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Syracuse Football is Retooling its Offense

Courtesy Syracuse Athletics

Dino Babers seems to be rebuilding his offense in the class of 2021, particularly his receivers. While Taj Harris is the No. 1 option this season, there doesn’t seem to be a reliable option besides him. Even so, Harris has been pretty underwhelming so far, but he’s probably not to blame. But Babers’ offense heavily relies on talented receivers, and we’ll examine the three wideout commits in the 2021 class. 

Umari Hatcher

Hatcher is a three-star, 6-foot-3 receiver from Woodbridge, Virginia. He also had offers from Michigan State, Maryland, Penn State, Indiana and other Power-Five schools. While SU generally can’t out-recruit big time football programs, Babers’ high powered offense helps reel in receivers. On his tape, Hatcher’s high school seems to try to get the ball in his hands as much as possible. Rather than go up for highlight reel catches and win 50-50 balls like most big receivers, Hatcher seems accustomed to catching the ball in space and taking off. Once he gets going, he’s excellent at blazing past defenders. 

Oronde Gadsden II

Gadsden II is another three-star recruit with big time offers. Besides Syracuse, Gadsden II was being recruited by Penn State, West Virginia, Arizona State and other Power-Five programs. Like Hatcher, Gadsden is a big-bodied receiver at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds. More so than Hatcher, it seems like Gadsden II high school likes to lob the ball up and let the receiver make a play. Often he’ll run long routes on the outside without much wasted movement at the line of scrimmage. 

Kendall Long

Long rounds out the trio of receivers, and as of now, it seems like all of SU’s recruits are meant to play on the outside. Long is 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and has offers from Coastal Carolina, Eastern Carolina, Appalachian State and others. While he’s the lowest rated recruit of the three, Long seems to do everything for his high school offense, whether that’s going up for 50-50 balls or catching passes at the line of scrimmage. When he does have the football in his hands, he’s incredibly difficult to tackle since he’s already 215 pounds. For comparison, that’s a couple pounds heavier than Jamal Custis who used his physicality to body defenders while at Syracuse. While Hatcher and Gadsden could gain more weight, that won’t be an issue for Long.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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