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  Syracuse will return to practice in about a month, when a quarterback competition Dino Babers said could rub up against the Sept. 4 season opener at Ohio will start to take shape. Returning starter Tommy DeVito is vying to hold off Garrett Shrader, the transfer from Mississippi State who spent most of the spring semester catching up on the language of the Orange offense. It's a season-defining decision in a year in which Babers is facing pressure to win. There's rarely been such ambiguity at quarterback heading into a season under Babers. It last happened with Eric Dungey and DeVito back in 2018, when Babers let the question hang in the air deep into August, despite Dungey having three seasons of starting experience. This summer has a similar feeling. DeVito is now the fourth-year player who has started games in multiple seasons and is coming off a year cut short by injury. Shrader is trying to close ground on the incumbent.

DeVito showcased his arm and accuracy behind an offensive line that finally gave him some protection. Babers sized up his quarterback room during an in-house interview for season-ticket holders last month with radio voice Matt Park. The interview was recently made available to the public. It's a rare window into the head coach's appraisal on his quarterbacks. The team closed all practices in the spring and did not hold a spring game for fans. "I think that Garrett had a spring where he's got to learn the offense and he's got to get better at things," Babers said, "but he's gobbling that up daily and getting better and better, and his legs are something to be reckoned with. "Tommy had a really, really good spring throwing the football. Those guys at practice can see what he can do when he has time and his feet are quiet." - The Post-Standard

(DS#49 QB) rSr/2023 QB Tommy DeVitoIllinois
News Source: The Post-Standard



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