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10 Fun Facts About the Syracuse Orange

How much do you know about this year’s football team?

Syracuse University flag waiving on game day.

Garrett Shrader ’23 is a pilot? Malcolm Folk ’25, a saxophonist? Maximilian Mang ’24 played volleyball in Germany? … Just a few interesting facts about the Syracuse Orange, which are competing in the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 29. Find out why this year’s roster is one of the deepest and most talented of the Dino Babers era.

Who’s the Boss?

Otto cheering in front of students in the Dome.

Linebacker Kadin Bailey ’26 has football in his blood. The 6-foot-2, 217-pound freshman hails from the Peach State, where his father (Boss) and two uncles (Champ and Ron) were University of Georgia royalty. Boss led the defense on Georgia’s 2002 SEC Championship team before turning pro. He and Champ, a college and pro football Hall of Famer, then played together for the Denver Broncos. Ron had a brief career in Germany.

Tackling Opportunity

Matthew Bergeron cheering on the field.

Victoriaville is a Canadian hockey town, but thanks to co-captain Matthew Bergeron ’23, it’s also known for football. The first person from his high school to earn an NCAA Division I football scholarship, the 6-foot-5, 322-pound junior is the lynchpin of Syracuse’s offensive line. The All-ACC tackle also is a top NFL prospect—the only member of the Orange to accept an invitation to the 2023 Senior Bowl.

Folk Hero

Football team rushing the field on game day.

Malcolm Folk ’25 is one of many student athletes with hidden talents off the field. A trained musician, the 6-foot-1, 201-pound redshirt freshman plays multiple instruments including saxophone, guitar and drums. No surprise that his pregame ritual includes listening to rap and hip-hop.

Like Father, Like Son

Birdseye view of the Dome packed with fans.

Football runs in the family of wide receiver Oronde Gadsden II ’25. His father played for the Miami Dolphins, catching Dan Marino’s last touchdown pass in 1999. The 6-foot-5, 216-pound sophomore—the Orange’s sole representative on the 2022 All-ACC first team—is on the Biletnikoff Award watch list.

To the Max

Photo of fans cheering in the stands.

Tight end Maximilian Mang ’24 is proof that lightning can strike twice. Prior to Syracuse, the 6-foot-7, 262-pound sophomore played football in his native Germany. He also was a member of Germany’s national youth volleyball team and competed in soccer and table tennis. The so-called Dr. Mang is integral to Babers’ hurry-up offense.

Band of Brothers

Photo of the marching band performing outside.

Long snapper Mike Midkiff ’23 and tight end Josh Kubala ’26 are cadets in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. A 6-foot-3, 210-pound redshirt sophomore, Midkiff plans to join his father and brother in the Army after graduation and then work for the FBI. Kubala, a former lacrosse standout, also has military roots. The 6-foot-2, 211-pound freshman follows in the footsteps of his mother, who played lacrosse for the Army.

Catching Air

Portrait of three students smiling at game in the Dome.

Flying down the field—and through the sky—comes naturally to quarterback Garrett Shrader ’23. Like his father and grandfather, the North Carolina native is a certified pilot. Shrader spent the pandemic learning how to operate a four-seat, fixed-wing Cessna. The 6-foot-4, 228-pound junior is also an expert marksman and horseback rider.

Andre the Giant

Birdseye view of inside the Dome on game day.

When placekicker Andre Szmyt ’20, G’22 burst on the scene as a redshirt freshman, no one anticipated the legacy he’d create. A semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award (which he won in 2018), the 6-foot-1, 199-pound walk-on is the most accurate kicker (83%) and highest scoring player (354 points) in program history.

The Long Run

Birdseye view of outside the Dome at night.

An All-American rusher, Sean Tucker ’24 has competed on the men’s track and field team. The 5-foot-10, 210-pound sophomore traces his love of running to Calvert High School in Maryland, where he held the state title for the 55-meter dash for two years in a row. Tucker also was a state champion in the 100- and 200-meter dash.

World-Class Talent

Students forming the block s at the JMA Dome.

The Orange pride themselves on geographical diversity. This year’s roster includes student athletes from Germany (Maximilian Mang ’25 and Mark Petry ’23), Australia (Max Von Marburg ’25), Japan (Yusoke Sugano G’24) and Canada (Damien Alford ’24 and Matthew Bergeron ’23). Kalan Ellis and Austyn Kauhi both hail from Hawaii and are members of the Class of ’25.

Rob Enslin

This story was published on .

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