Well, it wasn’t unexpected, but Syracuse quarterback target Will Levis pledged to Penn State over the weekend, marking the third priority QB recruit to commit elsewhere during the 2018 cycle. But just because the Orange have yet to land a signal caller in this class, that doesn’t mean they’re out of strong options.
Now, just to back things up a bit here, yes – the Orange have missed out on each of their top three QB targets so far. First it was New Jersey Player of the Year Devin Leary, who picked NC State. Then it was Tyler, Texas dual threat Chance Amie, who elected to stay closer to home and picked Houston. And now, it’s Levis – whose commitment to Penn State certainly seemed to be written on the wall and simply a matter of waiting to actually receive his offer.
But Syracuse isn’t (and shouldn’t be) in panic mode, either. After all, the Orange are in relatively strong shape – at least on paper – at the QB position heading into 2017. A healthy Eric Dungey should hopefully mean the Orange have their starter for each of the next two years. Rex Culpepper was a 3-star recruit who attracted offers from the likes of Florida and Ohio State over the course of his high school career. And obviously, there’s Tommy DeVito – the gem of last year’s class, and an Elite 11 finalist.
That said, particularly when it comes to the QB position, you don’t want to rest on your laurels and have the possibility of limited depth. As Syracuse fans know all too well, you’re only one hit away from having to go to the bench to find someone else to run the offense. That’s how we wound up starting Mitch Kimble a couple years ago, after all.
So with that said, while the QB position doesn’t seem to be the most pressing need in the class of 2018, it’s still a position that Dino Babers and his staff will almost certainly try to fill each recruiting cycle. That means that, yes, the Orange will continue to pursue quarterbacks. The question, of course, is who?
There are two names in particular to pay attention to: Steven Krajewski and Carter Bradley. Krajewski, who began his high school career at Brother Rice, outside of Detroit, now plays for Georgia-power Colquitt County. The 6-foot-4, 205 pounder is a 3-star prospect but still flying somewhat under the radar, with Syracuse remaining his lone Power 5 offer. His next most impressive offer is UConn, though you can expect his profile to rise in the coming months. Over the weekend, it was reported he’d be throwing for Alabama and Auburn, and if either of those schools decides to offer, he’s certain to start blowing up.
That said, it certainly seems like the Orange should feel comfortable about where they stand with Krajewski. Syracuse was his first D1 offer, and are in great position should they choose to push for him.
Bradley is an interesting target for a number of reasons, including the fact that, like Tommy DeVito, he was an Elite 11 finalist. The 6-foot-3, 200 pound signal caller also has a connection to Syracuse, albeit through a former coach – Doug Marrone. See, Bradley is the son of former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley, who previously hired Marrone as his assistant head coach and offensive line coach, before Bradley was fired and Marrone took over the head coaching position with the Jags.
Bradley’s got an impressive offer sheet, including Louisville, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, and Purdue, and he’s also been offered by the likes of Rutgers, Toledo, Temple, and Indiana.
No doubt other names could emerge if Syracuse is unable to snag either Krajewski or Bradley, including perhaps J’Bore Gibbs, a 6-foot-3 dual threat QB from Chicago who just got a follow on Twitter from co-offensive coordinator and QB coach Sean Lewis, for example. Now, Gibbs is committed to South Dakota State, and these coaches follow a lot of potential recruits. Nothing is likely to come out of this, but it’s always worth perusing who the coaches follow for potential new names, particularly after missing on a recruit or two. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out at the QB position this cycle, and if the Orange can land one or both of its current top two targets, then Syracuse fans will have to feel pretty good about how things played out.