Syracuse is facing an offseason without its quarterback. Garrett Shrader had surgery on his right arm that knocked him out of Spring practice. While he’s expected to be ready for Fall camp and the start of the season and is going to be the undisputed starter come September, this sabbatical provides Dino Babers and new offensive coordinator Jason Beck with an opportunity.
Had Shrader been healthy, he would have taken the lion’s share of first team reps in these 15 practices, but now it opens those up for two young quarterbacks that SU hopes to pin its future on: Carlos Del Rio-Wilson and Justin Lamson.
Del Rio-Wilson, the incumbent backup, completed just 43% of his 51 pass attempts for 342 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions last season filling in for Shrader who hurt his ankle in the back half of the season.
Speaking of injuries, many believe the reason Del Rio-Wilson, a former top 100 recruit, is on the Orange’s roster is because Lamson, himself, was hurt and missed the entire 2022 season. That came after reportedly impressing in the Spring. Lamson had a big Spring Game and had many SU fans excited about him being the future at the quarterback position.
The question Syracuse has to answer is who will be the first option behind Shrader. That obviously matters in a vacuum this year because, as we saw last year, Shrader’s play style makes him especially vulnerable to injuries.
It also matters because 2023 will be Shrader’s final season. After two years of knowing exactly who the quarterback would be for the entire offseason, this time next year will be a much different story.
Whoever wins the backup job this year, one would imagine, has the inside track to become the starter in 2024. In this age of college football, however, that can obviously change.
Even still, it’s at least worth a thought in the back of your mind as a Syracuse fan. That’s why, while obviously being without your starting quarterback for spring ball is not an ideal situation and you never want to see anyone get hurt, there is a positive.
Del Rio-Wilson and Lamson have about a month to go through a mock-QB battle, take first team reps, and set themselves up for a successful Fall camp. Whoever does that the best now may be in a good position to take the reins in a year.