As the Syracuse Orange approach the end of spring football practice, we’ve gotten some news out of Dino Babers.
Dino Babers was on ACC PM today.— emily leiker (@emleiker) April 12, 2023
He said three team captains have already been selected for the upcoming season: Justin Barron, Marlowe Wax and Garrett Shrader.
Don’t think those selections will surprise anyone.
As Emily said, the first half of the SU captains are all obvious selections.
Justin Barron was one of the most consistent guys in the Syracuse secondary last season, totaling 62 tackles, a pass breakup, and a fumble recovery. He’s also been a standout at spring camp so far, emerging as a leader of the secondary in Rocky Long’s reloaded 3-3-5 defense. Specifically, the safeties are focused creating turnovers and getting the offense back on the field.
“We led the nation turnovers at one point,” Barron said after last Thursday’s practice. “We’re trying to get back to taking the ball away.”
Likewise, Marlowe Wax needs little introduction. The Baltimore native led the team in tackles with 88, also picking up 4.5 sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries. He’s been in a green “no-contact” jersey for most of the spring but is still a force to be reckoned with. Since Mikel Jones is off to the NFL, Wax is his clear successor as the overall captain of the defense.
“At first, I was a laid back guy, a quiet guy,” Wax said earlier this spring. “(Jones) told me a lot about how, since I was getting older, I needed to be vocal. But I am now.”
Finally, Shrader is also not practicing in the spring while recovering from a procedure on his shoulder. Still, if it wasn’t for the brace on his throwing arm, you’d think the returning captain was another coach with the way he’s been overseeing aspects of camp.
Coming off a career year where he had over 3,000 all-purpose yards, Shrader has been working closely with new Offensive Coordinator Jason Beck to transform the attack to a pass-heavy one. He’s been guiding the development of both Justin Lamson and Carlos Del Rio-Wilson as they battle to be his eventual successor, along with connecting with his receivers between plays.
In the latest practice, Shrader pulled aside Umari Hatcher after he ran the wrong route and explained which defenders to watch before making his move. It’s just one example of the veteran QB acting his age despite not being in pads.
What are your thoughts on these selections? Who do you think should round out the 2023 captains?