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Syracuse football coach Dino Babers: ‘We’re hitting the portal hard’

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The head coach opened up on Monday’s Cuse Sports Talk

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange football team is looking to take the next step in their road to recovery next season, after a 5-7 season has left a “bowl or bust” mentality with both fans and administration. Part of that process is revamping a roster that saw significant turmoil during the season with both outgoing transfers and injuries, and for 2022, that roster will look different based on comments from head coach Dino Babers today on Cuse Sports Talk.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise for anyone who has been closely following the program this offseason, even if it seems Babers has changed his mind since the end of the regular season. (We even put together a wish list.) The Orange lost numerous players to the portal during and after the season, dropping their scholarship player list to just 60 before a signing day that did little to address those holes on the roster. It was on signing day that Babers gave another follow up to the transfer portal process, saying that the overall experience level of the group determines which players and how many the program would target for transfers.

Based on today’s comments and the rumors around the back half of 2022 class, it seems that Babers and the rest of the coaching staff feels the team as a whole is a bit too young, which is what happens when so many backups and role players transfer out.

Speaking of the coaching staff, Babers addressed how the rest of the staff will be filled and assigned for the 2022 season.

This is certainly interesting, as it would appear that the defensive side of the ball will run with four full-time coaches (DC Tony White, plus Nick Monroe, Chip West and Chris Achuff) while offense will be far more specialized, however new offensive coordinator Robert Anae will not have a position group to work with, presumably to focus on the offensive scheme and overall execution. The Orange can certainly supplement the defensive side of the ball with graduate assistants and analysts, however that was the approach for 2021 with special teams and the results were less than ideal. The pressure will be on Tony White to ensure his scheme can continue to show success even with less coaches on his side of the ball.

This will probably be the last time we hear from Babers until Signing Day, but by the sounds of it, there will be plenty of transfer news coming before that press conference.