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Can a Former Zip Punish His Old Team?

Doug Marrone released his depth chart and there were a number of surprises.

Marcus Sales was MIA, although Marrone’s statements on the CBA product beforehand had spelled doom for Sales.

The fight between Ryan Gillum and Marquis Spruill was won by the freshman Spruill.

And Jose Cruz is starting at tight end for the Orange, meaning Syracuse benefited by the demise of Hofstra’s football program.

Interestingly enough, Cruz used to play for Akron before transferring to Hofstra way back when. So how much damage could he do to his former team? Well, lots.

“He’s been by far the most improved player in camp,” Marrone said of the 6-5, 250-pound Cruz. “Every part of his game has improved.”

The tight end position garnered a lot of attention this summer and Cruz took home the heavyweight belt. A new guy winning the battle is impressive enough, but especially over a guy like Nick Provo, who is known as a pass-catcher (something the Orange will need this year).

And it brings us full circle with the depth chart. Ryan Nassib’s going to need a big target that he can rely on in the passing game.

Van Chew (a year ago sparsely 160 pounds) is starting opposite a very competent Alec Lemon. But the depth after that falls off at wideout, with Steve Rene (??????) backing up Chew, and transfer Aaron Weaver playing behind Lemon.

In addition to how green the wide receiver corps is, two sophomores will start on Nassib’s blind side on the line in Justin Pugh and Zach Chibane.

Nassib needs a safety net. Cruz probably has the cliche “chip” now on his third college in his career. So expect the big guy to get some serious run at Infocision Stadium this weekend.

Posted: Ted Conroy

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