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Pros and Cons of Syracuse Football Roster Turnover

Syracuse football has been like an airport this offseason, with 37 departures and 34 arrivals so far. The turnover under Fran Brown has been unprecedented for Syracuse, with changes that haven’t occurred since the late ’80s and mid-’90s. Some of the standout names in the transfer class include Texas A&M edge Fadil Diggs and Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord. While these additions have been noteworthy, SU has also witnessed the departure of their best wide receiver from last season, Damien Alford, and sacks leader Kevon Darton.

The changes implemented by Brown have propelled Syracuse to its highest-ranked class this century, but there is still ample reason to be cautious that things may go awry.

The transfer of McCord symbolizes an increasing level of talent at Syracuse not seen since the Donovan McNabb era in the mid-’90s. McNabb, third all-time for passing yards, threw for 2,488 yards in his junior season. McCord threw for 3,170 yards last year and aims to surpass McNabb’s season highs this year. Bringing in a seasoned veteran like McCord is vital to Syracuse’s success next season. He will mentor new teammates and bring Big Ten experience to a weaker ACC conference.

Another high-impact player added to Brown’s squad this year is Diggs, who amassed four sacks this past season with the Aggies. The New Jersey product was a four-star recruit out of high school and highlights a stacked Orange defensive line. However, one player who made a significant impact for SU last season will be absent from that defensive line.

Darton was arguably the Orange’s best defensive lineman last year. Along with a team-leading five sacks, he ranked second on the team with 12 tackles for loss last season. While Darton’s absence will be felt on defense, Alford’s absence will be just as prevalent on the offensive side of the ball

Brown dismissed the Montreal native about two months ago in a surprising move despite leading the team with 610 yards, 33 catches, and three touchdowns last season. With Alford gone, Syracuse must rely on returning senior Oronde Gadsden to replicate his 2022 season form. Thus far, SU has not recruited any notable receivers from the transfer portal.

Brown has made significant strides in improving this team, but there are still glaring holes on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Only time will tell if Brown’s maneuvers will restore Syracuse to the glory days of the ’90s, or if the Orange will endure a repeat of last year.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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