So, the Syracuse football staff has some very real questions surrounding the quarterback position right now, but fortunately for fans of the Orange, for once it’s not a question of “is anyone good enough” but rather, “what the heck do we do when our usual starter gets back from injury?” When Terrel Hunt was sidelined with an injury, and with Austin Wilson also banged up, the reins are completely AJ Long’s. The only question now is if or when he might find himself bumped from the lineup?
Now this is not to say that he should lose the starting spot at all, unless he starts coming back down to earth a little bit. But the question does exist about whether it’s okay to have a returning starter lose his job not because of what he did or didn’t do on the field, but because he got knocked out with a bad leg injury. We aren’t just talking about what happens the rest of this year if Hunt is able to get back from his injury, but also what happens next season?
It’s obviously way too early to start talking about the 2015 season, since we’ve only just passed the halfway mark in 2014. That said, Long has played well enough through two games to turn the idea that we won’t see Hunt start another game a very real possibility. Remember, Hunt is only a junior in terms of eligibility, so at the very least we are in for one hell of a quarterback battle next season. Add in both the preseason friction that arose when Long started talking about starting (which Hunt did not particularly appreciate and wrote off as a brash freshman being brash) and the fact that Alin Edouard may still arrive in January, and this stands to be the most heated quarterback battle in recent memory at Syracuse as we move forward.
The thing about Long, however, is the fact that while he acts brash and confident, so far he’s been able to back it up. The touch on his passes, and his overall accuracy, looks superior to Hunt, and while he’s not as strong a runner as Hunt he looks quicker. And maybe most importantly, the offense just looks vastly superior with Long under center.
Obviously, that’s a little unfair at this point, because Hunt was the signal caller under the recently demoted George McDonald, so we haven’t gotten a chance to see how good he could be in Tim Lester’s offense. Still, Long just looks to have that “it” factor, and strikes me as a bit of a poor man’s Russell Wilson at this point.
At the very least, the situation at quarterback will be fun to talk about over the next year or so, and while it’d be nice to have a definitive answer at the position it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have multiple people involved in the battle who appear to have what it takes to get the job done. That said, as much as we here at Otto’s Grove respect Terrel Hunt not only for what he did for SU last season but also for his incredible perseverance in his own life, if we had to vote right now we’d call for Long to hang onto the reins for as long as he’s able to stay upright. There just looks to be something special about “All Day” Long.