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Syracuse Football: Quarterbacks Still Competiting, New Assistants Catching Up

Spring practice crosses the halfway mark. Let's check in to see how things are going.

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse Orange football practice has officially passed the halfway mark for the spring and it's a good time to check in and see how everyone is acclimating.

Before we dive in, one note for the upcoming spring game that's music to my ears...

R.I.P, Thud Drills.


While the players are doing their best to catch up to their new system, running backs coach Mike Hart and tight ends coach Reno Ferri are in the same position. The two newbies are working for Dino Babers for the first time and both seem to be picking things up quickly.

"I think any time you're talking about the offense and the type of success we've had with the offense, when a coach has an opportunity to come in and learn this, I think they're more excited," Babers said after practice on Thursday. "It's just a matter of them wanting to learn exactly what we do more so than them trying to bring in things they did at other places."


You might be ready to write Eric Dungey's name in permanent marker on the starting QB spot but Dino Babers hasn't seen enough seperation yet to feel comfortable doing that.

"They're still thinking a lot," Babers said. "They're all doing some good things out there. I don't think there's been a major separation. We've only really had one scrimmage and we'll have most of our scrimmages (two) after spring break. I think you need to decide on quarterbacks in game-like situations more so than practice."

"If there's a guy, (I'll name him)," Babers said. "If it's too close to call, then it's too close to call. If there's a guy that separates himself, then that's good."

Of course, all of this may just be a ruse for Babers to take the starting gig for himself:


Alvin Cornelius has one more chance to make an impact this year and he's going to make the most of it.

"I haven't really gotten that many opportunities since I've been here," Cornelius said earlier this week, "but since Coach (Dino) Babers and them came I'm running with the first-team, getting a lot of passes thrown to me. Even though it's spring ball right now I can see that when the season comes I'll have a big opportunity to make plays, so I'm just trying to make the best of it."

Here's a good look for Steve Ishmael. Not so much for Juwan Dowels.


Two hands, Josh!


Jake Pickard spoke with Stephen Bailey and shared some insight into what its been like for him so far.


Jonathan Thomas intercepted a pass at the goal line, stopping a potential touchdown drive by the offense during the first team session.


Sounds like Sterling Hofrichter is going to lock up the punter spot, replacing Heisman candidate Riley Dixon (though he also nailed a 52-yard field goal in practice). Can The Hof live up to the lofty heights his predecessor reached?