If Ashton Broyld dazzles during spring practices, but no one is there to see it - does it really happen? Diehard Syracuse fans have been anxiously awaiting a chance to grab a look at this season’s squad, especially the progress the incoming freshman quarterback has been making. Rumors have circulated Doug Marrone might play the Rochester-native in both the backfield and under center. How often? A source close to the team tells The Fizz Ashton will be utilized much more than many fans assume.
“You’re going to see him a lot this season, all over the football field,” the source says, even suggesting Broyld could see time at WR as well. The source said the playmaker was “looking great,” reassuring news as the Spring Game approaches Saturday.
Ashton playing multiple positions on offense is not all that surprising. Wasting his insane athletic ability and versatility would be a mistake. It’s obvious Ryan Nassib will be the starter, but mixing in a few plays per game with Broyld running the option or Wildcat offense will be refreshing. Last season the Orange didn’t have the right pieces to effectively run the option. But Ashton is creative and agile enough to step in and give the offense a spark.
Can it work? SU needs it to. For a second straight season, Syracuse’s offense diminished down the stretch. The play-calling became stale and predictable, helping crush the season in a 5-game collapse. But the prospect of adding Ashton all over the field is exciting. This isn’t just a ploy to motivate other players. It’s to help create a more dangerous attack.
More good news, sources also tell The Fizz wideout Marcus Sales has rebounded after his lost season and is faster and quicker than ever. The fifth-year senior was suspended all of last season. But Sales adds that necessary deep threat that was missing last season. Jarod West brings the size, and Alec Lemon the shiftiness and quickness in short yardage scenarios.
Since Marrone closed every other practice outside of Rochester this spring, don’t expect a full crowd this Saturday. There’s little buzz because of the information embargo. Some players are even questioning why the program has been closed to the public, according to team sources.
Maybe Doug is just protecting his secret weapon Broyld, who could become the Swiss Army Knife for the Syracuse offense this fall.
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald