LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Fullback Rhett Ellison #40 of the USC Trojans is upended by linebacker Marquis Spruill # 11 of the Syracuse Orangemen at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
It's officially that time of the year when dribs and drabs of information about Syracuse Orange football players begins to seep out.
We begin with our good friend Adonis Ameen-Moore. The massive running back entered Syracuse at a robust 260 pounds, ensuring that it was only a matter of time before he reported to camp one of these years having lost a lot of weight and feeling great. Enter Dave Rahme...
Ameen-Moore, a power back from Colorado, is listed in SU’s 2012 media guide at 5-foot-11, 244 pounds. Marrone said he expects to see a substantially trimmer body when practice begins Monday.
"He looks good," Marrone said. "If I had to guess, because I’m not allowed to know their weights or anything like that (yet), he looks like he’s 225, and really I’m interested because I really haven’t seen him run at 225. I’m interested to see how he plays."
Ameen-Moore, who is now wearing No. 34 instead of No. 36, has Marrone excited over his potential, assuming he's in shape. Same for SU fans...
Meanwhile, despite the bad news about Justin Pugh and Kyle Foster, most of the players who spend the spring injured will be back in uniform in August. One of them is star LB Marquis Spruill. Despite the fact that Spruill is a two-year starter and garnered 62 tackles last season, Doug Marrone isn't going to just hand him his job back:
"Obviously he missed the spring," Marrone said. "He’s had a good off-season, and he has to come back and compete. You know, all of our players have got to compete and either earn or maintain their starting jobs."
Siriki Diabate took over that spot in the spring and is going to do whatever he can to try and hold onto it.
Finally, after a week on practice at SU, the team is going to up and move to Fort Drum, where they'll spend a week training with the army (kinda). Consider the Syracuse players concerned about what terrors await them...
"I’m excited, but I’m nervous," [Shamarko Thomas] said. "I’ve never been in a military atmosphere. I know it’s going to be hard. I hope we don’t have to wake up at 4 o’clock and do drills."
"As far as I’m concerned, they’re the best role models that we have as far as going out there and performing with high stakes," said [Zack Chibane]. "I think there’s tons of lessons that we can learn from them as far as discipline and teamwork and character building."
Here's Marrone talking more about the upcoming Fort Drum experience: