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Wednesday, April 17, 2013
More questions in Syracuse QB race

By Andrea Adelson

The recent news that Oklahoma quarterback Drew Allen has decided to transfer to Syracuse has further muddled an already-cloudy picture at the position.

No matter what happens in the spring game this weekend, the Orange will go into the offseason with much uncertainty at a position that has had none over the last several years.

Drew Allen
Quarterback Drew Allen played behind Sam Bradford and Landry Jones at Oklahoma before transferring to Syracuse.
There are simply more questions than answers at this point, especially since Syracuse coach Scott Shafer cannot comment until Allen officially enrolls in school. Allen is not expected in Syracuse until the summer. So where do the Orange stand? Let's take a quick look back.

December: Following the bowl win over West Virginia, it seemed all but certain that Charley Loeb would go into the spring as the No. 1 quarterback, after serving as the backup behind Ryan Nassib.

January: Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett leave for Buffalo. Days later, incoming freshman Zach Allen decommits and ends up at TCU. Allen was supposed to enroll and be eligible for spring ball, and many thought he could be the next great Orange quarterback. Loeb, Terrel Hunt and John Kinder are left to compete for the starting job.

March: New coach Scott Shafer reiterates the quarterback competition is open. Though Loeb has the most experience, Hunt begins to get more reps with the first-team.

April: Allen announces his intentions to play at Syracuse, with immediate eligibility in 2013.

Though it seemed pretty clear the quarterback competition would have remained unsettled without Allen hopping aboard, his presence certainly makes things more interesting come fall practice. The top three questions to ponder before he arrives:

1. Does this mean Allen is the favorite to win the starting quarterback job? Some seem to think so. I think it is too early to assume that, despite the way this move looks. Allen is a high-profile addition, from a high-profile school and was mentored by Sonny Detmer, father of former BYU quarterbacks Ty and Koy Detmer. Major pluses. But ...

2. What has Allen done to draw such assumptions? While at Oklahoma, Allen played behind Sam Bradford and Landry Jones. Really bad timing, sitting behind two pretty terrific quarterbacks. So it is uncertain to say the least what he can do. He has the same number of starts as the quarterbacks currently on the Syracuse roster: zero.

3. How quickly can he learn the offense? Allen will be behind Loeb, Hunt and Kinder, who have already had a spring and will have a majority of the offseason to get much more familiar with the new scheme and playbook. Allen will be asked to learn a lot in a short period of time.

The answers won't be revealed until August.