Oh boy, you can start to smell it in the air. The leaves are getting ready to change, which means we are getting ready for another football season. Despite a putrid 1-10 campaign in 2020, Syracuse Football is poised to do better this year. With plenty of seasoned veterans returning and some exciting new faces, there are a lot of important players on the roster. Who are the top-10 most important? Well, over the next few weeks, we here at Orange Fizz will be ranking them.
To start off the list, coming in at No. 10 is one of the new names – Garrett Shrader. The Mississippi State transfer is currently battling for the QB1 position at Syracuse.
Coming out of high school, Shrader was a four-star recruit and a top-10 quarterback prospect. He played ten games, starting four of them, as a freshman with the Bulldogs. He was one of only three FBS freshmen to account for 1,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards. Despite his impressive first season, Shrader was moved to wide receiver as a sophomore by new head coach Mike Leach.
Due to the change, Shrader entered the transfer portal and ended up in Central New York. Without even knowing if he will play this season, the Fizz is still confident that he will be an important piece to the Orange puzzle.
Why Syracuse Needs Him
The simple answer is because Syracuse’s quarterback room isn’t the most talented. Early indications from training camp are that Tommy DeVito owns the QB1 title, but we’ve seen this movie before. DeVito was also the starter last season, but lost the spot due to poor play and injuries. If that happens again, Shrader will be the go-to guy to lead an offense that desperately needs a serviceable quarterback.
Beyond that, however, Shrader fits Syracuse’s offense perfectly. He is an accurate thrower, posting a 132.5 passing efficiency mark his freshman year at Mississippi State, and a better runner than DeVito. Shrader rushed for six touchdowns in only ten games, on a not-so-run-heavy offense, and against SEC defenses. Imagine what he could do in Syracuse’s run-dominant offense. Plus, that running ability will come in handy when the offensive line, inevitably, allows a blitz through and he needs to escape.
Best Case Scenario
The best case scenario for Shrader is if he wins the QB1 spot in camp before the season even starts. That way there is no quarterback controversy mid-season and the Orange offense doesn’t hurt from a change in leadership like it did last year.
From a numbers standpoint, Syracuse is going to be a run-heavy offense this year, or at least it should be. So, if Shrader can average around 2,500 yards through the air, which equates to just over 200 yards per game, and 600 yards on the ground, or 50 yards per game, that would be ideal. Obviously, those numbers are only attainable if he plays all 12 games. Those numbers would drop immensely if he cannot beat out DeVito.
Is this actually going to happen? Probably not. DeVito is still the favorite, so it is an uphill battle for Shrader. But hey, it’s a best case scenario.
Worst Case Scenario
The worst case scenario for Shrader is if we don’t see him all season. That means DeVito won the starting spot and never lost it. In that situation, it is actually probably good news because it means DeVito is playing well. It would just be less than ideal for Shrader who transferred to Syracuse thinking he would get playing time.
Monday, August 16 – #10 Garrett Shrader
Wednesday, August 18 – #9 ?
Friday, August 20 – #8 ?
Sunday, August 22 – #7 ?
Tuesday, August 24 – #6 ?
Thursday, August 26 – #5 ?
Saturday, August 28 – #4 ?
Monday, August 30 – #3 ?
Wednesday, September 1 – #2 ?
Friday, September 3 – #1 ?