Two years later, the only way anyone would have doing double-takes is if Nassib wasn't No. 1 on the depth chart.
With two seasons of college football ahead of him, a sturdy-ish offensive line and the deepest wide receiving corp the Orange have seen in years, is Nassib in line to make his mark on the Syracuse record books?
To be fair, it's not like Syracuse's history is littered with amazing quarterbacks. Take away Donovan McNabb, Marvin Graves and Don McPherson and who's the next best QB in our history? Perry Patterson? Todd Norley? R.J. Anderson? Those are the names that show up in the record books. Hardly the stuff of legends.*
*All due respect to Perry, Todd and R.J...
In his first full season as Syracuse's starter, Nassib notched 2,334 yards, 19 TDs, 8 INTs and a completion pct. of 56.4%. When you throw in his stats from the previous year's garbage duty, he's got 2,756 yards, 22 TDs, 9 INTs and a 55.9% Comp Pct.
That's already good enough for No. 8 all-time in yards, No. 7 in TD passes and No. 5 in Comp Pct. He's also already No. 9 in attempts (426), No. 8 in completions (238).
If you simply plugged in Nassib's sophomore numbers two more times, he'd end his career No. 3 in passing yards by a mile, No. 2 in TD passes by a mile (behind only McNabb), No. 1 in attempts (by almost 200) and No. 1 all-time in completions (642, compared to Graves' 563).
That's...unexpected. Especially when you consider that the odds are favorable that Nassib's numbers will get better this season and next. His offensive line seems good enough and should be able to protect him better and better over the course of his junior and senior seasons.
Meanwhile, he's got the deepest group of receivers to work with in years. Marcus Sales headlines it but Van Chew, Alec Lemon, Dorian Graham and Jarrod West should all be strong contributors. And when Sales graduates after this year, Chew and Lemon should be Syracuse's best 1-2 punch since Williams/Smith.
Nick Provo is expected to be a huge contributor at tight end this year. He brings a lot of pass-catching ability and should be a favorite target for Nassib.
Don't count out the halfbacks, featuring Antwon Bailey this season. Bailey is great at making plays out of the backfield and that includes catching balls and making big plays. Along with Steve Rene and Prince Tyson-Gulley, expect to see all of them help Nassib pad his stats.
It's always hard to pinpoint exactly what's going to happen two years in the future, especially when it comes to quarterbacks (Andrew Robinson, anyone?). But at the moment, with the resurgence of Syracuse football in motion and the Orange offense evolving and growing up, there's a good chance for Ryan Nassib to go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of Syracuse Football.
The real debate will end up being whether or not the Greg Paulus Experience was ultimately a good thing or bad thing for Nassib. Was he robbed of a chance to really put together some amazing career stats or did that year behind Pauly make him a better QB in the three that followed?
As Brian Bennett says, Nassib doesn't have to be an All-American in order for Syracuse to keep these winning ways going. And he probably never will be. But he might just leave SU one day as one of the best we've ever had. That's good enough for us.