Let's keep the Get To Know Your Orange Man train in motion...
Name: Marquis Spruill
Position: Middle Linebacker
Weight: 216 pounds
Hometown: Hillside, NJ
High School: Hillside
2011 Stats: Spruill took the reigns from Doug Hogue and Derrell Smith to become Syracuse's top linebacker last year. He had 62 tackles (43 solo), three sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in 12 games. His best game was against Louisville, where he garnered nine tackles (seven solo), a sack, and forced a fumble. For his efforts, he was named to the All-Big East Second Team.
2012 Projections: .Spruill enters the 2012 season as a critical, and possibly the most-important player on the Orange defense. As the anchor of the linebacking unit, he'll be leading the charge and helping this young defensive line adjust. Naturally, he's spent the entire offseason injured and didn't play at all this spring. It's still unclear when Spruill will be cleared and if he'll be in uniform against Northwestern. Let's hope so, we need him.
How'd He Get Here?: For those who wonder why so many players jump from a high school to one of those fancy academies, look at Spruill. His high school team was terrible (0-10 as a junior), so he decided to go somewhere he'd be noticed, Fork Union Military Academy. From there be put up big numbers and caught the eye of Doug Marrone and DC Scott Shafer:
"I remember watching him on the film," (Linebackers coach Dan) Conley said. "… Coach Shafer and I watched his film, and we said this guy had a lot of potential. Coach Marrone said, ‘What do you think he can get better (at)?' I created a list of things that I thought I could get him better at. We do that with every recruit. He's got some very good potential. He's an explosive guy. He can run. He's got a good change of direction. He's a smart football player."
What'd Scout/Rivals Say?: Rivals noticed that potential as well and gave him four stars. Still, he still only got offers from SU, Temple and James Madison. Since it's required by law that all SU recruits get a two-star rating from at least one of the services, Scout did their part.
Money Quote: On what it's like to play without Chandler Jones anchoring the defense...
"It was a little bit different when you don’t have No. 99 out there. When you always have him out there and then you don’t, it’s like ‘wow.’ But you have to give credit to Brandon Sharpe and Micah Robinson because they did an outstanding job. Torrey Ball too."
Links of Wonder: Quis is on Twitter but his account is protected. You got to earn it, son.
What Does Marrone Think: Here's Doug talking about Marquis' big game against USF last year...
"I thought he started well. He started fast. In other words, right off the bat they tossed the ball, and you see him come through and make a play. I think he was ready to go, and that’s how you have to be. Once you get on a roll as a player, you have to keep it going. When you’re not on a roll as a player, you have to get yourself going sometimes. Offensively sometimes it’s a matter of getting a person the ball. "Again, from a strategic standpoint, there are a lot of things that that we did not do as well as we should on offense and defense."
Interesting Nugget O'Interest: EA Sports sees something in Spruill, too. They've rated him as our 2nd-best player in the upcoming version of NCAA Football.
Let Us Get a Good Look Atchya: Lookfor Spruill hyping up the Cuse crowd at the Pinstripe Bowl at the 0:48 mark...