In 2017, Tommy DeVito showed up to Syracuse as its first 4-star QB since the likes of Donovan McNabb and in the modern recruiting era, its 15th-highest recruit ever. DeVito was a big deal for the program. The New Jersey native showed his skills in 2018, backing up SU fan favorite Eric Dungey. DeVito got his chance to shine a few times that season, most notably against North Carolina. He entered while trailing, and led the Orange to a win behind three late touchdown passes including one in overtime to seal the victory.
Safe to say, fans were comfortable where the program was, in the hands of DeVito after Dungey’s departure.
When 2019 rolled around, it was DeVito’s time to shine and shine he di- oh wait, what was that? He didn’t shine? Oh yeaaaaaah. DeVito never lived up to that hype conjured up in 2018. He led Syracuse to a woeful 5-7 in ‘19 and then of course was injured in 2020, and now is gone, off to the transfer portal. Why’s that? Because Syracuse may have found its savior at the quarterback position. Garrett Shrader transferred in from Mississippi St this past offseason and has been nothing short of electric. Among QBs, Shrader ranks 4th in the nation in terms of rushing yards (670) and 2nd in rushing touchdowns (13) only behind fellow ACC QB, Malik Cunningham (15).
The question now becomes, if Syracuse makes a bowl game, and Shrader continues to impress this season, does SU look a lot more appealing for quarterbacks in the future despite DeVito’s failure?
Why not? At that point, it’s on Dino Babers to go after the big fish rather than the heaps of 3-stars he brings in every season. It’s not like big quarterbacks aren’t attracted to the ACC, and the talk of the weather being a factor in SU recruiting is quite frankly ridiculous. Do Wisconsin or Minnesota miss out on top recruits because it snows? Come on now.
Shrader has a real opportunity to open the door for SU football. If he continues to play well and SU continues to succeed, it provides a recent example of success at the QB position under Babers on the hill. If you’re asking why Dungey’s success shouldn’t count as the same, it’s because Dungey wasn’t recruited by Babers. It’s easy for critics to write off that 2018 10-win season as one that Babers achieved on the backs of Scott Shafer’s recruiting. DeVito was Babers’ big catch, and he quickly floundered. So Shrader’s continued success would be big for Babers and the future of this program.