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Syracuse vs. South Florida: The Rise Of Beckett Wales

It was only a matter of time before Beckett Wales started to make a name for himself at Syracuse.

Scratch that, he's already made a name for himself. It's Beckett Wales and it's fantastic. I imagine that when not playing football for the Orange, he wears a velvet, knee-length waistcoat, breeches, spatterdashes and a powdered wig. I'm also 93% sure he signed the Declaration of Independence.

Beckett is refined. He is a man of finer things. But he is also a man of great effort and strength. It's like that ancient Chinese proverb, ""Go hard or go home." I'm pretty sure Confucius said that. So it does not surprise me to learn that Beckett carries that ancient, Asian creed with him today.

Beckett Wales has his personal credo tattooed on the inside of his left forearm in traditional Chinese letters.

"Go hard or go home," the true freshman tight end on the Syracuse University football team said by way of translation.

So motivational, those ancient Chinese. I also enjoy the Chinese proverb, "Save a horse, ride a cowboy," which I believe was coined during the Xin Dynasty.

Back to Lord Beckett of Wales. the freshman tight end is only beginning to come into his own on the field. He's 20 pounds heavier than he was one year ago, and that seems to have made the difference in his transition to the college game.

"He is a really a good player," Marrone said. "He runs well, and he put a lot of weight on and continued to run well. He runs good routes, has good hands and is a tough kid. I’m very excited about him. He’s as good as anyone in that class."

Freshman Tight End Steps It Up for Orange

The Orange are doing their best to keep to the party line that every opponent is the same but many of the players admit they really want to beat USF...for once.

"Coach Marrone doesn’t really put an emphasis on the opponent. Basically, each week he tells us we’re playing a faceless opponent," said redshirt senior linebacker Derrell Smith, SU’s defensive captain.

But, Smith adds, "In the back of everyone’s mind, we know that we have never beaten South Florida. So, we’re definitely trying to win this game. Especially for the seniors, to go out with a bang and do something we’ve never done would be a great feat."

Don't look now but Syracuse's pass defense is 23rd in the nation. Of course, they haven't exactly been tested, save for a run-in with Jake Locker that didn't end well (4 passing TDs). Still, that's impressive for a unit that's been riddled with injuries and has spent the last couple years as the weak link in the SU defense. For Da'Mon Merkerson, the injuries were jarring but a stern motivation to those still able to play:

"Just to see people get injured and be out for the season, you feel sad," Merkerson said. "You're a little disappointed, because you know they, too, had aspirations of having a great season. But at the same time, I guess it inspires me to have to play well or want to play well so that I can dedicate the season to them and make sure they know I'm doing it for them. They were a big part of this."

And of course, being that we're playing a team in Florida, it's worth noting that the Orange boast a lot of young Floridians on the roster, like Keon Lyn. Lyn is one of eleven players on the roster from the state and he's looking forward to showing USF what they missed out on.

"It's cool," Lyn said. "I have a lot of friends on that team. (South Florida) offered me, too. So it's going to be great going against them and seeing what they got. I'm going to show them why I chose Syracuse."

Who knows, a win in Tampa might attract even more kids like Keon.

Bud Poliquin: Orange against South Florida Bulls