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Syracuse Football: Scott Shafer on Tim Lester, Moral Victories & The State of Recruiting

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Scott Shafer had a lot to say about his offensive coordinator as well as the state of college football recruiting during the ACC Coaches Teleconference.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday we heard from both Tim Lester and Scott Shafer that Ervin Phillips and Eric Dungey were looking better and better to play against the South Florida Bulls next week. But what else did the Syracuse Orange head coach have to say during the ACC Coaches Teleconference on Wednesday?

On whether or not he thinks the LSU loss was a "moral victory"

We came up short at the end of the day against a great team and arguably the best player in college football right now in Leonard Fournette. We were very disappointed we couldn't come up with a victory. The goal was to get to the fourth quarter and make it a fourth quarter game, which our kids did a good job with.

But to be honest with you, just really disappointed we couldn't figure out a way to win the thing because I think we left a handful of plays on the field that would have given us an opportunity. With regards to everybody that was happy with our effort, hopefully, we can turn those into victories rather than close losses.

On Tim Lester: Quarterbacks Coach

Tim's a great coach. He's an excellent quarterbacks coach, excellent coordinator. He does a great job teaching those kids what risks to take and what risks not to take. How to stay within yourself and manage a game, first and foremost. When there's risk and reward opportunities and how to approach it.

I think he's very systematic. He's very process oriented and doesn't go too far until kids are mastering the techniques and the specific schemes that are our baseline schemes. He just has a method cat way of getting things done and really easy going and happy-go-lucky type personality, which I think fits well with offensive coaches.

On why Syracuse has succeeded with it's backup quarterbacks this year over last year:

We're running Tim Lester's system, and everywhere he's been, either as a head coach or a coordinator, he's broken all their records offensively. The data proved to be what I thought it would be.

Last year he was in a difficult situation. He can't put a system in midseason, but I was pleased with the management of the offensive side of the ball last year with Tim in charge, and I was anxious to let him put his offense in once we got to the off-season in spring ball, and I think that's probably the exact reason why things are going well for us on offense despite playing really a kid that was our fifth string quarterback when we lined up in August.

On the state of recruiting with the advent of social media, recruiting sites and fan interaction:

I think recruiting in general over the last five, six, seven, eight years has changed a great deal and really you could argue the last ten years, with the advent of social media and its effect on things as well as just the Internet and the rating systems and the easy availability for communication through all the different venues.

It's sped recruiting up to where we have to be aware of sophomores and juniors, and I think there's a lot of noise for those youngsters to have to sort through while they're trying to enjoy being a high school athlete. I tell almost every parent that comes in here I feel bad for the way recruiting is now. And I feel to some degree these young men get robbed of some of the experiences we enjoy back in the olden days, where we played a season and videotape, and coaches didn't really come around until the season was over.

I feel bad -- being a high school coach's son, I feel bad for the high school coaches because they have to deal with so much more than they used to. Many times, these young men are really getting so many people trying to come at them and ask them where they are and things. It's a difficult situation.

So it has changed. Now you have to say, well, that's the new reality, the new formula, and how do we adjust to it and put ourselves in a position to take advantage of the things that can help us but also not be distracting to the players and their goals to reach their high school objectives. It's precarious, but it's also the reality we live in.

On Syracuse's recruitment of five-star tight end transfer Chris Clark:

I'm not sure that I can comment on that other than to say that we are recruiting him. Anything past that, I wouldn't be sure, and I want to be smart about knowing what I could say before I say anything else. But I appreciate the question.