It’s been an busy offseason of transfer news for the Syracuse Orange football program, with numerous defenders exiting for other schools to finish out their playing careers.
The latest announcement came today, via former cornerback Juwan Dowels, who will be playing his final season for the Western Michigan Broncos.
Dowels played 24 games for Syracuse, including seven starts at corner. This past year, he played in 10 games with 25 tackles, one TFL, one pick and a pass break-up. For his career, he managed 69 tackles and two interceptions.
Joining WMU will reunite him with numerous familiar faces from the Orange football program under Scott Shafer. Along with head coach Tim Lester, Jake Moreland, Tim Daoust and Drew Robinson (director of football operations) are also there.
Syracuse will face the Broncos to kick off the season in Kalamazoo. On one hand, you don’t love seeing any player transfer to a near-term future opponent given the inside knowledge they have. There isn’t much familiarity left between current Orange players and WMU coaches — at least not nearly as much as what we saw last year when Scott Shafer came to the Carrier Dome with MTSU. But between the coaches and Dowels, the Broncos will be at least a little more familiar with Syracuse than other opponents.
Looking at it from the opposite perspective, though, Dino Babers is pretty adept at understanding the media and recruiting games, so this is a smart move despite the slight risk. You’ll recall both SU and Pitt were unable to have Miami grad transfer Gus Edwards join either of their respective programs since both teams were on the Hurricanes’ schedule. This is the counter to that move, and potentially pays some dividends for him a a coach that prioritizes players’ wants and needs first.
In any case, good luck to Juwan at Western Michigan... just not too much luck against Syracuse in game one.