In the past two seasons, no returning Syracuse receiver has more catches (42) and more yards (484) and more TDs (4) than Marcus Sales. Not Van Chew. Not Alec Lemon. And certainly not Aaron Weaver, who was at Hofstra this time last season.
So how in the world is Marcus Sales so far down on the depth chart that he doesn't even show up on it? So far down that a walk-on (Cody Morgan) is actually rated higher than him? Remember, this was the No. 1 WR prospect in NY when he came to SU. It was one of Greg Robinson's few moral victories to get Sales to commit to the Orange.
There's no official word other than to say, yes, he is still on the team and eligible to play against Akron. After that, the prevailing opinion is that Doug Marrone has thrown down the challenge to Sales. Be consistent, step it up in practice and you will play.
He could play a lot on Saturday. He could even start if he impresses coaches enough. He could also be standing on the sidelines the entire game, if coaches don't see what they want these next few practices.
If this is all about sending a message, it's a risky one. Players...a lot of players...have quit the team for less. We'll find out what Marcus is made when he either lines up on Saturday or he does not. That outcome seems to be entirely up to him.
Sales wears No. 5. It's no #44 but it carries some weight with Syracuse football. Though just like the most well-known of Orange numbers, it needs to be earned.