LOS ANGELES - 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)
Dave Rahme has seen the Syracuse Orange football team and they are large.
By sheer size this is also the largest team Marrone has opened practice with. Folks who attend Friday’s Fanfest will see what I mean. The 2012 Orange, with a few notable exceptions, is big. The heights and weights listed on the preseason roster will surely be updated, with some of the largest players on that list coming in significantly lighter – sophomore nose tackle Eric Crume is listed at 332 but has shed the spare tire and is down to 300 and sophomore tailback Adonis Ameen-Moore is listed at 244 and is down to 225.
No one is talking that much about the Syracuse running game, which is interesting since it's kindof a big question mark. Can Jerome Smith, the heir apparent, step into the 1,000-yard shoes of those who have slashed before him? Bud Poliquin wants to know...
"Four straight 1,000-yard rushers? That’s real big. Those guys are NFL guys. You want to get to their level. Antwon told me that it’s ‘Stack City’ around here because we stack up those 1,000-yard rushers every year. It motivates you."
"This is a pretty important job we’re talking about," admitted Smith. "I know what my teammates expect out of this position. The linemen around here, they expect a 1,000-yard back. You’ve got to deliver. You’ve got to. Believe me, I know how big the job is."
Last year, we were young. There was only a couple of us with game experience. One of us who had that was Marquis (Spruill) and another was Dan Vaughn. Coming off the season last year with the losses straight and how difficult that was, we were able to come together and set the expectations high and really compete. It made us all better. This year, everyone knows what they are doing. The expectations are higher. We have the confidence, we have the experience. We are just excited to get out there and get better.
Speaking of linebackers, Marquis Spruill is cautiously optimistic about the upcoming week at Fort Drum. As a former student at Fork Union Military Academy, he knows the drill. Or drills.
"You’re getting woken up by guys blowing horns right near your room," he said, "and its like, ‘Wow.’ You get outside and it’s still dark sometimes. It’s just something you really have to get used to."
"After awhile you get used to it," he said. "But at first I was like, ‘I don’t even know if I should really be here.’"