With only two regular season games remaining and throwing the football seeming like it is not an option for Syracuse’s offense at this point, it is fair to examine how the Orange are going to use the quarterback position not only moving forward for the rest of this year, but into the future as well.
This is a topic being discussed by people all over Central New York, and it will not just go away considering it is the most important position on a football field. Garrett Sharder is in his last year of eligibility and has two, or potentially three more games to go wearing Navy, Orange, and White. Carlos Del Rio-Wilson has proven that he is not a viable option to be a starting quarterback in the multiple starts he’s gotten over the last few years, so cross him off. Braden Davis, who was brought in as depth for the quarterback room, has gotten barely any playing time this year, and if he couldn’t be trusted to play when Shrader can’t throw, then he might never be trusted.
There’s incoming freshman Jakhari Williams, one of the highest-rated recruits in Syracuse’s 2024 class, but asking him to be ready to start as a true freshman is a tough ask and not something realistic. That leaves one option, going back to the transfer portal to find a starting quarterback. Think of some of the best teams and best quarterbacks in the country, a lot of them are at their second school. Jayden Daniels at LSU, Michael Penix Jr. at Washington, Bo Nix at Oregon, Quinn Ewers at Texas, and the list goes on and on.
There should be plenty of options for Syracuse to choose from like it did when Garrett Shrader was brought to Central New York from Mississippi State a few years back. Shrader has had his ups and downs as the starting quarterback in CNY, but if Dino Babers or a new coach was able to bring in someone comparable in terms of output and talent to the North Carolina native, that would suffice in being a short-term solution in 2024.
Speaking of Babers, he is likely coaching for his jobs in these final two games, with the possibility that he does not survive a losing season if the Orange were to fall to Georgia Tech and then Wake Forest. He is going to continue to throw the kitchen sink at teams and be more aggressive than he usually is because he is trying to save his job like he was against Pittsburgh.
The Syracuse coaching staff is only focused on the short-term, but the long-term question at quarterback is an undeniable one and has to be addressed sooner rather than later. The two players SU thought it could have lined up for the role, Justin Lamson and LaNorris Sellers, both either transferred or went elsewhere on National Signing Day, to no fault of their own because they didn’t want to sit behind other quarterbacks for a long time. But, now the Orange are paying the price for not retaining one of those guys because the outlook for 2024 and beyond is bleak at the moment.