After its winningest season in four years, Syracuse football is now set to embark on a crucial offseason. The transfer portal revolving door is moving at mach speed, and the cement is set to dry on SU’s 2023 recruiting class during tomorrow’s national signing day. The Fizz will have live coverage and analysis of the day, and a preview of those about to put pen to paper is already up.
One of those names ready to put down a signature is perhaps Syracuse’s most promising current commit, but who may flip elsewhere and topple a critical pillar of the class: LaNorris Sellers.
Sellers, a 6’2”, 217-pound 4-star quarterback from Florence, South Carolina, is SU’s top commit in its Class of 2023. Sellers was the first commit to Syracuse in his class all the way back in March. Since then, his recruitment has stayed mostly quiet. He’s a highly-touted dual-threat quarterback who would be a boon to Syracuse’s system, and likely impressed Dino Babers during an in-person visit with a nine touchdown (!) performance back in October.
However, the tide has shifted on Sellers as the recruiting cycle has worn on. Plenty of buzz from 247Sports to SI.com’s Mike McAllister have noted the heavily increased interest from South Carolina toward Sellers. An in-state SEC school that finished its season on a high note is certainly an enticing draw, and 247’s Crystal Ball predictor has logged two predictions that expect Sellers to flip to the Gamecocks tomorrow. In the meantime, SC coach Shane Beamer is doing his best to charm Sellers following his Shrine Bowl performance. If Sellers flips from the Orange to the Gamecocks, it wouldn’t be a shock – but it would be a serious blow for Syracuse and its recruiting efforts.
In a bizarre way, Syracuse’s success in 2022 may have hurt its standing with Sellers. If SU had struggled again offensively and Garrett Shrader hadn’t found his footing, the latter may have elected to test transfer waters. Instead, Shrader’s improvement and commitment to return for his last year of eligibility turns away any potential quarterback seeking an immediate starting role. In the era of quick-trigger transfers, sitting a year (or more) is far less appealing than finding a place to play as soon as possible.
SU isn’t desperate at the moment for a quarterback, but what Sellers would represent as a commit is far more important. The Orange have their incumbent passer in Shrader and intriguing prospects in Carlos Del Rio-Wilson and Justin Lamson on the depth chart. However, Sellers’ commitment would show that SU can close the deal in the NIL era with a highly-sought prospect and begin building on a successful 7-5 season, all while enticing an exciting player with a competent vision for the future and desirable program qualities.
Sellers’ sign-on would demonstrate a commitment on his part towards SU’s future and undoubtedly help recruiting efforts, particularly for a bare-looking offensive skill cupboard. For a program whose successes are spread far and thin, building a long-term foundation is a better prospect than hoping to catch lightning in a bottle every half-decade. Whether Sellers realizes it or not, his choice tomorrow has the Orange at a crossroads, and he holds the map to determine which route the program goes down.