Syracuse QB job up in the air

The future at quarterback was supposed to enroll at Syracuse today.

Instead, Texas prep quarterback Zach Allen has plans to play at TCU -- a stunning blow to an Orange team that has taken its fair share in the past week. Allen was an early Syracuse pledge and maintained his commitment even after Doug Marrone left for the Buffalo Bills. But losing offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett became too much for Allen, and new Orange coach Scott Shafer was left to watch Allen turn his back on the program without ever walking in the door.

While it was almost a foregone conclusion that Shafer would succeed Marrone, there is far less certainty now at quarterback heading into spring practice. Syracuse already faced the daunting task of replacing record-setting quarterback Ryan Nassib, who holds the Syracuse single-season and career records for passing yards (3,749 in 2012; 9,190 career) and completions (294; 791), along with single-season records for touchdown passes (26) and total offense (3,891 yards).

Allen seemed to be the perfect fit to come in and at least compete for the starting job, considering he is pretty highly rated (three stars by ESPN) and played in a pro-style offense in high school. There are options left on the roster, but Allen was a player the Orange could have built their future around. Now, they have to choose from:

  • Backup Charley Loeb, a senior who has attempted six passes in his career (and only one in 2012).

  • John Kinder, a junior who was the 2009 New York Class A Player of the Year.

  • Terrel Hunt, a promising dual-threat quarterback who has run into off-the-field trouble.

  • Ashton Broyld, another dual-threat player who played receiver and running back in 2012.

The cupboard is not bare, not by a long shot. There is talent left on the roster. But losing Allen definitely hurts. We'll see how the competition shakes out once spring practice opens.