As we approach the start of camp for the Syracuse Orange football team, it’s time to dig in and look at the position groups. Today we look at the running backs.
Sean Tucker has departed for Tampa Bay and taken his 1060 yards with him. Garrett Shrader had 150 carries for 453 yards in 2022, but the Orange would probably like to reduce his attempts this season.
Now that we know LeQuint Allen is back, this position feels like it can be a strength in the offense. Allen carried the ball 41 times for 274 yards, including the 90-yard run against Wagner. We saw his receiving ability in the bowl game when he had 11 receptions. Allen demonstrated speed, ability to run pass routes, and showed he could be called upon to throw the ball. Can he hold up in pass protection? Is he ready to be a lead back? Players and coaches have a lot of faith in his ability so I think Orange fans should be excited to see him in that lead role.
Behind Allen is Juwaun Price and a quartet of newcomers with JUCO transfers Deston Hawkins and JJ Branham along with freshman Ike Daniels and Muwaffaq Parkman. It’s an untested group, but the early schedule should allow Dino Babers to get them some touches. Will one of them become a short-yardage/goal line back? Can someone take the reins as the 2nd back capable of giving Allen a breather?
Price had some strong games two seasons ago at New Mexico State. He doesn’t project to be the receiving threat that Allen brings, but his speed gives the Orange another playmaker, which the offense needs.
The addition of Hawkins and Branham gives Syracuse two more older, experienced players. It should allow Daniels and Parkman to have time to get acclimated to the college game this fall. Joshua and Mario Escobar add depth to the position and could see time on special teams.
While Syracuse doesn’t have a traditional fullback on their roster, we know that Elijah Wright saw time in that spot in the spring. Will he take on the Rhino role in short yardage spots?
There’s a lot to learn about this position group when camp begins, but having Allen back in time for the season gives Syracuse a lot to be excited about from the players carrying the rock.