Now that Justin Lamson’s future likely does not involve him being in Central New York, Syracuse’s quarterback depth is in question. Carlos Del Rio-Wilson is at the forefront of that. The Florida transfer was very highly touted to the tune of being a 4-star prospect coming out of high school, but had trouble finding his way in Gainesville. So up to Central New York he goes, but in limited playing time against Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, he was mediocre at best. So if Garrett Shrader goes down, we’d better hope Del Rio-Wilson delivers on that potential.
The thing that thrust Del Rio-Wilson into action last season is what everyone is worried about. What is going to happen if Shrader cannot play? It was a lower-body injury that hindered him down the stretch last year, and the elbow surgery he had a few months ago is no joke; it’s held him out for the entirety of spring practices. If Shrader’s ability to throw is impacted for the worst at all, Dino Babers is going to have to rely on CDRW. The only question is, will Babers’ faith in him pay off?
Dissecting the box scores from Del Rio-Wilson’s game action last season, they are nowhere near good enough to hold down a starting job. A combined 19-for-45 in the second half against Notre Dame and the entirety of the Pitt game are not going to cut it. Additionally, Oronde Gadsden had a giant goose egg in the receptions category against the Panthers for the only time last season, when Del Rio-Wilson was the quarterback. Going outside the box score for a second, who can forget the safety at the end of the Pitt game? Flat out unacceptable and cannot happen. If Del Rio-Wilson sees the field at all this season, he has to be better than that on the stat sheet.
The good thing working for Del Rio-Wilson is that the competition behind him isn’t exactly awe-inspiring. After LaNorris Sellers, AKA Syracuse’s bonafide QB of the future, spurned the Orange for the SEC, the butterfly effects were quite large. It tightened Shrader’s job security in the present and changed the prospects of the future. As did Lamson’s decision to transfer. So unless Luke MacPhail explodes in practices this summer, the odds Del Rio-Wilson isn’t right behind Shrader on the depth chart are slim. There’s a lot of pressure in holding that distinction though.
There was plenty of hype behind Del Rio-Wilson’s decision to transfer to Syracuse a year ago, and rightfully so. The raw potential is there, but it was unfulfilled in his limited action last season. If rough showings in any game-action arise come the fall, then that potential will remain unfulfilled over his Orange career.