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Syracuse football: Orange hire UNLV’s Terry Samuel as wide receivers coach, per report

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Staff changes ahoy!

Syracuse v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

After Justin Lustig was hired away to Vanderbilt, we were curious who Dino Babers would bring in to fill the special teams coordinator role. While we still don’t necessarily know who’s handling special teams, the Syracuse Orange have at least filled out their staff (for the time being) with a new hire:

On Sunday, Syracuse.com’s Nate Mink reported that the Orange have brought in Terry Samuel as the team’s new wide receivers coach. Samuel was UNLV’s wide receivers coach and pass game coordinator in 2020 — something that should encourage SU fans. At the same time, the Rebels averaged just 186 yards per game through the air.

But it’s also hard to judge his job on just a six-game season. For the nine years leading up to his brief UNLV stint, Samuel was on the Michigan State staff; which includes eight years as receivers coach and a 2019 campaign handling the secondary. He’s also spent time at Central Michigan (2010), North Dakota State (2008-09) and a few others at the FCS level. Babers and Samuel worked together previously while both were at Arizona, and Babers was on staff at Purdue when Terry played for the Boilermakers.

Samuel has five NFL Draft picks to his name as a receivers coach, and that’s an appealing sales pitch for SU — who’s had receivers put up big numbers since Babers’s arrival, but has yet to have one selected (despite several getting chances as undrafted free agents). Bringing in a dedicated wide receivers position coach, which the team hasn’t had since 2017 when Kim McCloud had the role, could also be a nice change for a position group that’s been floundering a bit.

Having Samuel handle all wide receivers would also seem to indicate additional shifts among existing staffers. Without inside receivers under his purview, Reno Ferri would seemingly just be handling tight ends now... which I’d think is unlikely. So either Ferri takes on running backs and that leads to additional shifts for Mike Lynch and/or Mike Cavanaugh, or someone’s adding special teams to their responsibilities.

Like the hire? Not a fan? Share your own thoughts below.