The five year cycle is complete.
The final members of the Greg Robinson era who came on campus in 2008, the fifth year seniors, including record-breaking quarterback Ryan Nassib, who contributed greatly to the program’s turnaround under Doug Marrone by posting two bowl victories and 8-5 seasons in three years, have moved on.
In the afterglow of the second-half rout of old foe West Virginia to win the Pinstripe Bowl, there will be some big spots to fill on the two-deep roster, and at least for the interim, questions surrounding whether or not Marrone himself will be tempted by a big bucks offer from an NFL owner eager to have him install a program combining his college and NFL experience emphasizing accountability for his players and staff.
For his part, it was logical Marrone wanted nothing to do with NFL head coaching talk as we inquired about the topic with him following the win at Yankee Stadium this past weekend. It was time to celebrate the moment.
But it’s hard to believe he and his agent won’t be receiving feelers as the NFL regular season has come to an end, and that at a minimum he will be put in the position of having to think about a much bigger contract versus continuing on with his “dream job” stewarding the program as it makes the move into the ACC including new annual Atlantic Division rivals Florida State and Clemson.
As winter workouts commence in a couple of weeks heading into spring ball, all eyes will be on who succeeds Nassib, the best at the position at the ‘Cuse since Donovan McNabb. Charley Loeb, who came in cold off the bench to replace Nassib for one play in the bowl game completing an eight-yard pass, will likely get the first shot in his fifth year with the program.
Incoming Texas scholastic standout Zach Allen is expected to enroll for the second semester, giving him the chance to be part of spring ball as he looks to get in the mix with the incumbent trio of Ashton Broyld, Terrel Hunt and John Kinder, and there’s another newcomer in Pa. recruit Austin Wilson.
Plenty of healthy competition, which to nose tackle Jay Bromley, who blossomed his junior year second statistically among the D-line (credited with a blocked field goal in the Pinstripe Bowl that he said he didn’t think he blocked) and now steps into a senior leadership role himself, is key to keeping the direction upward.
“It amps up everybody, everybody on the team,” Bromley said about the four game winning streak to end the season, six of the last seven. “The freshmen, the sophomores, the juniors, incoming freshmen, we really have to step it up. We see how good we can be, but as good as we are a lot of those seniors aren’t going to be with us anymore, so that’s a lot of space (starting positions) to be filled in.”
New league, new quarterback, maybe or maybe not a new coach; 2013 will be an interesting intersection of a program building successfully into its fifth season of recruits, with the challenge of feeling its way through a new conference schedule.
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 77, Cornell 45 - November 10, 2017
- Orange Watch: Revamped roster for Syracuse basketball will need time to bloom - November 7, 2017
- Orange Watch: Seeking a ‘November to Remember’ for Syracuse Football - October 31, 2017
- Instant Juice: Syracuse picked 10th in the ACC - October 26, 2017
- Orange Watch: Yearning for ACC football division reconfiguration - October 24, 2017
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 19, Miami 27 - October 21, 2017
- What Are Syracuse’s Chances Of Making a Bowl Game? - October 18, 2017
- Orange Watch: Syracuse football has chance for encore against Top 10 team - October 17, 2017
- Orange Watch: Beating Clemson would accelerate timetable for rebirth of Syracuse football - October 10, 2017
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 27, Pittsburgh 24 - October 7, 2017