Syracuse Football: 'We're the main event' and won’t back down to anyone, Fran Brown says

In a recent interview, Syracuse football head coach Fran Brown said, "We're the main event" and won’t back down to anyone.
In a recent interview, Syracuse football head coach Fran Brown said, "We're the main event" and won’t back down to anyone. / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse football head coach Fran Brown is described by many of his peers, national analysts, recruits and others as no-nonsense, genuine, loyal, real and caring, among other attributes.

He’s confident. He doesn’t talk BS. He wants his players to represent Syracuse University well in the community. He expects his players to excel in the classroom.

Yes, it’s true, that Brown is a first-year, and a first-time, head coach. Most recently the defensive backs coach at Georgia, he was officially introduced by SU Athletics as the Orange’s new head coach in early December, replacing Dino Babers.

In just over two months, he’s assembled a high-quality staff and hit the recruiting trail hard, leading the ‘Cuse to secure an excellent 2024 class that includes numerous four-star high school seniors and college transfers.

Head coach Fran Brown has high expectations for Syracuse football.

As we all know, it remains to be seen how Brown performs as a head coach on the actual field, but one thing is already abundantly clear: Fran Brown works hard, he’s a fierce competitor and he’s not scared of any other college program out there.

In a recent interview with Steve Infanti and Paulie Scibilia on the ESPN Radio Syracuse program “Orange Nation,” Brown said he’s “willing to compete with anybody” on the field and in the recruiting sphere.

“We’re the main event,” he said. “We’re not taking second to anyone.”

In recent years, roster depth has proven an issue on the Hill, due to injuries and other factors. The transfer portal and name, image and likeness opportunities, among other things, have changed college football.

Brown acknowledges that, saying that he thinks “it’s a struggle everywhere” to build roster depth amid the sport’s evolving landscape dominated by the portal and NIL.

He added that ‘Cuse coaches are hard at work to continue to beef up the team’s depth beyond the starting units for the 2024 season and beyond.

National analysts and scouts have lauded Brown and his staff for their recruiting wins out of the portal this off-season. Multiple recruiting Web sites have ranked Syracuse football in the top 25 overall when it comes to national team transfer rankings.

“We feel we benefit from the portal,” Brown said.

When it comes to NIL, if a player of his gets offered millions of dollars to transfer to another program, Brown says he would tell that player, ”Go get millions of dollars. Good luck.”

However, for many players, he said that the financial component of NIL isn’t necessarily going to prove so different between the Orange and other schools that it will lead to a mass exodus of ‘Cuse players from Central New York to depart for greener pastures.

In many cases, Brown says, it’s how you treat people. “Are you appreciated? Are you valued?”

When asked by the Orange Nation co-hosts what he thinks the team’s record could be in 2024, Brown stated, “I’m not going to pick who I’m going to lose to. That’s soft. That’s not Syracuse.”

Word recently came out that the ‘Cuse spring game is scheduled for April 20, and Orange fans are excited about it.

Brown had this to say about the spring game: “You want to see contact? You want to see people hitting? You want to see touchdowns, interceptions, sacks …? We’re going to play football.”

The SU head coach noted that heading into that spring game, starting jobs are up for grabs, and players will have to earn their roles by busting their butts.

“It’s all work,” he said. “There’s no entitlement.”

I can’t wait for the spring game and for the 2024 campaign to get going later this year, with the Orange’s first official game under Brown’s leadership scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 31, against Ohio at the JMA Wireless Dome.

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