Last summer, we saw Dino Babers become more up front about race, as he addressed the American events last summer and how he relates to them as a Black man himself. Additionally, Syracuse has not been shy about making sure the University’s history and place among Black athlete activism is known outside of the hill.
But just how does Syracuse stack up when it comes to elevating Black coaches and administrators into key roles? Turns out, better than many of its peers at the moment — though there’s still quite a bit of work to be done at every Power Five school. On the positive side, the Orange did make some progress last season by bringing on Tony White to be defensive coordinator, and the first year DC proved that he has the chops to be a P5 coordinator right out of the gate, despite the challenges he had to face with an injured roster and limited offseason to install a new system.
More on ESPN’s reporting there, though, plus the rest of today’s links below.
Syracuse is one of just three current ACC schools to have had a Black AD, head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator. Ernie Davis became the first Black player to win the Heisman trophy in 1961 and was drafted first overall the following spring. Wilmeth Sidat-Singh broke the color barrier for Syracuse football in 1935. He was at the school on a basketball scholarship before joining the football team. He later served as a captain of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Coach most likely to get fired: Syracuse’s Dino Babers. Not sure what happened after that 10-win season in 2018, but Syracuse went 1-10 last season, and it was a whole lot of blowouts, which indicates there’s not likely a quick turnaround in store for the Orange’s sixth-year coach. Close runner-up: Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente.
“Every game we played it was a weird feeling,” Black said. “You’re trying to get ready for game day. You know you’re playing in front of zero fans. It’s, ‘How do I make this not feel like a glorified scrimmage? “That’s something we thrive off, being in the Loud House and all this. We don’t have a dome for no reason. Just having the fans and running out the tunnel is something that gives me chills. You don’t realize it until it’s game day, the smoke is in front of the tunnel and the fans are roaring. It gets you pumped up to play and it makes you play better. You can’t let down your fans.”
One fall camp standout from every ACC team (247Sports)
Syracuse - Courtney Jackson: Nothing helps a skill position player’s case for playing time like finding the end zone in a scrimmage, and Jackson, who caught 10 passes for 69 yards last year, did it twice in one scrimmage. The No. 98 athlete and No. 1,274 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite, Jackson is helping to fill out a wide receiver group that brings back two starters in Taj Harris and Anthony Queeley.
College Football Starting QB Rankings for 2021 - Top 130 (Athlon Sports)
2021 ACC Preseason Rankings (Gobbler Country)
ACC Head Coach Rankings For 2021 (BC Bulletin)