Going into last year, it seemed there would be three stalwarts at the linebacker spot: Ryan Guthrie, Kielan Whitner and Andrew Armstrong. The first two wound up topping 100 tackles and being a critical part of the Syracuse Orange’s success. Armstrong, while remaining a presence and one that secured the interception that sealed the NC State win, was not as much of a fixture.
The senior is very much aware of that, and is looking to prove himself in 2019 according to a recent conversation with Syracuse.com’s Stephen Bailey.
Frankly, the Orange are going to need everything he can give them this year as the linebacker position hard-resets for the second time in two years. Armstrong and Lakeim Whitner are the most experienced players returning, but the rest of the options are all pretty green. That presents a challenge in some ways, but an opportunity in others as players like Armstrong could really shine.
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“I was a hitter in high school, man,” Armstrong said last Thursday. “A lot of people don’t think I’m a physical, aggressive kid and I want to prove people wrong. I played with a chip on my shoulder this spring and coming into the season, I want to show people that.” The 6-foot-2, 234-pound Armstrong wants to prove himself as a “knock-back tackler” during his senior year.
Szmyt and the other main widgets in SU’s field-goal operation, long snapper Aaron Bolinsky and holder Nolan Cooney, also return in 2019. “Starting to get all the All-America honors and awards shipped to me was really cool,” Szmyt said, “but now it’s forgetting about it and focusing on next season avoiding a sophomore slump.”
Single Game Tickets (Including Tickets) Are on Sale (Syracuse.com)
Syracuse announced previously that it would be selling upper-level seats for the Sept. 14 Homecoming matchup against Clemson on April 16, and they will be priced starting at $65. By Tuesday morning, the lowest price on StubHub was $74 and the lowest price on Ticketmaster was already $90.
Knutson and Ramirez: SU’s historic doubles pair (Daily Orange)
There was not an instant opportunity for a bond between the two to manifest itself. Even without doubles, the pair became close on the court, in part because of similarities: Knutson is half-American and Ramirez is the only American on the team. It allows them to share humor that their teammates sometimes don’t understand, Knutson said.
A Conversation with Washington AD Jen Cohen (The Athletic)
We’ve had a few donors step up and say they know how important it is to us and Coach (Mike) Hopkins, so we already have $25 million in commitments to a project that we don’t even have scope or price for, which is a real testament to how important our donor base realizes this project is. I feel really good that we’ll have a lot more clarity by the middle part of fall. Right now, it’s just really waiting to see what they think the price would be.
Tyus Battle Officially Signs with Roc Nation Sports (Syracuse.com)
Phoenix Mercury sign Alexis Peterson to training camp contract (High Post Hoops)