With several scholarship spots available, some Syracuse Orange fans were wondering if/when one would be awarded to walk-on quarterback Zack Mahoney. Ends up that day is today.
The Orange announced that Dino Babers informed the junior QB of the decision yesterday, and told the team following practice (where’s our touching video, Babers? Update: BELOW). Said Babers:
"One of the things we've always looked at when awarding walk-ons scholarships is if they give our family an opportunity to win when they go into the game. The way Zack played last year, particularly the way he led this football team against LSU and Clemson, along with the way he's prepared so far this year with our staff, there's no doubt in my mind if there's anyone deserving of a scholarship it's Zack Mahoney."
It’s hard to argue with that logic when you look at what he was able to do last year when throw into action. In eight games (played in the majority of four of those) he accounted for 535 passing yards, 151 rushing yards and nine total TDs. While he only tallied one victory (the finale over Boston College), his efforts in close losses against the likes of Clemson and LSU earned some critical acclaim around the sport.
Obviously, the QB is pretty excited about the opportunity as well:
"Coach Babers and this staff have truly given me an opportunity to show what I can do. I've developed a lot as a player and a person with this staff and I've very grateful. I'm excited to keep helping this team."
Mahoney now makes it four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. He’ll likely start the season behind Eric Dungey on the depth chart, and we’ll see how things shake out between Mahoney, Austin Wilson and Rex Culpepper for the no. 2 spot. While the other two reserves may be better passers than Mahoney, the latter’s in-game performance may outweigh that when the final depth chart decision comes.
Congrats, Zack! Looking forward to seeing you out there again this season (this time with a full ride).