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How future Syracuse offensive line recruits help in 2018 & beyond

Dino Babers’s recruiting of offensive linemen should pay dividends in the coming years.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The core of the Syracuse Orange recruiting class keeps improving in more ways that one. The addition of Qadir White to the class of 2018 really seems to solidify that people want to play in Dino Babers’s offense. That’s the second four-star offensive lineman, including Tyrone Sampson, and fourth overall in the books for that class. With the addition, the four-star tackle is definitively bolstering the “core” of the offense.

Over the course of the last few seasons, we’ve had some solid players to the offensive line through recruiting. As a position group that’s been much maligned over the past few years (to no fault of their own through injury), there were some distinct needs that had to be addressed. While those injuries left a lot of guys with experience, they’re still a young group with a single senior (Jamar McGloster) and a single junior (Cody Conway) on the two-deep now that Aaron Roberts has gone down for the season with a knee injury.

Week One - OLine Two-Deep

Position Starter Backup
Position Starter Backup
LT Cody Conway - Jr Liam O'Sullivan - (R)Fr
LG Colin Byrne - (R)So Patrick Davis - Fr
C Airon Servais - (R)Fr Sam Heckel - (R)Fr
RG Evan Adams - (R)So Sam Clausman - (R)So
RT Jamar McGloster - (R)Sr Mike Clark - (R)Fr
Assumed two-deep for Week 1, 2017

As you can see from the table, there’s a whole lot of redshirt sophomores and freshmen around that depth chart. As such, we’re building a strong base to work off of for the next few years. This can only help and allow more of the trend to redshirt incoming linemen. The ability to redshirt and get them on a college weight training, cardio and diet regiment can’t be understated.

By bringing in White and Sampson, you’re adding immediate talent that could slot into the two-deep if necessary, but also huge prospects who can have a year to develop before they’re called upon in a very up-tempo offense that linemen aren’t used to running in.

Qadir White is a true tackle at 6-foot-7 and 334 pounds. He’ll be able to hit the trenches at the top level out of the gate, but looks to have a penchant to lunge in pass protection. It’s something that can be worked out and he’s a very solid physical specimen. He’ll need to work on his run blocking technique, as well as staying too high and not utilizing his arms well. But it’s something that college level coaches will be able to quickly correct. He can’t overpower everyone anymore when he’s in Orange, but should be able to be an ample backup or single year redshirt out of the gate.

In Tyrone Sampson, we have a lineman who can play as a true center, not just a guard who snaps the ball — a huge get. Technically, Sampson looks quite sound. He uses his hips well and in his highlights, shows well at multiple positions across the line. Due to size, he’ll be a guard or center for the Orange, but help always helps, wherever it comes from.

The addition of these two, along with the two three-star tackles who were brought in, Gabe Horan and Willem Froumy, should only bolster a group that really needs some future-proofing. Bringing in talent, size and athleticism like this definitely helps a part of the team that needs to be very solid for any semblance of this offense to work.