In his first season at the helm of the Syracuse Orange football program, Scott Shafer has already moved through some of the phases. Recruiting for the 2013 class was one and Spring workouts with the current roster was another.
Looking back on the Spring, Shafer focused in on the quarterback contest, one of the main storylines of the off-season. "The great thing is now we're gonna be able to take this Spring video, all these cutups, and go back and re-study 'em all slower, and really critique themselves and say, 'Here's what I'm doing well, here's what I'm not doing well at all, and how can I get better,'" said Shafer.
"They'll have projects that they work on throughout the summer and they're gonna have the opportunity to just watch all that video," Shafer continued. "So, I think the biggest learning comes after your first Spring as a quarterback, and so I look forward to seeing how these kids really develop 'cause now they've finally got real snaps in the Spring. So it's gonna be a hell of a competition and we're looking forward to it."
Oklahoma Sooners' transfer Drew Allen and freshmen Mitch Kimble and Austin Wilson will arrive on campus this summer and take the field as members of the Orange in full practices in the upcoming Fall. "We're looking forward to having all the kids in the program," Shafer simply stated.
But there would not be a contest or even a conversation on the Syracuse quarterback position if Ryan Nassib was returning. Nassib finished his eligibility having reset numerous quarterback records in Orange history. However, Shafer had some words for Nassib after Nassib completed his time at Syracuse. "I told Ryan [Nassib]...I still felt I threw the ball better than him."
"So we got a quarterback controversy on both sides of the fence," Shafer joked, adding himself to the mix of already six strong.
Moving to the defense, the new Orange head coach zeroed in on one of the team's newcomers, junior college transfer linebacker Josh Kirkland, or to Shafer, "flash". "Josh [Kirkland] is high energy," Shafer expressed. "And I just love the kid. He's a country-strong kid from Kansas, middle of no where, and when we started looking at 'em, I went out there to Butler and they had some other guys that were rated real high but I kept seeing this kid make all the plays on the video tape. Then I went to the practice and he moved really well."
"I just loved his attitude," Shafer continued. "I mean, that kid's got the best attitude out of anyone you've ever met. So, he's gonna bring something to the table. He loves to play the game. He's fun to watch, isn't he? And he'll throw his body in there and try to knock you out."
"We're happy to have him, real happy with the new guys, all of 'em," Shafer remarked.
More are set to join the Orange squad in late June and will be available for Shafer's eyes in the Fall as Syracuse looks to assemble their first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) team.