With the transfer portal open, the biggest question in the first few weeks of the Fran Brown era is who will play quarterback for Syracuse in 2024. Garrett Sharder is out of eligibility, Carlos Del Rio-Wilson has not proven he can play at higher than a mediocre-at-best level, and Braden Davis doesn’t look to be the answer either. If Justin Lamson hadn’t transferred, then he would be the logical successor, but he’s now at Stanford and the portal is Syracuse’s oyster. So, let’s see what some national sites are saying about who SU could pluck from the portal to be its signal-caller next season.
Tyler Van Dyke, Miami
CBS Sports released a list of the best fits for the top 10 quarterbacks in the portal, and Syracuse found its way onto the list with the former Hurricanes signal-caller. So, here’s what Will Backus, who writes about college football and basketball for CBS Sports had to say:
“This is a bit of a dart throw as Syracuse breaks in a brand-new coaching staff with Fran Brown taking over the program. Reports indicate that Brown is targeting Jeff Nixon, who coached at Baylor under Matt Rhule, as his offensive coordinator. That seems to indicate the Orange will run a spread-style offense in which some power run concepts will be schemed. Van Dyke ran something very similar at Miami, which means there would be a level of comfort. Van Dyke is also familiar with Syracuse assistant Nunzio Campanile, who recruited Van Dyke to Rutgers out of high school. Moving to Syracuse would also mean playing closer to home for Van Dyke, who signed with the Hurricanes in 2020 out of Glastonbury, Connecticut. Van Dyke would give Brown and the Orange a reliable veteran with plenty of ACC experience that could help the program transition and lay a foundation in Year 1.”
It’s an interesting argument, and we know that Brown wants to get more Northeast influence and players at Syracuse, so this connection could make sense. Having someone with ACC experience would be another huge boost for the Orange as they get ready for a first-year head coach, and likely two first-time/new coordinators as well.
Kyle McCord, Ohio State
This is another really interesting name and one that Fansided pointed out could make sense. The site listed the top five possible destinations for McCord and put the Orange in the fifth spot, and John Buhler had a lot to say about what this fit could be like:
“Not to say that the Syracuse Orange are for sure going after a signature quarterback in the transfer portal, but you have to believe they are going to be making a big splash this offseason under their new head coach, Fran Brown. While serving as a coach in the Georgia secondary, Brown developed quite the reputation for being one helluva recruiter, as well as helping that position group succeed.
Brown leaving Athens for Syracuse was shocking to say the least, but nothing in Brown’s life has ever been easy. Born into poverty in Camden, New Jersey, Brown went on to play college ball at Western Carolina before getting into coaching. He has strong East Coast ties to Temple University, a program that shares the same city of Philadelphia as McCord’s hometown. The dots can easily be connected.
By committing to Syracuse, McCord would be playing in a dome in a much more navigable ACC. He could be the player that helps the Orange get back to what they were during the peak Paul Pasqualoni days. Keep in mind that Harrison’s namesake father starred for the Orange. Another notable SU alum is former Philadelphia Eagles franchise quarterback Donovan McNabb. Keep an eye on Syracuse.”
So, it doesn’t seem like Syracuse would be the destination for McCord, but even being on a list with his name on it is just a sign of the influence and respect of Brown as a recruiter and a coach, and with all of these possible connections, it could make sense. But, of the two options here Van Dyke seems more likely.
One final name to watch is Cole Snyder, not to be mixed up with former Syracuse basketball forward Cole Swider, and this is a good sign that for all the news about Brown and his staff hitting the high school recruiting trail, they are in the portal too. We’ll see what kind of impact this visit has, but with an overlap at Rutgers, it’s clear Brown has a vision for his quarterback and this could be a good start.