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What are we learning about Syracuse football so far this spring?

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If you said only what Dino wants us to

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

The Syracuse Orange football team is one week out from the Spring game and information out of practices has been limited to some plays in drills and situational work. There have been some comments from Dino Babers that we can use to give us something to keep an eye on next week when we see the team in action.

More time for backup quarterbacks

Babers mentioned that he’s seen Garret Shrader face live competition but that his other quarterbacks need to be in situations that showcase their full skill set. What he means is that he wants to see Dan Villari and Justin Lamson go against the starting defense and be in positions where they have to choose between standing in the pocket or escaping and running the ball. It’s clear that the Orange want to keep the dual-threat theme going so I think we’ll see more opportunities for the players behind Shrader to show how they handle pressure (even if they are not getting hit).

Transfers on both side of the line?

We know that Syracuse needs help on the defensive line and we expected that the Orange would be scouring the next wave of players to enter the portal. What we didn’t expect was that Syracuse would also be on the lookout for a veteran on the offensive line as Babers and Mike Schmidt determine the best spot for Carlos Vettorello.

“I do see growth in what Carlos has been doing on the outside,” Babers said on Monday. “We’ve just got to see if that’s the best spot for the team, but there’s no doubt that he’s gotten better out there.”

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 15 Clemson at Syracuse Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I’m sure Steve will have plenty of thoughts after the scrimmage but it will be interesting to see how the unit looks, and how some of the back-ups perform when they see the field next Friday.

Wide Receivers Emerging?

The one position that seems to be truly in an open competition is wide receiver. We expect Courtney Jackson and Anthony Queeley to retain starting positions but after that it’s anyone’s guess. Syracuse has some young receivers with size and speed that have to demonstrate consistency and then there’s a player like DeVaughn Cooper who can use his experience and route-running to become a trusted player in key situations. Babers mentioned that it’s hard to tell know because of the constant rotations at quarterback and receiver and that summer workouts would build those relationships. From the brief clips we’ve seen at practices it does seem as though players might be used depending on game situations and it’s a group I’m eager to see next week as they face a deep Syracuse secondary.

There’s a lot riding on the 2022 season so I think it will be exciting to see some new players in action next week and we’ll continue to follow Dino’s bread crumbs until the first game next fall.