under center in 2016. How about 2017?