With yesterday's news that both Ron Patterson and B.J. Johnson would be leaving the Syracuse basketball program, things suddenly open up a bit for the Orange in terms of roster spots. Our own Michael Burke did a nice job of breaking down how scholarships will look in the coming years given those moves, but there's a chance that Syracuse might need a high-profile walk-on or two, depending on who's incoming and outgoing.
Perhaps one answer could be Orange wide receiver Jamal Custis, currently in his second year with the football team.
Custis played both football and basketball in high school, and back when he committed to SU, Mike Hopkins even told him he could walk on "if he wanted to." While recruiting him in 2013-14, the same was intimated by SMU, who have obviously improved their basketball program immensely under in recent years. Now that Custis has been on campus for a year, the idea is coming up again. Said Custis:
"It definitely is in my head, but I don't really think about it as much because I'm focusing on spring ball right now. I don't really think about it right now. It's definitely in the back of my mind, though."
He won't reach out to the basketball program about it, but you have to like the idea, at least a little. While he won't challenge for many minutes -- his 6'5", 230-pound frame is probably equivalent to a small forward and SU basketball has plenty of forwards -- it could present a fun possibility if nothing else. Custis wouldn't be the first Orange football player to suit up for the basketball team either. As some may recall, former WR Mike Williams played briefly back in the injury-ravaged 2007-08 season. Star Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb also played for the basketball team during his time on campus.
Again, not essential for him to walk-on, and ultimately, it's up to him. But it's at least intriguing to think about what he could bring to the table for SU hoops amidst what looks like some roster limitations in the coming years (we'll see what happens with NCAA appeals).