Two-Deep Tango: Was Switching Max Beaulieu to Offense Smart by Syracuse?

Mad Max is not on the depth chart released by SU, and you have to wonder if he’ll ever be.

Upon the release of the SU depth chart yesterday, one name was predictably missing: Max Beaulieu. And that makes me wonder if Marrone and co. did the right thing switching him to offense before last year. Beaulieu enters his redshirt sophomore season as a work-in-progress tight end nowhere near the depth chart. With the additions of Sugar Bear Thompson and Josh Parris, you have to wonder if Beaulieu will ever make a huge impact for SU.

This is not the first time I’ve sighed at the story of Max. Last summer at the time of the switch I wrote about the bizarre legacy of the University School in that ’10 class, and the disappointment that Mad Max was never going to be the QB terror we all hoped. He also told The Fizz last season he was approached by Marrone to switch to offense, and was surprised by the move.

This roster is the first one totally assembled by Marrone. He took the job just a few months before ’09 National Signing Day. The ’10 Class was that monster, 31 players signed. And one of the biggest names was Beaulieu. A 3-star defensive end from Ft. Launderdale was supposed to be the beast pass rusher, and game-changer on defense.

Generally speaking, I trust Marrone. I remember the bad ol’ days very well, and before The Dougie took over it was bleak around here. Really bleak. Like Contagion bleak. So I look at the 2012 Syracuse football season with optimism. Despite the collapse of last year, it always feels like Marrone has his finger on the pulse of the squad and can squeeze enough out of his players. I think they have a very good chance at 6 wins and a bowl game. But I do wonder about the move of Max.

Here was his scouting report as a senior in high school:

“We watched Max last year and throughout the spring and summer and felt that he was a top-flight college football prospect. He’s one of the state’s better players.

This is not just one of those ordinary talents who schools from the Northeast come in and get. This is an athlete who was being heavily recruited by schools such as Purdue, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Arkansas, South Carolina and Nebraska.”

Fast forward to this summer. Here’s Dave Rahme’s take from two weeks ago, the very last paragraph on practice notes from day 5 of camp:

“The mystery of sophomore tight end Max Beaulieu continues. The converted defensive lineman watched a Loeb pass on a midrange slant whiz past him and get picked off but later delivered the best block of the scrimmage, an open-field flattening of middle linebacker Siriki Diabate. If Beaulieu can learn to catch more consistently he could help this team.”

Those words make me cringe. “If he can learn to catch…” Well, he’s a tight end. So, yeah that’s kinda important. Maybe he just grows into a force of nature blocker and that’s his contribution to the team. And the fact he still has three years of eligibility is encouraging.

I just look at this defensive line and think about his potential impact there. Losing Chandler Jones and Mikhail Marinovich leave big voids. There does seem to be help on the way with some recent recruits. But I wonder if it wouldn’t have been best to let him develop on defense and hope that eventually he figured it out.

Maybe this isn’t even on the coaching staff. Maybe we just have to look at Beaulieu and chalk him up as a high school stud that just didn’t translate at the next level. More than anything, it’s just disappointing that three seasons into his college career and Max doesn’t even show up on SU’s two-deep.

Posted: D.A.

Should SU have switched Max to tight end?

116 Comments on this Post

  1. Russell,my daughter-in-law went to Michigan State. I held the rehearsal dinner at a restaurant right around the corner from the stadium. When making the arrangements with the owner,I noticed that they had the history of the Big 10 in pictures hanging on the walls and the banners of all of it’s members hanging on a wall where we were to be seated. I asked him if it was alright to bring my Syracuse banners and things to put on that same wall. He let me do it and the rest of the story is history. The newly weds held their wedding reception in the main conference building on campus at the university that caters to such events.

    I told my son that I would love to watch a game there, this year might be the year that it gets done.

  2. Carlton

    @Russ not much of a uofl fan just when they play uk lol. I guess im a pretty big uofl baseball fan bc my buddy had a house in the backyard of the stadium an we get on the roof an watch games. It was pretty cool we made it on espn 1x when the college WS was in louisville. ND proably wins in a blow out this weekend. Navy is a runnin team an nd front 7 is legit. I think ND wins 35-7,Louisville wins 28-13, ‘cuse win 35-17 and fsu wins 45-0.

  3. Russell Mac Eachern

    Ron,Im not sure why but MSU is my favorite BIG10 team,I’ve always thought SU and RU would fit best in that academic oriented and tradition rich conference if they ever left the BE…..I’ll never forgive ESPin for tampering in the affairs of CFB!The BE looks to b going to NBC?$$$?Great national coast to coast exposure??…Watch for espin to make 1 more desperate attempt to kill it!!102 and counting!WOW…!

  4. Russell Mac Eachern

    @Carlton,ND31 Navy20,”ville”24 Ky13,”Cuse”34 NW17,..FSU45/mur6..ur jus basically a BIG sports fan!!lol..g’luck to all ur teams!

  5. Russell Mac Eachern

    Dang,p’le don’t have to agree on everything to be aw’ight!!personalitys r most im’ptant ta me!

  6. Russell Mac Eachern

    @Carlton,no team gets more from their talent!!(Navy)

  7. Carlton

    @Russ always watch Louisville UK games and working the FSU and murray game. After this weekend proably watch ND and SU games mostly besides the FSU b/c i’ll be working them.

  8. Russell Mac Eachern

    Carlton,u in the booth?my nephew’s w/My9 in NY/NJ media,workin Jints ta nite!!…ur in the right field for sports fan!

  9. Hey everyone I think that we all set a record here on the Fizz site for number of posts on a given subject.

    Congratulations to all of us. Nice job.

    Russell to me your the king of the one liners and you don’t have to worry about me taking over that responsibility.

    I hope you enjoy the college game this weekend.

  10. Russell Mac Eachern

    Thank’s Ron,u and “Dip” always seemed to appreciate them!!Some might “downstate/NJ” call dem Yogi’ism’s lol but it mostly jus come’s out naturally!!….Joe Pesce came up in my neighborhood and if ya listen to him u’ll notice similarities in da way we tawk lol…Robert Blake too!!U know “Baretta”?

  11. Russell Mac Eachern

    Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto lived within a few miles of our house!!

  12. Russell Mac Eachern

    Ron,don’t that 12/14 hr p/time job w/da Cuse interfere with ur t’gating and viewing home fb game’s?..or r the hrs variable?Nice ta see ya bring a big posse/family w/ya to the games,I hope ur son’s carry some of da weight or u’ll need another job!!HaHa..

  13. I was forced into longer hours opening week due to an unfortunate situation with my co-worker and I had to cover her hours plus mine.

    I do not work on any home game day’s and when an away game is televised I’m usually at one of my son’s house disturbing their neighbors.

    Russell,my son’s are louder than I am at the games and when they get rolling only gets me involved even more. If that’s even possible!!!

    Russell, I get excited man real excited and when I’m in that state of mind, no one has the nerve to tell me or my son’s to sit down. Doesn’t happen!!!!!

  14. Russell Mac Eachern

    Ron,aint that a great way to cut loose?Its a great stress release and family bonding mechanism!!By Family I mean in the LARGEST context!!!”Cuse” FAMILY!!FizzFamily!!!

  15. Russell Mac Eachern

    O’course it don’t hurt to FUEL UP a little b’fore the game,if ya know what I mean?

  16. Russell Mac Eachern

    Dees boyz is mesaganated!!!

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