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Syracuse football: Chance Amie transfer puts spotlight on QB position for 2019 and beyond

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SU’s basketball loss wasn’t the only bad news from Saturday night.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Notre Dame Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

While you were busy getting mad about the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team falling to Georgia Tech last night, you might have missed this unfortunate nugget around SU football as well:

Quarterback Chance Amie will be leaving the program after just two semesters on campus (he was an early enrollee in January 2018).

The Flint, Tex. native didn’t play as a freshman, but was expected to compete for the backup role behind Tommy DeVito next year. As Syracuse fans are well aware by this point, the backup QB position is a critical one, and having a capable reserve at the spot can help salvage a season in case of injury.

Losing Amie deals a blow to the potential Texas pipeline Syracuse looked to be trying to build, but more importantly, puts the QB position into a tenuous position going forward. DeVito is the starter for 2019, but after him, there are just two scholarship passers left on the roster: Rex Culpepper and Clayton Welch. Culpepper played some tight end last year, but Welch didn’t attempt a pass.

Without a QB added for 2019 (weak recruiting class there, nationally), the position becomes a major emphasis for the 2020 cycle now. While DeVito is conceivably at Syracuse for another three seasons, injuries obviously change things and major success can to. He’d be eligible to declare for the NFL Draft if he so chose after the 2019 season.

247Sports’ recruiting tracker shows offers out to just eight QBs so far for 2020, with five of those players already verbally committed to playing somewhere else. That’s not to say guys can’t flip, mind you. It just happens a whole lot less at quarterback than it does other spots.

The names you’ll be watching out for: Tyler Van Dyke (3-star), Brendon Lewis (4-star) and Mekhi Hagens (3-star), who are all uncommitted. Without Amie in the mix anymore, however, that list probably expands a bit. Van Dyke, from Connecticut, is the most likely of those three to have the Orange on his radar. But they’re up against Boston College, Duke, Purdue and Wisconsin for his services.

Syracuse could also go the transfer route to add some additional depth for the future, though the underclassmen availability isn’t nearly as robust as the slew of grad transfers that seem to be out there. If the Orange choose to add someone like that, though, they would conceivably have the space to do so on the 2019 roster given the departures this offseason. Amie makes the fourth player to leave the program, along with Colin Byrne, Devin Butler and Shyheim Cullen (Cullen’s serving an academic suspension, though could be back).

In any case, let’s just hope DeVito is healthy for 2019, and that Syracuse makes some progress on the 2020 recruiting front. Top passers usually decide fairly early (DeVito picked SU the April before National Signing Day), so they’ll need to move quickly if there’s hope on the blue-chip QBs remaining.