*Note: The original article failed to notate Kevin Johnson and Tom Myers on this list -- it has since been corrected.
When the New York Giants' Ryan Nassib connected with reserve wide receiver Myles White for a 25-yard garbage time touchdown last night, it was significant as the former Syracuse Orange QB's first passing TD as a pro. What you might not have known is that it was also significant for SU football too.
By tallying his first throwing touchdown in the NFL, Nassib became just the eight Syracuse alum to accomplish said feat -- a surprisingly low number, when you think about the amount of Orange players that have made it to the league. Even more surprising: he's just the fourth QB to do it.
The only members of the "Syracuse NFL Passing TD club," featuring two hall-of-famers you probably know for other offensive skill sets besides throwing the ball (chronologically):
- Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns (three)
- Floyd Little, Denver Broncos (one)
- Jim Del Gaizo, Miami Dolphins/Green Bay Packers (four)
- Tom Myers, New Orleans Saints (one)
- Todd Philcox, Cleveland Browns (seven)
- Kevin Johnson, Cleveland Browns (one)*
- Donovan McNabb, Philadelpha Eagles/Washington Redskins/Minnesota Vikings (234)
- Ryan Nassib, New York Giants (one)
That's 252 total, with Nassib throwing the latest, clearly. Nassib, McNabb and (wide receiver) Kevin Johnson are also the only Syracuse players to throw a touchdown pass since 1993, and the three of them, Todd Philcox and (defensive back!) Tom Myers are the only former Orange players to throw one since 1973. If Nassib can throw nine more in his career, he'll be the second former SU player to get to double-digit TD passes in his pro career.
With the Giants likely turning over the roster and parts of the coaching staff this offseason, who knows how much longer Nassib is part of Big Blue. But in some ways, it might be a good thing for him to get a change of scenery. If the former Syracuse standout has any chance to start consistently in the near future, there are plenty of teams looking for QBs. The Giants just aren't one of them.
Congrats again, Ryan! And best of luck with your potential search this offseason!