Just in case you're starting to zone out on some of these profiles, today we give you.....
Name: Marcus Sales
Position: Wide Receiver
Year: Senior (Redshirt)
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
High School: Christian Brothers Academy
2011 Stats: Are we counting arrests and/or beating the charges? No? OK, then...N/A.
2012 Projections: Let's address last season before we dicuss this coming season, K? I think every SU fan's optimism for 2010 went out the door when Marcus was arrested on drug charges. Sales was in his brother Michael's car when the elder Sales was pulled over for running a stop sign. And surprise, police found drugs and drug 'paraphernalia.' The wide out from Central New York was promptly booted from the team.
But, as luck would have it, the charges against Sales were dropped as there evidently wasn't enough proof showing the drugs belonged to Marcus (Michael, however, wasn't so lucky, as the charges stuck to him.) This news came in late October, meaning there wasn't a chance the wide out would be allowed back on to the team.
Which brings us to today, where Sales is expected to start and be a key weapon for quarterback Ryan Nassib. In fact, Sales caught caught two passes for 68 yards, including a 30 yarder, in the spring game. In his last season playing with the team, Sales caught 26 balls for 414 yards, including the masterful performance in the Pinstripe Bowl - where Sales caught 5 passes for 3 scores and 174 yards. The in-season numbers were expected to significantly increase in '11 and I would imagine that hope will roll over to this season.
There are many questions remaining about Sales, main of which is how much rust will there be on him after missing an entire year? There also has to be some wonder as to how Sales will handle the media, especially early in the season, when it comes to discussing his suspension and being back. Needless to say, Sales is going to be a watched man this year.
How'd He Get Here: Coming out of CBA I would assume it wasn't a long drive to the Dome for Sales. However, Sales did receive interest from Boston College, Miami (FL - the real one!), Louisville, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Virginia. Sales actually visited both the Tar Heels and Panthers before realizing he wanted to stay home and play in front of family and friends (which is good, because half the time those are the only two groups attending games). And, I assume he figured the local po-po would be, you know, cool.
Citing his body control (which means...what exactly?), his presence as a down field threat, and his good hands and concentration (there has to be a drug joke here somewhere), Scout had this to say about Sales:
Has good top-end speed, he tracks the ball well and is an excellent vertical threat. With his combination of leaping ability, size and timing he dominates most jump balls. Very good at locating soft spots in coverage. Has big hands and makes the tough catches in traffic. Adjust well to balls thrown outside his frame. Sales is a solid blocker as well.
Money Quote: After the spring game Sales addressed how he was trying to get back into playing shape after missing 2011:
'It was real hard in the beginning, not being in shape and going full-speed for a year. It was kind of hard, but Coach Moore was able to get me through it and the other guys were able to get me through it. I think it was a success.'
Links o' Wonder: The Juice takes a look at what a return of Sales could mean to anemic Orange offense. As The Juice writes, SU scored 9 touchdowns in the final 20 quarters of 2011. Yeesh.
And, just in case you forgot about that Pinstripe Bowl performance, here is a recap of Sales' 3 TDs performance!
What Does Marrone Think: It may just be me, but I get the impression that Doug Marrone, if it wasn't such bad PR, would have liked to wait out the legal process before kicking Sales off the team last year. Granted, Sales was in a car with drugs, which, even without the felony charges, would have led to some type of suspension. But still, I think Marrone wasn't thrilled with throwing Sales overboard.
Now that he's back, Marrone seems happy to have a big game player for Nassib to rely on, and he kind of goes Lupe Fiasco:
"He always looks good when he is playing in front of people. You know Marcus. When the lights go on ..."
Nugget O'Interest: Teammates Macky MacPherson and Andrew Tiller also come from the hollowed grounds of CBA.
Let Us Get a Good Look Atchya: Where was this play throughout 2010, and God I hope this play is in the 2012 playbook!