Summertime is not only meant to get the current roster in shape for the upcoming season. It represents a golden opportunity for Syracuse to make its pitch to recruits. Three recent high school graduates have already committed in LaNorris Sellers, David Clement, and Rashard Perry. Here are the positions Dino Babers and company need to particularly focus on if SU wants to succeed in the future.
A team can never have too many wideouts. Four players topped 500 receiving yards during SU’s 10-win season back in 2018. The Orange have had three since then, and two of them belong to Taj Harris. He’s not walking through that door anymore. Not a single player topped 400 receiving yards for Syracuse after Harris’ departure. Not ideal. Dynamic wide receivers go a long way toward a team’s success, and as of right now the Orange do not have a proven one. Additionally, Garrett Shrader is entering his fourth college season. There’s a possibility this season could be his last rodeo in the 315. Are young gunslingers like Sellers or Carlos Del Rio-Wilson going to be thrilled with a lack of wide receivers? It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out that those signal-callers will be out the door quickly without legitimate weapons to throw to. Successfully recruiting wide receivers would benefit the Orange in both the immediate and long-term future.
Similar to wide receivers, not having a potent offensive line would give both Sellers and Del Rio-Wilson bad vibes. Neither of them are going to be too thrilled if opposing defensive lines repeatedly make life difficult. And life was difficult for SU QBs last season. The Orange were sacked nearly three times a game even though Shrader has excellent mobility. That was with All-ACC Honorable Mention Matthew Bergeron anchoring the unit. He’s entering his fourth season in Syracuse. It hasn’t exactly been uncommon for players finishing their undergraduate academics to play their final season of eligibility at another school. SU has to prepare for that possibility with Bergeron. The offensive line could be a dire need for Syracuse in the blink of an eye.
Sean Tucker will be draft-eligible in April. Is any more reasoning needed? The boy who tweets accounted for over 40% of SU’s total offense last season. He broke the single-season rushing yard record. Tucker declaring for the draft and SU not having a replacement would be catastrophic. Also, as talented as Sellers and Del-Rio Wilson are, it’s unrealistic to expect them to fully carry the offense unless one of them proves to be the second coming of Patrick Mahomes. As fun as that would be, the odds aren’t high. A strong ground game will take a lot of pressure off their shoulders and make the offense multi-dimensional. Should fans expect a player identical to Tucker? Of course not. But under no circumstances can the Orange be empty-handed at running back without Tucker.
The one thing talked about with all of these positions: SU’s young quarterbacks. Building around them is vital. The promise is there, but a poor supporting cast will keep Sellers and Del-Rio Wilson from reaching their full potential. The defense has a lot of promising talent, much of it coming from underclassmen. Now go get some wideouts, some offensive linemen, and some running backs to make the future as bright as can be.