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Linebacker Is Officially The Cursed Position Of 2008

Syracuse running backs? Healthy as mules. Barely an injury among them. And so it seems the curse is lifted. But curses do not just magically disappear (especially Russian ones). They just move on to their next victims. And that next set of victims clearly seems to the Syracuse linebacking corp.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Ryan Gillum is the latest LB to be sidelined as he sat out yesterday's practice with a "deep bone bruise" on his foot. Gillum joins Chad Battles and Mike Mele as linebackers who have been bitten by the injury bug this preseason. No group on this team needs to be depleted but linebacker is one area that's especially crucial to the Orange this season. Let's all hope the curse moves quickly and decides to next attack, I don't know, the coaching staff instead?

Going back to the running backs, one name we haven't heard as much from as we expected this preseason is Averin Collier. This freshman RB has been hurt but we certainly still figured to hear his name being mentioned among the backs that will get PT this season. Now Greg Robinson is throwing out the idea that Collier might not even be the best freshman HB on the squad:
"Averin’s one of a number of freshman," Robinson said. "Averin’s done a good job, but so have a lot of others. So we need to sort it out."
Monsieur Collier, you have been challenged. Do you accept?

But if you're looking for the most heated battle in training camp, look no further than the defensive secondary. With the move of Bruce Williams to WR, the only position that seems to be locked up would be Mike Holmes at the CB. As for the other CB and the two safeties?
It's a free for all...

Hard-hitting Nico Scott is battling with sophomore Da'Mon Merkerson, and senior Ryan Howard for the other CB slot. Scott started two games last season and would seem to have the inside track, especially since Merkerson is the only other player with experience at this level and even that is minimal. But
Merkerson has been working with the first-team, so really, who knows? Certainly not Greg Robinson:
"That's been very competitive. I'm glad that it has been," Robinson said. "Both Nico and Da'Mon are competing, working and improving. That competition I think it helps you focus and work to get the details. I've seen progress in both of their play. I've seen it where it wasn't very good at certain times and all of a sudden, I've seen things get better ... quite a bit better. I think that's really about focus."
Seriously, that's a lot of words and yet...nothing. It's almost impressive. Almost.

Finally, Cody Catalina won't be happy until he's broken some kind of bone in his body. Any one will do. After trying out with the punt coverage and recovery teams, Catalina is now taking his licks as punter "personal protector." You know, the guy who gets licked by the defensive player running full-speed at the punter? I'll give Cody this...he ain't shy. Just make sure you're wearing your Under Armour, chief. That's all.