Tagged as one of the top quarterbacks in the ACC over the past three years, Eric Dungey now enters his final season with the Syracuse Orange.
From the moment he took over for Terrel Hunt midway through the first quarter of the first game of 2015, Dungey has left his mark.
We have seen him throw for more than 300 yards in games. We have seen him lead the team in rushing. We have seen him jump over people (and sometimes just attempt to jump over people). We have seen him lead his team to two victories over ranked opponents (Virginia Tech in 2016 and Clemson in 2017) when his team was the underdog.
This is a guy you can root for! And Dungey has put on quite the show.
Now, with all of this prior attention, Dungey will begin the end of an era for Syracuse football. But it is only a beginning for him.
The 2018 season is a chance for Dungey to put on his best show yet in attempts to increase his draft stock for next year‚Äôs NFL Draft.
Tuesday morning, Athlon Sports released its 2018 college football rankings, naming Dungey number 23.
Ranking all 130 starting quarterbacks for 2018: Who takes the No. 1 spot? https://t.co/JC2Xpfn213 pic.twitter.com/Uw1lOcCTgU
— Athlon Sports (@AthlonSports) May 8, 2018
QB1 @EricDungey ranked in the top 25.#OITNF üçäüí® https://t.co/y40uzVk0Cj
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) May 8, 2018
But, of course, any player wants to be number one. Whether or not that happens for Dungey, here are a few things he can do this season to make himself look even better post-college.
Dungey needs to Stay Healthy
Let‚Äôs face it: no NFL team wants to pick up an injury liability.
And in any case, in order to show off skill and continue to improve in his last year of college football, Eric Dungey needs to be on the field (obviously). No matter how good you are, you cannot get stats nor help your team if you are watching from the sidelines.
Dungey has missed the last three games of the season each of the past three years. To really head into his post-college career strong, Dungey needs to put up a (near) fully-healthy season to reduce risk associated with picking him.
Dungey needs to Continue to Put Numbers Up Through the Air
Two years ago, Amba Etta-Tawo stole the show.
Last year, the Ervin Philips/Steve Ishmael duo hauled in the majority of the passing yards.
Now, if Dungey can continue to be effective through the air with a dramatically different receiving corps, all eyes should turn to him.
The depth chart is not as flashy as it has been the past few years. Arguably, there is no name on the list, no clear target that stands out as the number one receiver for Dungey just yet.
We know he can run‚ÄîDungey is in control of that part of his game himself. If Dungey can figure out a way to use this new offense to its max and put up similar or better numbers than he has in the past when he had one or two stars on the other end of his throws, he will establish himself as an adaptable quarterback that can make the best of any offense over time.
And teams like that. Especially when Dungey would literally be joining an entirely new team if drafted.
It Wouldn‚Äôt Hurt if Dungey Leads SU to a Bowl Game
If Dungey can put it all together and lead Syracuse to its first bowl game since 2013, the table is set.
Dungey will have unexpectedly taken over just a few minutes into his college football career, changes offensive schemes under a new head coach, brought his team to victory over two ranked opponents (one being the Defending National Champion), been one of the best quarterbacks in the best conference in college football and then brought his team all the way to a bowl game to end his college career.
Not a bad story.
Think about it. Dungey, Dino Babers, Syracuse, a bowl game. Dungey would go out from his college career in a ball of fire! In all his college glory!
A lot of attention would turn to him as a success story entering the Draft.
At the end of the day, these are all expectations and goals that Dungey has for himself anyway. Now, can he actually accomplish them?
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Published: David Edelstein