No pressure, Antwon Bailey. You just might be the only experience running back available to us by the time season starts.
Nolan spoke with Doug Marrone this morning and HCDM dropped a bomb about the already fragile Syracuse backfield. Averin Collier might miss the entire season.
Marrone said this morning that Averin Collier, a sophomore, is in jeopardy of having to sit out the 2010 season.
"I’m not sure, from an eligibility standpoint, whether Averin Collier will be back," Marrone said, adding that federal law prohibited him from saying anything further about the situation.
Marrone's too smart to throw that out there if it's not extremely likely, which doesn't make us feel any better. If I had to guess it sounds like an academic issue. With Delone Carter still in limbo despite Bob Casullo's comments, that would mean this is your RB depth chart.
1. Antwon Bailey (Jr.), 2a. Tyson Gulley (Fr.), 2b. Jerome Smith (Fr.), 3. Ricky Azzoto (Jr.)
I don't need to tell how disturbing that looks.
I guess we'll know more next week with Big East Media Day and the impending arrival of practice. In the meantime Nolan mentions that Delone Carter has a Monday court appearance over his indiscretion. The process of getting him through that, back into school and back on the roster can't happen soon enough.
Unfortunately, Marrone also let it be know that three solid veterans will not be playing this year for sure.
Marrone added that the Orange also will be without redshirt senior Jared Kimmel, a defensive end; junior Cody Catalina, a tight end; and junior Carl Cutler, a converted linebacker who had made the switch to fullback last spring. All were trying to overcome various knee injuries.
Kimmel started four games for the Orange last year at DE before injuring his right knee against Cincinnati. A senior, he might apply for a medical redshirt to play one more year. The D-line is one of the deeper groups on the team so they should be able to make up for his absence.
Catalina was also a consistent athlete for the Orange last year, having played in eight games (starting four) before blowing out his knee against Pitt. Despite the early-exit, he still led all TEs in receptions and TDs. He would have been a solid contributor. He has junior eligibility, so he'll be back next year.
Cutler spent 2009 as our FB-by-default. He played in every game and started two of them, notching his first-career touchdown in the win over Rutgers. His injury clears the way for Adam Harris and Shane Kimmel to fight over the starting FB spot.
So that's a nice way to head into the weekend. Ugh...