Like most former Syracuse Orange football players, quarterback Marvin Graves has kept tabs on the state of the program. Through it’s transitions, there have been ups and downs since Graves’ departure.
But with Scott Shafer taking over, there is positive momentum surrounding Syracuse football once again.
”I think it’s definitely headed in the right direction,” Graves said. “One thing that I enjoyed last year, in my opinion, was just how hard the guys play. The program has been kind of in a tailspin with some ups and downs. They’ve had some disappointing years.
”But I think last year, some of those games were disappointing, but I like the effort. When you see effort like that, it means the guys are buying into what the coaching staff is selling. I’m just looking forward to this year to see if we can really challenge and make teams respect us in the ACC.”
While Graves is looking forward to the season, head coach Scott Shafer is looking to improve from last year’s performance. He has set a baseline goal of eight wins. Given the state of the program, Graves agrees with that mindset.
”I think that’s a very realistic goal,” Graves said. “Is it a tall challenge? Absolutely. We all know the SEC is the best conference in America. But I’m in the sports world all the time. They replay the best games of 2013 and you see Clemson, Florida State just to name a few. There’s a lot of talent in the ACC. If you want to be the best, you have to line up with these teams and make your adjustments if you want to compete on a weekly basis.
”That’s a pretty realistic goal that the coaches set. I think they have to have some balls bounce your way and stay healthy. But I think they can get eight wins. They have some emerging stars that are diamonds in the rough. If they put it all together, they can get eight or maybe nine or crack ten like we did.”