How do the Orange stack up in 2010?
Thu, 19 Aug 2010 13:09:44 GMT —
Syracuse's 2010 fall camp is more than a week old and the coaches, players and fans are beginning to get a sense of how things are shaking out. Let's take a quick look around the field to see how the Orange stack up in their quest to return to a bowl game for the first time since 2004.QB - Ryan Nassib is your unquestioned starter, compared to last season when he was your unquestioned starter until Greg Paulus came to town. Doug Marrone is prasiding Nassib's growth and leadership up and down and seems to have faith in the sophomore signal caller. Charley Loeb has the 2nd-string spot locked up and freshman John Kinder seems to have control on the 3rd spot. Fellow freshman Jonny Miller is recovering from shoulder surgery and the coaches have him on lockdown until better. Chances are he'll be redshirted, which doesn't affect the Orange this season as he probably wasn't going to see much playing time anyway.RB - The bad news? Sophomore Averin Collier is apparently gone, having not met certain academic requirements. Coach Marrone has said Collier has until August 30th to work things out but it doesn't look likely. The good news? Star senior Delone Carter is back after missing the entire summer due to legal troubles. He'll be joined the backfield by sophomore Antwon Bailey for a solid 1-2 punch. Freshman Prince-Tyson Gulley and Jerome Smith are battling for the third spot.WR - Mike Williams is a Tampa Bay Buccaneer and he's left some very big shoes to fill. No one player on the current roster will be able to do that so the entire unit is going to have to improve in a hurry. Alec Lemon, Van Chew and Marcus Sales lead the returning receivers looking to put up improved numbers this year. However it might be Hofstra transfer Aaron Weaver who has the size and hands to make a real impact in the endzone. Also keep an eye on Dorian Graham, who just converted from DB to WR. If he can improve his hands, the speedster could turn into a great deep-ball threat for the Orange.TE - Cody Catalina will miss the season due to injury so expect Nick Provo to be the go-to tight end for receptions. The way the Syracuse offense is set up, Provo could be on the receiving end of a lot of Nassib passes. When the Orange need a better blocking end, Thomas Trendowski has been playing well, as has freshman Beckett Wales.OL - One of the biggest questions marks every season for the Orange, this year is no different. Aside from C Ryan Bartholomew, the rest of the line is relatively up for grabs.LT Justin Pugh, RT Michael Hay and RG Andrew Tiller seem to have a grasp on their spots. Meanwhile at the left guard spot, Adam Rosner is feeling the heat from Zack Chibane. SU is also awaiting word on Juco transfer Lou Alexander who is working out some academic issues.DL - Considering they're trying to replace of the better nose tackles to ever play at Syracuse (Art Jones), the SU defensive line looks pretty good. If nothing else, it's got depth. Art's younger brother Chandler will anchor one side of the line while Mikhail Marinovich is on the other. In the middle, the trio of seniors trying to fill the void are Andrew Lewis, Anthony Perkins and Bud Tribbey. As they fight it out for the starting spot, sophomore Cory Boatman, Juco transfer Deon Goggins and freshman Jason Bromley are making strides behind them. LB - These days, Syracuse is lucky to get one guy from a given position on a preseason award watch list. That the Orange placed two linebackers on the Butkus Award watchlist speaks volumes as to how strong the unit is. Senior and defensive leader Derrell Smith will man the middle while converted-halfback Doug Hogue has blossomed on the other side of the ball. Completing the trio is likely to be freshman Marcus Spruill, who is outplaying incumbent Ryan Gillum for the weakside linebacker position.DB - At full-strength, the defensive secondary looks imposing. Unfortunately, it hasn't been at full-strength all camp. Safety Shamarko Thomas and cormer Kevyn Scott have been plagued by hamstring injuries but hope to return quickly. In the meantime, senior Mike Holmes is looking to cap an impressive Syracuse career while sophomore Philip Thomas is just getting his started. Once healthy, this fearsome foursome will likely be the starters with Max Suter rotating in.Special Teams - Punter Rob Long continues to rack up the preseason accolades, named Big East Special Teams Player of the Year by almost every outlet. Kicker Ryan Lichtenstein will look to continue progressing but he's got competition by way of freshman Ross Krautman.
So how do you think the Orange will stack up against the competition in 2010? Leave a comment below and join the debate!Sean Keeley is the founder of Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and the author of "How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way To Brainwash Your Child Into Becoming A Syracuse Fan". Click here to read previous SU sports articles from Sean on CNYcentral.com.