Syracuse Football: My thoughts on the Orange after the spring game

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /

Spring is in the air…well it’s Syracuse so winter still is too I guess, but as the Syracuse football team wound down the spring practice session with the spring game last Friday night, I thought I’d share a few thoughts.

Please remember it’s merely April and the season doesn’t even start until September 2nd against Colgate. That said, even though I was at work and missed it, I did some research and have some quick thoughts.

Here are my thoughts on Syracuse football after the spring game.

– Spring games are for fans and for fun. You can’t take them too seriously and hope to avoid injuries. But you can also watch players trying to earn some reps showing what they can do in a game situation. So don’t take it too seriously but also enjoy your time and early access.

– Is there anything they could do to attract more fans? Would anything they do attract more fans? Is it okay if only a couple hundred or even a couple thousand attend? I’ll say this, if you’re curious about season tickets, getting your kids to meet players or just a diehard Syracuse fan, this is a great opportunity. But unless it’s an “event” of some sort, I just don’t see getting a lot of people there unfortunately. I’d planned to attend myself but had to change plans starting a new job and couldn’t afford to put it off starting any longer financially and realize many have similar circumstances.

– Am I a homer or does it look like this team might just have legitimate depth when it comes to the quarterback, running back and wide receiver positions? I mean a healthy Garrett Shrader is starting so it’s not a competition but I think Lamson and Del Rio-Wilson will do well if their number is called.

– With Oronde Gadsden II returning to Syracuse football for another season, a healthy Isaiah Jones returning from his injury and then add in Damien Alford, Trebor Pena, plus Umari Hatcher looking good at the spring game and some young guys hungry, this could be a perfect opportunity to drive this team down the field. The perfect opportunity to maybe see some NFL draft buzz next season similar to this season if you add up Shrader, Gadsden and potentially Jones, too (plus Marlowe Wax Jr. and Caleb Okechukwu as well).

– And the running back position looks to be in good hands with the departure of future NFL running back Sean Tucker. I am a huge fan of former New Jersey Gatorade player of the year in high school, LeQuint Allen, but it looks like Juwaun Price and freshman Muwaffaq Parkman (also from Jersey) aren’t just sitting idly by and waiting their turn. Depth matters.

– When Stefon Thompson returns and with Wax back for one more season, that linebacking core is going to be one coaches need to game plan for. The depth at defensive line showed out at the spring game and I fully believe they’ll be able to do well too but I’m especially excited to see Marlowe and Stefon together again.

– Justin Barron will be a captain and leading the way for the secondary who lost so much talent this past season to the draft and transfers but I don’t think it’s the homer in me that sees there is potential for a few guys to step up and make plays. Look out especially for Alijah Clark, Isaiah Johnson and Bralyn Oliver to make big plays in the fall.

– You might be a hardcore football geek if you want all the coach press conferences after practices and I am guilty as charged. But I am a fan of head coach Dino Babers for multiple reasons including I trust what he says he believes and he has stated that he feels the kicking game is fine after losing Andre Szmyt to the NFL, and I believe him.

– Final observation: Syracuse football will never lose a game!!! Okay well let’s just say that much like many others, spring football has me excited. I am the eternal optimist when it comes to Syracuse sports admittedly but don’t count this team out on getting back to a bowl game again next year. There’s a reason why they play the games and we don’t just poll voters to determine winners and losers because on any given day, you can win or lose no matter the opponent so I never count my Orange out. Spare me the bowl or bust analysis because too many scenarios can happen but I do think it’s very likely if healthy, this team can again bring excitement “where the vale of Onondaga meets the eastern sky.”

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