Syracuse football preseason storylines, No. 8: Running back depth

first_imgSyracuse’s best rusher from last season is no longer a first-stringer and its second-best on the ground wasn’t even a running back. The state of the Orange backfield has hardly been ideal in the past two seasons — SU running backs combined for two rushing scores in the entire 2014 season and two upperclassmen failed to deliver in 2015.This year, the unit boasts more depth and more explosiveness at the top of the depth chart than in either of the two seasons prior. Sophomore Dontae Strickland headlines a group that also includes second-year back Jordan Fredericks (last year’s starter at the end of the season), freshman Moe Neal and senior George Morris.If Neal pans out to be a reliable back, that’s five who can carry the ball for first downs on any respective play. Morris has struggled to break out in his three years on the field at SU. He showed only slight reason for optimism in 2015 and is listed fourth on Syracuse’s post-spring depth chart. But the dynamic Strickland along with Fredericks, who is working on slimming down, and somewhat of an unknown surrounding Neal, the Orange’s ground attack provides reason for hope. Fredericks averaged 5.7 yards on 107 attempts and broke out for several big gains. Strickland played a hybrid role for then-offensive coordinator Tim Lester, which has been abolished in Dino Babers’ offense, so he’ll primarily be a rusher. That’s two young backs, one somewhat proven and one rising, that will guide a rushing attack that lacked flair two seasons ago and lacked consistency (the now departed Devante McFarlane and Morris not showing up) last season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhether or not they’ll be able to perform this year remains to be seen, but if two backs can show up on a weekly basis, they’ll help bolster a rushing attack that ranked 10th in the Atlantic Coast Conference last year. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on July 19, 2016 at 10:48 am Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidman Related Stories Former hybrids searching for fit in Dino Babers’ offense3 observations from the Syracuse football spring gameObservations from Syracuse football’s post-spring depth chartSyracuse football preseason storylines, No. 9: How players adjust to revamped conditioninglast_img read more

Transfer defensive end Jeffrey Gunter changes mind, commits to NC State

first_img Published on February 26, 2019 at 11:46 am Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3 Former Coastal Carolina defensive end Jeffrey Gunter announced on Tuesday he’ll be attending North Carolina State via Twitter. Fifteen days ago, Gunter had tweeted that he’d be transferring to play at Syracuse. Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Gunter received two Division I scholarship offers out of high school: Coastal Carolina and NC State. The Durham, N.C. native will play about 30 minutes down the road from his hometown in Raleigh. Since enrolling at CCU, Gunter gained 50 pounds, from 205 to 255. Last fall, Gunter recorded 49 tackles, including 14 for a loss.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter playing two seasons at Coastal Carolina, Gunter will need to sit out the 2019 season at NC State before having two seasons of eligibility remaining for 2020 and 2021. Syracuse is slated to host the Wolfpack in 2020 before playing at NC State in 2021.Gunter initially chose to leave CCU because “all of the people who recruited me left,” he said. With his decision to go to NC State, Syracuse will bring in three new defensive ends for next season, all out of high school: Andrew Tuazama, Ishmael Goulbourne and Steven Linton. I’m coming home! Blessed to say I’m committed to NC State pic.twitter.com/ebFDOKj4BS— #94 (@jgunter94) February 26, 2019last_img read more