Syracuse Football: Losing Justin Lamson to injury a huge blow to QB depth

Syracuse football (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

On Monday, I was all set to publish a piece discussing how some Syracuse football fans and national pundits were debating the distinct possibility that redshirt freshman Justin Lamson might prove the Orange’s starting quarterback at the commencement of the 2022 season.

At a minimum, some fans and experts have opined lately, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Lamson would be a significant contender for the No. 1 back-up role at quarterback for the ‘Cuse, behind Garrett Shrader, who started the bulk of the squad’s games in 2021.

Then, sadly, word broke on Monday that Lamson is “sidelined indefinitely after undergoing surgery for a knee injury,” per a story by Stephen Bailey of 247Sports.

Nate Mink of first reported this news, although his article is a subscriber-exclusive, so we’re sharing this development via Bailey’s report.

Bailey, citing a source, said that the injury suffered by Lamson transpired in a “non-contact situation,” and it’s unclear at this time how long Lamson will be unavailable. More than anything else, my heart breaks for Justin Lamson, who was terrific for the Orange during the team’s spring game at the beginning of April.

Syracuse football got dealt a rough blow with the injury to quarterback Justin Lamson.

Spring football has come and gone for the ‘Cuse, and now the Orange is getting set to transition to its summer workouts. And with Lamson out, Syracuse football has witnessed its strong depth in the quarterback room diminish.

Shrader, I would imagine, is the likely starter in 2022, at least when the season begins. Behind him, potentially competing for the back-up job, are Michigan transfer Dan Villari, a redshirt freshman, and JaCobian Morgan, who I believe will be a redshirt sophomore in 2022.

I haven’t seen any initial reports that ‘Cuse coaches may look to bring in another quarterback ahead of the 2022 stanza, but we’ll certainly monitor this.

Lamson, a three-star prospect in the 2021 recruiting cycle, didn’t appear in any games for the Orange as a freshman, according to his bio on In the team’s spring game, according to David Cobb of CBS Sports, he went 7-of-10 in the air for 151 passing yards and a pair of long touchdown throws.

With new offensive coordinator Robert Anae and quarterbacks coach Jason Beck, both previously at Virginia, helping to bolster a more up-tempo offense under head coach Dino Babers, there is optimism that the ‘Cuse offense may not be so one-dimensional in the 2022 campaign – that is, relying mainly on All-American running back Sean Tucker as well as the legs of Shrader.

Personally, while I acknowledge that the spring game isn’t a huge sample size, I was quite bullish on Lamson, as far as his ability to air the ball out. Let’s not forget that Shrader, a term ago, completed just 52.6 percent of his passes for 1,445 yards, with nine touchdowns and four interceptions, per ESPN statistics.

In a recent article, ESPN writers Andrea Adelson and David Hale had noted “Lamson making his pitch for the starting QB job with a huge spring game.”

Cobb’s recent piece for CBS Sports discussed possible spring overreactions for all Atlantic Coast Conference groups, and he debated whether Lamson should be the starting quarterback for Syracuse football in 2022. Obviously, that’s a moot point now.

Lamson, a 2021 three-star prospect out of Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills, Calif., picked the Orange over Louisville, Boise State, San Jose State and Wyoming.

The industry-generated 247Sports Composite rated him at No. 938 nationally, No. 64 at quarterback and No. 75 in the talent-rich state of California within the 2021 recruiting cycle.

Ever since Justin Lamson first committed to the ‘Cuse back in the summer of 2020, I had been high on this young man. I feel awful that he got injured, and I hope he comes back soon and flourishes on the Hill. In the meantime, we’ll have to wait and see how Lamson’s injury might impact the team’s quarterback position in 2022.

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