Maybe I just missed this because I've been off in my magical, organic, coffee-drinking, GMO-hating, outdoors-lifestyle-havin' Pacific Northwest dreamworld, but apparently Jerome Smith has been granted a retroactive medical redshirt for his injury-shortened freshman season, per The DO. That means the would-be senior is now a redshirt junior. That also means Smith now has two more full seasons playing RB for the Syracuse Orange.
What can he accomplish with all that time?
Smith ran for 1,171 yards last season, an impressive feat on its own but one made even more impressive by the fact that he shared the backfield with Prince-Tyson Gulley (859 yards) and gave some carries away to Ashton Broyld and Adonis Ameen-Moore.
Yes, Tyson-Gulley returns, Broyld is taking on a more-defined H-back role and George Morris II is apparently emerging at the heir apparent, but right now the only thing that's on paper and can be counted on is that Send It In Jerome Mother F***ing Smith (actual full name) is our dependable, game-ready No. 1 running back.
So putting aside the expectations and assumptions about the other guys, what could it mean for Smith's legacy if he plays two more full seasons in orange?
Adding on his sophomore stats, Smith now has 1,305 yards and 4 TDs on his career. Let's assume Smith keeps up his 1,000-yard rushing ways. If he were to gain an even 2,000 more yards over his career, he'd finish at 3,305, good for No. 3 all-time in the Syracuse record books.
Currently, Joe Morris is your God with 4,299 yards, followed by Walter Reyes (3,424), Delone Carter (3,104), Larry Csonka (2,934) and James Mungro (2,869). Man, those #44 guys really sucked, huh... (/sarcasm font).
Again, barring injury or George Morris's emergence as the next Floyd Little, Smith should, at the very least, be in contention to join this group. Even if he "only" gains 800 yards per season over the next two years, Smith will still find himself in the top five.
As for carries, he's currently on pace to finish with around 700 carries, which would put him at No. 2 all-time behind Morris (a whopping 813 carries). On the touchdown front, Smith has a lot of ground to pick up and he probably won't since he's going to lose most short-yardage attempts to Ameen-Moore this season. His current pace won't get him anywhere near the top ten.
Obviously, a long way to go before we get there but, exciting to know that we've got a guy with that kind of potential on the roster with two full seasons of eligibility ahead of him.