While the NCAA tournament is getting ready to tip off, the college football season never rests. The Syracuse Orange officially return to the gridiron soon as Syracuse AD John Wildhack confirmed that spring football practice will start on March 30.
Syracuse AD John Wildhack said the football team will open spring practice on March 30. He points to a conversation he had with a team leader, who described winter workouts as more intense than usual.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) March 16, 2021
As 247sports’ Stephen Bailey points out above, Syracuse has already started workouts in preparation for practice. Spring practice usually starts at the beginning of March, but of course due to the current pandemic, the team has to be flexible. Last year the Orange only had a couple of spring practices before the pandemic, which had a massive effect on the team’s preparation.
Syracuse is looking to rebound from a 1-10 season, and a full practice slate with increased winter workouts should help the Orange raise the number in the win column. Sterlin Gilbert will get an opportunity to implement his offense with a full offseason, working with new assistant coaches in Terrance Samuel (wide receivers) and Mike Schmidt (offensive line). Transfers Garrett Shrader and Jakob Bradford could immediately slot into starting positions on offense as well, and quarterback and offensive tackle, respectively.
Tony White’s defense impressed in his first year, and an offense to build muscle and strength should make the 3-3-5 even more explosive. He’s tasked with the hard job of replacing three defensive backs in Andre Cisco, Trill Williams, and Ifeatu Melifonwu that could get selected in the upcoming NFL draft. Transfer Jason Simmons Jr. could help in that area as well.
The spring will also help the incoming freshman along with the transfers learn the coaching staff. Highly touted recruits such as Justin Lamson and Darien “Duce” Chestnut are already on campus, which will only help an Orange squad that was hampered by injury and depth issues.
There are a lot more storylines to dissect in the Syracuse football program that will greatly benefit from a “regular” spring football practice. For a more detailed look, check in weekly with our spring football previews in the Syracuse football section. Our latest there features the Orange coaching staff, but you can also read up on the Syracuse quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers/tight ends, and offensive line.