Syracuse Football: Get to Know Your Orange Man - #72 Nick Lepak

This is Lepak (72) as a freshman. He's more of a house with legs right now. via blog.syracuse.com

We'd be getting through this a lot quicker if Doug Marrone was on his toes, kicking guys off the team and not commenting about it.  Alas, that is not the case and we soldier on.

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PLAYER: Nick Lepak

NUMBER: 72

POSITION: Offensive Guard/Center/Anchor Eater

YEAR: Senior

HEIGHT: 6'5"

WEIGHT: 349

HOMETOWN: Auburn, NY

HIGH SCHOOL: Auburn H.S.

2010 STATS: He played in the full boat of 13 games, but mainly saw time on special teams.

2011 PROJECTIONS: The post-spring depth chart currently shows Lepak as the second-string right guard beind fellow senior Andrew Tiller.  I'd put some stock in that, but Lepak's versatility and size make him a likely candidate to fill-in at either guard spots or at center should Macky MacPherson (or Ian Allport) struggle.  He's a big cat that has been all over the offensive line in his four years in Orange and has the strength to push some guys around in Syracuse's power game.

Here's what Lyons had to say about Lepak in his post-spring report card on the Syracuse offensive line:

Lepak is going to be an important player for Syracuse because he provides depth at a bunch of positions.  Nick saw a lot of time at center as well as both guard positions, and will probably be the guy who comes in if Macky struggles.  He's a big, strong lineman, but he struggles with his snapping at time, and is not very quick, so he has a lot to work on, but he should be able to get the job done if he's thrown into the ring.

HOW'D HE GET HERE: Was Lepak sold on Syracuse's academics?  The university's beautiful campus?

Nope. He was dazzled by the football genius that is Greg Robinson:

The coaches were a big factor," Lepak said. "I know them and they seem as confident in me as I am in myself, so I'm happy to be a part of the team. Coach Robinson knows ins and outs of football and he's been able to teach that to his players. It's going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of workouts, but that comes with the territory. I'm fully 100 percent ready for it and I can't wait."

I am 100% positive that Greg Robinson is the world's best carnival huckster.

WHAT DID SCOUT/RIVALS SAY?: Scout rated Lepak with the usual two stars.  Rivals, thinking that Scout is full of cockamamie nonsense, went ahead and rated Lepak as a three star recruit.  Interestingly, the Rivals user review of Lepak had the Auburn native as a five-star prospect. 

Thanks, Mr. Lepak. 

MONEY QUOTE: He's sick and tired of you butchering his name when you're downing beers with your buddies and complaining about how Ryan Nassib would be Fran Tarkenton if he wasn't taking pops behind the Orange line:

On people mispronouncing his last name: "It happens all the time. I get really annoyed with it. I just want everyone to know its LEH-PICK."

Get it right, jerkfaces.

WHAT DOES MARRONE THINK?: No clue.  My Internet machine isn't returning any results when I type "Doug Marrone glowing review Nick Lepak" into the searching pages.

I think all we need to know about Lepak is this: He was a Robinson guy that Marrone didn't manage to run off; Lepak has moved around the offensive line under Marrone's iron fist regime and has managed to carve out a nice spot on the depth chart.  Marrone must like him, at least a little, if he continues to give Lepak shots at the show.

INTERESTING NUGGET O' INTEREST: Lepak is the heaviest guy on the Orange roster this year (at least according to the official Syracuse Athletics roster), stepping up large with a 349 on the scale.  His closest competitor in the weight department is Lou Alexander, who weighs a weak-ass 329.

Contrastingly, Ross Krautman -- Syracuse kicker and bon vivant -- is tipping the scales at a mighty 155.  I'd say that Lepak could eat Krautman for breakfast, but I'm unsure of his taste for human flesh.

LINKS OF WONDER: His favorite food is stuffed shells, which I assume has nothing to do with that time honored hipster tradition of shell art.  That link also contains some other things about Lepak, such as the fact that he'd like to be a 350-pound wide receiver running go routes.

INDIE ROCK AS FOOTBALL THEORY: Lepak is a power guy and when he starts mauling, the power is on:

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