Syracuse Football Practice: Day 1 Recap

via media.syracuse.com

It was a busy first day of business.  We covered a lot of ground yesterday but let's fill in the gaps remaining.

QB

While the folks over at WSYR don't seem to have been paying attention, everyone else seems pretty clear that Ryan Nassib is the starting quarterback for Syracuse. At least 99% so.  Even the punter knows that, and when the punter knows it, it must be true.

"We know he is our guy going in (to camp)," Long said Sunday, "and he will be our guy until the season gets started."


"It means a lot," Nassib said. "Rob has always been a supportive captain. He’s always been like that to every other player. He’s always been a good, strong support system on this team. I’m very happy to hear that from him."

RB

Delone Carter is back! Delone Carter is back!  While he still has to settle his court case, Delone has already appeased the pesky SU Judicial Board and been reinstated to the University, much to the chagrin on his accuser. Marrone refused to commit to the idea of seeing Carter back in action against Akron, but he didn't think it seemed unreasonable either.

The quick return of Carter does raise some eyebrows.  Far be it from us Syracuse fans to question why our star player gets such a hasty return (and no games missed due to suspension), but it's extremely surprising. Especially after a major offense while some other players have been punished worse for what seems like a lot less.  In a day you never thought you'd see coming, some are calling bulls**t on Marrone's reinstatement of Carter and its dubious timing.

...the timing of the Carter suspension makes it appear as if Marrone used [Mike] Williams as an example that it doesn't matter how good a player is, he will still get punished — as long as the team can rely on another star on the team.

And that appearance, whether accurate or not, has the potential to lead to problems this year when a player isn't arrested, isn't going to court and isn't failing a class, but is still suspended for one game due to "breaking a team rule."

It's a fair point, especially for a coach who doles out suspensions and reprimands like they're candy.

Of course, the flip side is that Doug Marrone needs Delone Carter.  And with the news that it's 99.9% sure that Averin Collier will not suit up for the Orange in 2010, he needs him that much more.  Averin has until August 30th to sort out his academic issues but there's no sign so far that he will.

WR

After a high school career and two SU seasons in the defensive secondary, Dorian Graham will spend 2010 lining up against them. The converted WR brings some veteran leadership to a young, unproven unit. He also bring a ridiculous amount of speed.

With a sub-4.3 second 40-yard dash, Graham is the fastest player on the Orange. He can bench-press 225 pounds 21 times. He has a 39-inch vertical jump.

Recovering from a shoulder injury that kept him off the field in 2009, Graham is expected to make an impact for SU on the offensive side of the ball.  According to Marrone, "We’re planning on him really contributing quite a bit."

OT

Unlike Averin Collier, hopes remain high that JuCo transfer Sweet Lou Alexander will be able to work out his eligibility issues and join the team. The 6-foot, 310 pound hogmollie would be a welcome addition to a unit that lacks depth (don't they all?)

LB

The anchors of Syracuse's best-looking defense in years are about ready to be introduced to the college football nation at-large.  We'll get to center-square Derrell Smith but it's important to recognize how important Doug Hogue and Ryan Gillum (assuming he can keep he position) will be for the Orange. The converted RB Hogue is fully recovered from the knee injury that ended last season prematurely while the converted S Gillum just hopes to stop the musical chairs routine that has plagued the WLB position for the past two season.

As for Smith, the clear leader of the SU defense?  All he asks of himself and teammates...perfection.

"That’s our job," Smith said. "Bring the young guys along. We don’t give up. We don’t quit. Perfection is the goal, even if it isn’t obtainable."

DB

We've heard a lot about Mike Holmes and his move to CB as well as the emergence of #Shamarko and Phillip Thomas.  But don't sleep on Max Suter.  Doug Marrone had no problem moving Dorian Graham out of the defendive secondary in large part to the senior strong safety is back and at 100%. Recovered from an elbow injury, the veteran is anxious to get back out on the field.

"It feels great," Suter said Monday. "I can’t wait to get out there, you know? I’ve been waiting a long time. Spring ball was tough, sitting there and rehabbing and watching everyone else get to play. But I’m excited to get out there now."

Other news, notes and links:

SU football players smiling for now, but the practices will only get harder...Nolan Weidner

You may think that Syracuse will be offensively challenged this season, but the Orange disagrees...Bud Poliquin

Syracuse Media Day & First Practice Photo Gallery...Frank Ordonez

Mike Holmes and Ryan Nassib interviews...Z89

SU Football Media Day 2010
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