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Syracuse Orange Veteran Players React to 2018 Football ACC Rankings

Orange running back Dontae Strickland (4) runs with the ball during the Syracuse Spring football game on Friday, April 13, 2018, at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. (c) 2018, AP. Rich Barnes/CSM (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

Audio Transcript: Otto Zaccardo on 2018 ACC Football Rankings

Click the link above to learn more about Otto Zaccardo’s thoughts on ACC 2018 rankings.

By Kayla Burton Syracuse, N.Y.  (NCC NEWS)- Syracuse University’s football team was predicted to finish last in the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference this season by the media members at the ACC Kickoff. The Orange received the lowest rating with only 232 points, while Clemson ranked No. 1 in the conference, received a total of 1,031 votes.

Redshirt junior running back Otto Zaccardo was surprised with these ratings. With summer workouts being put into action along with vital returning players, Zaccardo is confident that the ACC media member’s votes will change.

“It doesn’t really make sense, ” said Zaccardo referring to the rankings. “Especially if you’re projecting us for next year when we have all of our pieces returning, it’s a little surprising.”

Zaccardo explained that since the Orange’s head coach Dino Babers came into the picture in 2016, they are a different team. Zaccardo said that there is a newfangled maturity the team carries and gave credit to Babers for initiating this positive change.

The Orange’s have been dedicating multiple hours over the summer to strength, conditioning, individual workouts, player-practices and film in order to go as deep into the conference as they can. Zaccardo already has a good feeling about this season, regardless of what rankings tell.

“I think if anything, ranking us that low just helps us catch teams off guard. Not that we need it but it’s a good thing.” Said Zaccardo.

The Orange’s strength and conditioning program has additionally been a game-changer for the team, in terms of training for the upcoming season. Zaccardo said that considering the fact that the same football trainers have been consistently working with the players for three consecutive years, the players have been preforming personal records over the summer so far.

The Syracuse Orange’s will begin their summer camp starting next week.