Syracuse Football showcases upcoming season’s talent in spring game
SU Football showcases upcoming season's talent in spring game
Expectations are high for Syracuse Football after coming off a 10-win season and a Camping World Bowl victory over West Virginia. The team held its annual Spring Football Showcase Saturday afternoon and offered a glimpse of next year’s team.
With former standout quarterback Eric Dungey graduating, the Orange have a new signal caller: Tommy DeVito. The redshirt sophomore appeared in seven games last season, including the 40-37 double overtime win against North Carolina where he threw three touchdowns.
DeVito struggled at first in the spring game, throwing an interception to sophomore defensive back Trill Williams that would have gone for a touchdown if the play had not been blown dead.
In his next two possessions, DeVito rebounded from the mistake and threw for two touchdowns, one on a slant in the red-zone to freshman wide receiver Courtney Jackson and the other on a deep throw to senior wide receiver Sean Riley.
DeVito moved the offense down the field and kept up the fast tempo that Syracuse has become known for under head coach Dino Babers. Babers said he was pleased with how DeVito’s performance this spring.
“I think he’s grown a lot,” Babers said. “We’re really pushing him to challenge himself and find out what his limitations are. I think he’s done a really good job.”
A new offense
Orange fans are going to be excited about freshman wide receiver Courtney Jackson. A three-star recruit from Monroeville, Pennsylvania, Jackson ran out with the first-team offense and made some electrifying plays.
Jackson is 5’10” and 170 pounds and displayed game-changing speed from the slot. Jackson beat Trill Williams on a slant route for a touchdown and caught some screen passes from DeVito. Babers liked what he saw from Jackson but said he still has some work left to do in order to earn a role in the offense.
“We think he’s done some really cool things,” Babers said. “The playbook is going to get bigger and bigger, so let’s see what happens this summer and see where he’s at.”
Former Syracuse standouts Floyd Little, Larry Csonka, Tom Coughlin and Dungey were seen interacting with fans and signing autographs before and after the spring game. The former players all spoke to the team before the game. Babers said he was starstruck by Csonka and remembers idolizing the former Orange.
“When I was a kid, we would play street football and I wanted to be Larry Csonka,” Babers said. “Everybody said I couldn’t be Larry Csonka, and it almost got to the point where I had to fight the guy because I wanted to be Larry Csonka. For a 10-year-old kid, to me, Larry Csonka was the bomb.”
With the spring game in the books, the Orange will look to the next phase of the offseason as they prepare for summer workouts.
Syracuse will open up the 2019 season in a road game against the Liberty Flames on Aug. 31.