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Syracuse Football: Get to Know Your Orange Man -- #29 Antwon Bailey

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PLAYER: Antwon Bailey


POSITION: Running Back // Irish Killer

YEAR: Senior

HEIGHT: 5'7"


HOMETOWN: Landover, Maryland (Georgetown once played its home games there.  It's probably a good idea to burn down the town and move.)

HIGH SCHOOL: St. John's College High School

2010 STATS: He was the "2" in Syracuse's "1-2 Punch-a-roo" last year.  ("Punch-a-roo" is a fancy football term that only the most sophisticated football minds know about.  So, don't feel stupid if you don't know what it means.)  Toting the bean next to (and sometimes behind) Delone Carter, Bailey zigged and zagged for 554 yards on 114 carries.  He also registered 35 catches last season for another 306 yards.  In total, he had five scores in 2010, with two coming on the ground.

Excitingly, he also made the Fall 2010 DOCTOR Daryl Gross Honor Roll of Incredible Honor and Achievement in the Field of Notable Academic Efforts.

2011 PROJECTIONS: Shorter answer: He's going to be Bugs Bunny this year.  "Antwon Bailey snaps it to Antwon Bailey, who fakes the run to Antwon Bailey, who then passes to Antwon Bailey for an Antwon Bailey touchdown!"

Longer answer:  He's the first choice back this year according to the preseason depth chart and 10 out of 10 people who haven't received head trauma.

Here's what Lyons had to say about Bailey in the spring:

Antwon Bailey: (A) - Going into the spring, I had my doubts about Antwon Bailey being a featured back, but he did a lot to quell my fears.  Bailey is not the biggest guy, and he does not run the fastest forty, but he flat-out knows how to run with the football.  Bailey hit the hole very effectively all spring, and absolutely gashed the defense on a number of runs off-tackle, where I suspect we will do most of our damage, off-tackle.  Bailey is an excellent receiver, and might be one of the best blocking running backs in the conference, if not the country.  I think that Marrone and Hackett will look to get Bailey the ball 20-25 times a game between runs and passes out of the backfield.

 HOW'D HE GET HERE: Who cares?  Let's talk about what happened when he got here, like destroying the dreams of Notre Dame:

It's hard to stand out on a football field when you're a 5-foot-8 true freshman. But then Antwon Bailey went and blew up Notre Dame last week by rushing for 126 yards rushing and scoring a touchdown and well, life on the D list was done.

"I guess you could say life has changed," Bailey said on Wednesday. "I know a lot of people back home where I haven't talked to in a long time, old coaches, teammates, classmates, they start to notice you (and send many text messages and emails). It's different."

Miss you, Donnie Webb!

WHAT DID SCOUT/RIVALS SAY?: Scout went down the two-star route and even had Bailey tabbed as the 195th best running back in the country.  Whoops.

Rivals was similarly skeptical as to whether Bailey had the goods and only gave him a deuce. 

MONEY QUOTE: Do you think that Bailey is too small to be a feature back?  Well, you're just a hater motivator:

Bailey flashes his trademark infectious smile when asked about being too small to excel as a Big East running back.

"It motivates me a lot," he said. "I know I can play with these guys."


INTERESTING NUGGET O' INTEREST: Bailey holds the career record for catches by a Syracuse running back with 62.  He's Dave Meggett (minus the rape, of course).