On Mondays over the summer, The Juice Online is going to highlight individual players on the 2014 Syracuse football team. This week, we’re profiling quarterback Austin Wilson.
While Terrel Hunt is firmly entrenched as Syracuse’s starting quarterback heading into the 2014 season, there’s plenty of debate as to his backup.
There are four candidates behind Hunt, including true freshmen Alin Edouard and AJ Long, along with redshirt freshmen Mitch Kimble and Austin Wilson.
Syracuse fans got a look at three of those candidates in the 2014 spring game, and all three played well. (Edouard will not arrive at Syracuse until August.)
But the quarterback who arguably shined the most was Wilson, who spent last season running the scout team. He completed all six of his passes for 124 yards, while leading back-to-back scoring drives. Team Offense would go on to defeat Team Defense 34-27.
Two of those scores came on screens to Jeremiah Kobena and Ashton Broyld, who broke a few tackles for long touchdowns.
“I just felt comfortable, and Ashton made a lot of great plays out there, so did all of my other guys. They were just doing what they needed to do,” Wilson said following the spring game. “They were laying blocks, running good routes, getting open. It made my job easier.”
While Wilson played in the second half after sitting the entire first, he clearly looked comfortable directing the offense.
“It’s 10 times more comfortable than it was last year,” Wilson said. “Last year, I ran the scout team, this year just getting the reps really helps me a lot.”
The competition will continue into training camp. Long and Kimble were nearly as impressive as Wilson, with each leading scoring drives in the first half.
“We’re all in a competition right now and hopefully end up going into next season against Villanova at number two,” Wilson said. “I feel like I have a trust in everyone I throw to. There’s a good group of receivers out there that I can throw to any time.”
Inside slant: Wilson was falling behind in spring practice, but made up ground with his sterling performance in the spring game. Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer will probably wait until training camp is over before naming his backup, and Wilson should be right in the middle of that competition.
- Birthdate: March 1995
- Hometown: Camp Hill, Pa.
- High School: East Pennsboro
- Position: Quarterback
- Class: Redshirt freshman
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 210 lbs
Career highlights: As a high school senior, Wilson completed 111-of-202 passes for 1,800 yards and 25 touchdowns and rushed for 305 yards on 70 carries and four touchdowns. He was named a 2012 Class AAA Honorable Mention by The Patriot-News.