Syracuse football coach Dino Babers recruited for his competitors Sunday, urging high school football players to go to Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers or Army if they wanted. He had a reason.
Babers told more than 2,000 players at the annual Lauren’s First & Goal football camp that he wanted to see them stay, and play, close to home. He insisted that there was “enough talent on this football field to win a national championship in the Northeast.”
Babers then raised eyebrows by saying, “Go to Penn State” and “Go to Rutgers” before finding a player in the crowd wearing a Pitt shirt.
“Go to Pitt,” the Syracuse coach said to 2,000 gasps. “Did he just say that? Yeah. Go to Pitt. I’d rather see one of those schools do it with people at home than to [see players] run down to Clemson, Alabama or Florida State. You can play your ball right here.”quote from The Morning Call
I am a big fan of Dino Babers. He is a hell of a coach that has been building Syracuse into a talented team despite an uphill battle. Between academics, a school known more for basketball and being far from any hotbeds of talent, he is doing a solid job.
I also respect his point here to keep players home and try to win a title for a team from the Northeast. The last Northeastern team to win a National championship was Penn State way back in 1986.
With that said, I am curious what happens when he moves on. Babers will have an impressive contract from a big time school coming soon. Once he eventually leaves Syracuse for the West Coast or the SEC, what does he say then?
This is more on these Northeastern teams instead of the players. The players just want the best opportunity and to win a title. Babers is also one of the few teams to beat Clemson in the last few years, so is Pitt.
Penn State has vastly improved under Franklin and there really isn’t an excuse why these teams keep finishing in the middle of the pack of the ACC or Big Ten. Penn State has made noise in the Big Ten but still haven’t cracked the playoff. They also can’t get past Ohio State after blowing some big forth quarter leads.
So Babers can urge these kids to stay home, but give them a reason. Stop losing to Wake Forest and build some consistency. Convincing a kid to stay home to finish third in a weak ACC or go win a title at Clemson is a pretty lopsided argument.
You need talent to improve, you need to improve to land talent. Until Syracuse can string together some 10+ win seasons, Penn State can take the next step and Pitt can build some consistency, the talent will leave.
As great as it is for kids to have some home town pride, give them a better reason to stay.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. I have covered college football since 2017, wrote for Saturday Tailgate and Fansided. Covering all things Big 12 from recruiting to opinions on the best conference in college football.