Syracuse Orange news: Freeney to HOF, City Rocks guard decides, more

Syracuse Orange (Syndication: Worcester Telegram)
Syracuse Orange (Syndication: Worcester Telegram) /

Syracuse Orange football legend Dwight Freeney, a standout defensive end who is one of the best pass rushers in the history of both college football and professional football, will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as part of its 2023 class, per SU Athletics.

Freeney, while suiting up on the Hill, was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2001, when as a senior he tallied a ridiculous 17.5 sacks and was a finalist for numerous national awards. He recently was also named a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2023 class.

During his 16-year NFL career, Freeney was a seven-time Pro Bowler, won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts, was named the 2004 AFC defensive player of the year, and ranks No. 18 in NFL history with 125.5 sacks.

Per the announcement, Freeney and the rest of the College Football Hall of Fame’s 2023 class will be officially inducted on Dec. 5, 2023, at a celebration in Las Vegas.

Other Syracuse Orange news

Lacrosse icon to have his jersey retired
One of the greatest players in the history of college lacrosse will have his jersey retired, according to SU Athletics.

Michael Powell, who was a first-team All-American for all four of his seasons playing for the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team, will become just the second ‘Cuse men’s lax player to have his jersey retired, joining current Orange head coach Gary Gait.

Powell’s jersey retirement will take place on Saturday, March 11, when Syracuse men’s lacrosse hosts Johns Hopkins at the JMA Wireless Dome.

In his remarkable career in Central New York, Powell captured two national championships and twice received the Tewaararton Trophy as the best player in college lacrosse.

Babers wins coach of the year award
Syracuse football head coach Dino Babers, who guided the Orange to a 7-6 record in 2022 and the team’s first bowl-game appearance since the 2018 stanza, has been named the 2023 Grant Teaff coach of the year by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, according to a report from Emily Leiker of

This award, presented annually, is doled out to a “coach involved with FCA who exemplifies Christian principles and is also based on the success and performance of his team,” Leiker writes.

Syracuse launches NIL store
SU Athletics says that the Syracuse NIL Store is open and features “custom and co-licensed merchandise sold for Syracuse Orange student-athletes.” According to a press release, student-athletes earn between $8 and $15 on every item that they sell.

Current Syracuse Orange players who are signed on to the store include Syracuse basketball sophomore forward Benny Williams and women’s lacrosse All-American Emma Tyrrell.

Football grad assistants head to Big Ten
Per a report from’s Emily Leiker, Syracuse football defensive graduate assistants Jack Potenza and Josh Bringuel have moved on to Big Ten Conference squad Nebraska.

Former Orange defensive coordinator Tony White took on the same role at Nebraska not too long ago. On the Hill, he is being replaced by Rocky Long.

Former ‘Cuse star sets mark with pro team
Former Syracuse football linebacker Zaire Franklin set the single-season record for total tackles when he reached 166 this past weekend for the Indianapolis Colts.

This is a wonderful accomplishment for Franklin. The Colts, though, were not good in the 2022 stanza, finishing at 4-12-1 overall after losing to the Houston Texans, 32-31, last Sunday.

‘Cuse offers TE transfer
Per his Twitter page, Syracuse Orange football coaches have offered a scholarship to Jermaine Terry II, a 6-foot-4 tight end out of Pac-12 Conference member California who is in the NCAA’s transfer portal.

In the 2021 recruiting class, Terry was a four-star prospect ranked No. 207 nationally, No. 7 at tight end and No. 18 in California, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.

Expert raves about Judah Mintz; team metrics are sub-par
At present, Syracuse basketball freshman point guard Judah Mintz is second in scoring for the Orange (10-6, 3-2), and he tallied 18 points when the ‘Cuse fell at top-15 Virginia over the weekend.

In a recent piece, national analyst Travis Graf listed Mintz at No. 7 among the best freshmen at this juncture in the 2022-23 term.

As the Orange gets set to host Virginia Tech on Wednesday night at the JMA Wireless Dome, Syracuse Orange basketball was No. 131 in the NCAA NET rankings when I wrote this column. That is pretty poor.

Additionally, at the time of this writing, had the ‘Cuse at No. 90 overall, No. 82 in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 115 in adjusted defensive efficiency. If Syracuse basketball wants to have any shot at reaching the Big Dance this spring, it has to start notching some marque victories to bolster its relatively anemic resume.

NCAA/recruiting news

The ACC is not all that great so far
I’ve come across a handful of reports from national media outlets lately speaking to the Atlantic Coast Conference, to date in the 2022-23 season, struggling in comparison to other power conferences.

In this week’s Associated Press top-25 poll, there are only three ACC squads included, and they are No. 13 Virginia, No. 16 Miami and No. 24 Duke. All three of these teams lost in the last week or so, and the preseason No. 1 group, North Carolina, is not ranked at this time after having already suffered five setbacks prior to its Tuesday-evening showdown with UVA.

City Rocks guard picks Providence, other recruiting stuff
We wrote in the past that Syracuse Orange basketball coaches were reportedly showing interest at some time or another in 2024 four-star guard Kayvaun Mulready.

The top-75 national prospect, who suits up for the Albany City Rocks in Nike’s EYBL league and is a fast-rising junior at the Worcester Academy in Worcester, Mass., this week committed to Big East Conference team Providence over other finalists Maryland, Marquette and Connecticut.

I don’t believe that the ‘Cuse ever offered a scholarship to the 6-foot-4 Mulready, and that’s a bummer if you ask me. He’s tough as nails and an underrated player in his cycle.

Also in the 2024 class, five-star big man Derik Queen from Baltimore told 247Sports national analyst Travis Branham that Indiana, Maryland and Auburn are prioritizing him.

The 6-foot-9 power forward/center was offered by Syracuse basketball in October of 2021. He attends the Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla., and helped guide the Baltimore-based Team Thrill to an Under Armour Association title this past summer.

Moving to the 2025 cycle, four-star guard Jerry Easter II has picked up a new offer from Illinois out of the Big Ten. We wrote about the 6-foot-4 Easter not too long ago.

With the explosion of the transfer portal, that is changing how college teams recruit at the high-school level. Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, one of the best in the business, had a lot of intriguing things to say about this topic in a recent interview on the network.

Next. Syracuse basketball, given weak non-conference, needs big ACC triumphs. dark