After a 10-year hiatus, the hallowed number 44 is back in circulation for Syracuse football today. The exciting move was announced at the end of this afternoon's Plaza 44 groundbreaking ceremony, thrilling Orange fans everywhere -- especially here and other locales around the web.
Now that the dust is starting to settle a bit, we wanted to check in on all of the reactions in one big round-up. We'll try to avoid including #HOTTAKES, but they are persistent at times.
At the top of the list is Robert Washington, the class of 2016 running back who could very likely be the next Syracuse player to don the historic no. 44. Earlier this afternoon, his father told Scout's Mike McAllister, "Yes he is (excited) about its return. No. 44 has a strong football tradition as well as being symbolic of African American progress within college football history. Today is a very important day for the Syracuse program. Our family is proud to be a part of the Syracuse family."
Scout also assembled additional feedback from other Orange recruits/targets -- from both the 2015 and 2016 classes. Some of the highlights:
2015 RB signee Dontae Strickland: "Just to know if you get to be on the same level as those greats, you can be honored to wear that 44 and represent them, your family and hometown. It is a symbol of all the hard work you put in. So it'll always be in the back of my head when I'm taking reps and in the classroom. To get there one day if God permits."
2015 DE signee Jake Pickard: "I think it's awesome and the right decision. The coaches, players and recruits know that this is the time that 'Cuse football turns around and it truly could not be a bigger honor than to do it with 44 on the field with us. I also want a huge shoutout for Cuse Twitter Army for their push for Restore 44. They've done an unreal job."
2016 OT commit Cam DeGeorge: "It's awesome. It'd be cool if one of my running backs had that number. Great if it would help with recruiting."
2016 OLB target Jamir Jones: "Crazy news. Going to be great to see if players actually try to get it."
The Other, Various and Important People
Class of 2012 P Rob Long
Wow. 44 is back.— Rob Long (@RobLong47) May 19, 2015
If only Golson had known this earlier. #Restore44— The Cuseaholic (@Cuseaholic) May 19, 2015
WE WON. WE WON. WE WON. #Restore44— OttosGrove.com (@OttosGrove) May 19, 2015
Jon Lee (@JTLee03) May 19, 2015
Is this how it felt when prohibition ended??? #Restored44— orngfan (@CuseConnection) May 19, 2015
Syracuse Head Coach Scott Shafer
The Guy That Runs This Place
Real Talk: It's not that Riley Dixon isn't worthy of 44. It's that 44 isn't worthy of Riley Dixon.— NunesMagician.com (@NunesMagician) May 19, 2015
ESPN's Mike Tirico
ESPN.com ACC Blogger Andrea Adelson
Love Syracuse taking No. 44 out of retirement. Well done.— Andrea Adelson (@aadelsonESPN) May 19, 2015
Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel
Now that Syracuse is bringing back No. 44 for top athletes, can we start a movement to bring 44s back to M Street?— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) May 19, 2015
Syracuse.com's Stephen Bailey
And there it is. 44 is back. The question now: how is it given out?— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) May 19, 2015