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Syracuse Football Practice Catch-Up: Custis & Ishmael Stepping Up

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We're less than two weeks away, what's going on at practice as the depth chart solidifies?

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

QB

There is a quarterback controversy, but the good news is that we're talking about the No. 2 spot. It's between A.J. Long and Austin Wilson while Mitch Kimble fades into the background.

"Austin's been playing the best," Lester said. "A.J. is right there. He probably would have been the No. 2, then his arm got sore. It's still up in the air. We're still a couple days out. Due to A.J. getting tired and me not wanting to mess with that, it's kind of back up again. Mitch struggled for a while but has had a good last week."

WR

A month ago, there were five freshman wide receivers. Now there are two.

"It's definitely shocking," Custis said. "That's not what people think about when they first come here."

The good news for Jamal Custis and Steve Ishmael is that they're going to see playing time immediately. The good news for us is that they're both apparently very good. Custis will likely see time as a tight end of Y-receiver.

TE

Some good-sounding news following Josh Parris's surgery. The assumed-starting tight end should be back in 2-4 weeks. He had his knee cleaned out and is "doing well" in recovery.

OL

John Miller is ready to take over the crucial spot at center left by three-year starter Macky MacPherson. And he's got big plans for the team.

"We're going to compete," declared Miller, and he didn't mean just against the Wildcats. "We're going to shock some people. We're not four- and five-star kinds of guys, but altogether we make up a few of those types of players with the guys we've got. I mean, Coach Shaf said eight wins, right? That's the benchmark. We want to exceed that, but we're striving for that. At least. We'll definitely turn some heads this year."

DL

Syracuse has a lot of solid defensive tackles but no one seems to stepping up to be the undisputed starter. That's a problem.

"It's a concern because no one has stepped up and taken it," Bullough said. "They're all just kind of the same player."

It looks like we might miss Jay Bromley way more than we even realize.

LB

Sophomore Marqez Hodge is really coming along in his first season as a starting LB.

"He's really shown a maturity, kind of halfway through that first week he ramped it up and has been really impressive," linebackers coach Clark Lea said.

Hodge, Cameron Lynch and Dyshawn Davis are your starters. But how are the backups behind them looking? It's up in the air, to say the least. Luke Arciniega and Ollie Vigille are still dealing with injuries and that's made room for Zaire Franklin and Parris Bennett. Clark Lea noted that he's still determining if freshmen Colton Moskal and Jonathan Thomas will contribute on special teams or redshirt.

DB

So why was Naesean Howard suspended before the Fort Drum trip? "He missed curfew one night, and we're demanding. He learned his lesson," says Scott Shafer. I had a feeling it was no big deal. Howard is back on schedule now.