There's been a sense about Dino Babers since he arrived on campus as the new head coach of the Syracuse Orange football program. It's been hard to pin down, exactly. It's somewhat the way he handled himself in his intro presser. It's how he was able to balance the sense of football coach and actual human being. How he was able to handle himself in front of a crowd of Orange fans who have heard it all before. That sense we got that people around the country think we got a steal.
And then there was this...
Syracuse hosted 12 players this weekend. 3 were already committed, and the other 9 committed over the last three days. That is crazy.— Dan Lyons (@Dan_Lyons76) January 25, 2016
Think about this for a second. Dino's staff invited nine uncommitted recruits (and three already-committed ones) to campus with the full intention of convincing them to attend Syracuse University and play football for us over Illinois, Rutgers, Pittsburgh and many other quality programs.
All nine of them said yes.
They batted 1,000.
When does that ever happen?
When does that ever happen at Syracuse?
And now we know what that feeling about Dino Babers can be quantified as. He is a college football head coach in full command of his football program and what he wants it to look like. We are in the hands of a professional right now and it's starting to become clear that he's not just going to talk. He's going to back it up as well.
Of course, it's easy to say all of this during the off-season. We won't truly know if Dino's vision and the reality match up until the season begins (and even then it's still Year One). But so far, all Babers has done is upgrade Syracuse's national profile and pushed us into a the kind of recruiting air we're not used to.
All due respect to Scott Shafer but you can't deny that, right now, the program is trending in a much better direction than it was three months ago. Syracuse has see three first-time head coaches try to resurrect the program with varying results over the course of the last decade. There's something comforting about having a head coach who can hit the ground running with a full confidence in what he can do and how he can back up what he says. And clearly recruits like what he's saying.
There's a long way to go for Babers and Syracuse Football but I don't remember ever feeling this good about SU's recruiting prowess. I think I thought I felt good about it in the past, but not like this.
By the time Babers leaves in three years because a Big Ten program is so enamored with his success here they throw all their money at him (only half-kidding), it's exciting to wonder where SU Football might be by then. All signs point to something very good right now.