If there was such a position as "Wildcat Back," that would have been Antwon Bailey's title last year. Certainly he had plenty of normal running and pass-catching opportunities, but when he stepped on the field, there was a pretty good chance the Orange were going into the Wildcat formation.
This year, Bailey isn't the alternative. He's the featured back. Couple him with Prince-Tyson Gulley, whom Dave Rahme says is even quicker than Bailey and it begs the question...just how Wildcat-y will the Orange be this season?
We know Doug Marrone has installed the Wildcat into the offense. Which, by the way, is my new favorite football jargon. That offensive gameplans have been "installed" into players. Like they're in The Matrix. I keep picturing Adam Harris, looking up at Doug Marrone just before coach inserts a giant piece of metal into the back of the fullback's head, and saying "Jiu-Jitsu? I'm going to learn Jiu-Jitsu?"
ANYway, it's really not a question of whether or not the Orange will run the Wildcat. It's a question of how much. The Daily Orange points out that, even though Bailey and Gulley are the obvious options in the formation, don't forget our secret weapon: Big League Chew...
The third option, believe it or not, is wide receiver Van Chew. True, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Chew may not have the frame to carry the ball like a running back, but he has an arm.
At Centreville High School in Virginia, Chew completed 48-of-80 passes for 640 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also ran for 338 yards and four scores. As a receiver, he hauled in 26 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns. He even holds the single-game record for Centreville with five passing touchdowns.
Bailey attempted one pass last season in the 'Cat and it didn't work out (though he did complete one pass for 25 yards as a freshman). If the Orange are looking for someone to be able to work that kind of magic, perhaps Chewable is our guy. (Though it begs the question, how come we didn't see that last year?)
SU's offense was accused of being vanilla, boring and dishwater-dull last season. Then, they showed just how tricky they can be in the Pinstripe Bowl. How much of that trickeration will carry over into the 2011 season? Hopefully at least a little bit. The Orange finally have myriad weapons to work with at the RB and WR spots. Here's to hoping they use them at full potential.