In a spot on "On the Block with Brent Axe" today, Doug Marrone gave a very mixed injury update for the upcoming camp. While key starters Alec Lemon and Marquis Spruill are all set to go for the start of the season, offensive line anchor Justin Pugh will not be participating in practices this preseason.
Pugh, who might be the best player on Syracuse, is a huge loss if he misses any time this season. He has been a stalwart in his first two seasons as a starter. He was named to the All-Big East second team as a redshirt freshman in 2010, and made the first team this past season. Pugh should be an All-American candidate this season, and there has been speculation that he may forego his senior season as he may be a first-day NFL draft prospect in 2013. Obviously, this is all speculation and projection, but it is no secret that Pugh is a great player, and if he misses time, that loss will be felt.
Sean Hickey, who is yet to play a down for SU due to a string of injuries, seems to be the lead candidate to step in if Pugh misses any time. Hickey was a big time get for Syracuse a few years ago, choosing the Orange over Illinois and Boston College among other programs.
Marrone did say that Pugh's "recovery is going well" for what that's worth.
The Lemon and Spruill news is much brighter. Lemon is coming off a pretty amazing second half of last season, and seems poised to make an assault on the Syracuse record books. Spruill will be a third-year starter, and should be one of the better linebackers in the Big East this season.