The Syracuse Orange will officially welcome 20+ new football players to the program on Wednesday. They all start fresh and have a full career to hopefully look forward to.
There could be another new face in the crowd depending on how things break. And if so, it'll be an old face.
Former Syracuse football safety Naesean Howard is once again enrolled at the university and has expressed interest to coach Dino Babers about rejoining the team.
The guy's name is a palindrome so we probably should have figured we'd see him come back around again.
You remember Naesean as the three-star strong safety from West Genny who was expected to challenge for playing time as a freshman before has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of "training rules" in August. By September, he was no longer a member of the team.
Afterward, Howard's father tried to clarify what happened:
"They suspended him for going to service with his parents," Sean Howard said. "After the Fort Drum incident, Naesean was like, 'Man, Dad, this is not for me. I'm ready to go.' He didn't feel comfortable there.
"He tried to do anything Shafer wanted him to do, but I guess he just was never in compliance and never could live up to the standard of what Shafer wanted from him."
Well, Shafer's gone so it looks like Howard is gonna give it another go. He told Syracuse.com that he approached Dino Babers in the practice facility parking lot and that Babers told him to "speak with the athletic director."
In an email to syracuse.com, Howard wrote he recently approached Babers in the parking lot adjacent to the football building and was told to "speak with the athletic director." He says he's now awaiting word on whether or not he can rejoin the team but it's unlikely he would be able to receive a scholarship for the spring semester. He is enrolled in SU already.
We've seen what Dino thinks of most of Shafer's recruits and it doesn't bode well for Naesean but the fact is if the guy can play, he'll probably get a chance. Then, like last time, it's ultimately up to him.
(Well I guess it's up to Dino but you know what I mean...)