Syracuse Orange Midseason Update
Syracuse, N.Y. -- Coming off a tough loss to Florida State, the Syracuse Orange are headed into a bye week. Having passed the halfway point of the season, this seems like a good time to reflect on the season so far and look ahead to the final seven. In Coach Anson's first season at the helm, the Orange have achieved a 3-4 record over their first seven games. After opening the season with a two-point loss at defending national champion Purdue, Syracuse has been up and down, alternating wins and losses. While they have held steady near .500 thus far, the three-game stretch between now and the next bye week will define the season. First, a game at Louisville is almost a must-win if the Orange hope to pull out six wins for a bowl berth. This is because they will be significant underdogs in the two games following that one. Winning a home game against AW3 and the Clemson Tigers or a game on the road against Bryce Thompson and Duke will be a tall task for this young Orange squad. An 0-3 record over this stretch will knock Syracuse out of bowl contention, while anything better than 1-2 would be unfair to expect out of this team. Thus, the Orange roll into Louisville next week needing to take advantage of the most winnable game of the next three.
Off the field, Coach Anson and his staff have been hard at work on the recruiting trail. In the last two weeks, two 4.5 star recruits have signed with Syracuse, adding to the three signees that had been locked up early. Currently, the class ranks 11th in the ACC and 74th in the country. Earlier this season, Coach Anson said, "We already have a lot of depth at most positions. This year, we want to focus on bringing in more talent at positions of need to build up quality. Right now, depth is not a huge issue." With the recruits he has signed so far, it appears that the head coach is succeeding in doing just that. Here is a more detailed look at each member of the Syracuse recruiting class so far.
OG Theo Albright 6-3 311 Fr State College (State College, PA) 1.0 of 4.5 [Run Blocking]
Albright should infuse some much needed talent into the Orange offensive line. He is the biggest recruit on the O-line at Syracuse in years and will be a solid anchor at guard for years to come. This is the most impressive signing of Coach Anson's class so far. The only other major competitor for Albright was the hometown Penn State Nittany Lions, but Albright bought into Anson's vision for the Syracuse program and could help start a turnaround in New York. There will be a number of returners next year at OG, so it will be interesting to see if the Syracuse coaching staff elects to redshirt Albright next year or play him right out of the gates.
DE Xavier Armstrong 6-0 245 Fr Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn, NY) 1.0 of 4.5 [Contain]
The Orange emerged victorious in a battle with in-state foe Army for this talented lineman out of Brooklyn. While defensive end was not a glaring need for Syracuse, they did want to build up some more depth at the position with the upcoming graduation of Boyd Pickett. Armstrong looks to be the next stud on the defensive line for the Orange. The decision on a redshirt should be intriguing in this situation as well, with a number of adequate returnees looking to step up next year.
DT Steadman Brunson 6-7 302 Fr Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn, NY) 3.0 of 3.5 [2-Gap]
Coach Anson may have Steadman Brunson to thank for solidifying the future of his defensive line. Brunson was one of the first recruits to sign with Syracuse, and worked hard throughout the season at Thomas Jefferson High to convince his teammate, Xavier Armstrong, to follow him. After signing Brunson early on, Coach Anson said, "He is going to come in with a skill level that we don't often see out of true freshmen. I am thankful to him for buying into my vision for the program, and I can't wait to see him out there for us." Barring an early departure by current starter Jabari Jamison, look for Brunson to take a redshirt year before assuming the starting role in his redshirt freshman season.
ILB Jonathan Paulson 6-4 246 Fr Red Bank Valley (New Bethlehem, PA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Mike]
CB Abdoulaye Frazier 6-1 162 Fr Keefe Technical (Framingham, MA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage]
These two players both add depth with increased potential in place of graduating seniors at their positions. Both signed early in the recruiting process along with Steadman Brunson, and should be starters in a couple years. With more experienced players ahead of them, expect these two to also take redshirts to help them adjust to the college game.
With several weeks of recruiting still to go, followed by JuCo recruiting, Coach Anson will look to add to these pieces and continue to build toward the future. Meanwhile, be sure to keep an eye on this year's team as they come down the home stretch, looking to make a bowl for the first time since 2019.
Last Five Games
vs #4 Clemson
at #11 Duke
vs Boston College