Four-Deep: Syracuse’s Backfield Will Be The Offensive Strength for Years

The depth is terrific after the NCAA granted Jerome Smith another year of eligibility.

While Syracuse’s offense will have plenty of question marks under center, the backfield looks like it could be the dominant dynamic of the attack for years. The Orange will have to break in a first-year quarterback. Whether that’s Drew Allen, Terrel Hunt, or someone else, SU will undoubtedly see some growing pains from the pocket.

But the running back situation just keeps getting better. Let’s start with senior Prince Tyson Gulley, who rumbled for over 800 yards last year and 9 touchdowns. He capped that campaign off with over 200-yards in the snow at the Pinstripe Bowl, in an epic postseason performance. Then there’s young George Morris III, who is poised to finally contribute and be the big-play threat he brought with him from a sensational high school career. He red-shirted last year, so GM3 has four years of productivity at SU left.

Ashton Broyld will be utilized in some capacity, probably in the slot and out of the backfield. He’s only a sophomore. Devante McFarlane is also a redshirt freshman. He’s been talked about as switching to DB perhaps, but he’s still listed as a RB by SU Athletics. And then there’s Jerome Smith, who has been granted a red-shirt year by the NCAA.

The hulking 6’0″, 217-pound bulldozer pummeled defenses for over 1,100 yards and had four straight 100-yard games at the end of last season. He played in only two games as a freshman before injuring his shoulder. The NCAA is granting him a full season of eligibility, so Romey has one more year left after this.

That means in ’14, Smith is a senior, Broyld is a junior, GM3 and McFarlane are sophomores.

Watch out ACC. You’ll be getting a heavy dose of Orange on the ground over the next few years.

Posted: D.A.

30 Comments on this Post

  1. orangeinva

    It’s likely with a new OC and game plan, J Smith won’t have the nearly 250 carries he got last year. With PTG and Morris sharing the load, Smith’s production will be down… and he’ll head for the NFL(declare for the draft) at season’s end.

  2. @orangeinva;

    I agree,I don’t see Jerome staying another year either.

  3. Lets hope that this SU backfield gets even brtter with some RB recruits that are extremelytalented Travis Lock an Quadree Ollisonand a kid named Phillips who is visiting soon.and still another young man named of all possibilities Domer.These guys can all take it to the house and we still have Adonis Moore here for addition power potential and incoming Howard.

  4. Andrew

    Don’t forget about the TANK! Adonis-Ameen Moore

  5. RB’s are the best position on the team this year. But the OL will have alot to say about that. Remember 2 of last years OL players are in the NFL now!!

  6. cusefan75

    I don’t think Smith leaves. It’s not as if he is an amazing NFL prospect. I love him, but I think his speed will be a point if contention for pro scouts. Plus, the shelf life on an NFL back is short. He would be well served taking his fifth academic year and start working on a free graduate degree. Finally, if his touches drop, how does that make him more entifing to scouts? I get the frustration quotient on Smith’s behalf as a possible rationale though.
    Just my two cents.

  7. Smitty section 129

    We will win games because we will control the clock with the running game and the defense is solid. If our QB can keep the defense honest and not play 9 in the box we will suprise a lot f people. Smith isn’t oing anywhere next year, we have two years left of him and that puts a smile on us fuse fans. He became a beast last year and will only get better. You kidding me our backfield rates up there with the best of them.

  8. Malone

    Smith becomes more enticing with less carries because there is less wear and tear. He will have proven that he can be productive. I worry about our RB recruiting. There are at least the four good options mentioned by Chris above, but with all that talent in front of them, how many do we actually land? Lock may be part of a package with Mavety, but the rest are seen as better options, and no way we bring in 3 RB’s with all that on the roster. Lock is also a JUCO, so he starts with less time available. I only hope that we don’t miss out on Mavety by not taking Lock. I don’t think we will.

  9. I’m pretty excited about the running back commit we already have in Nasean Howard. I think Domer is pretty serious as well.

  10. CuseOnly

    Nasean Howard will be playing DB when he arrives, most likely one of the safety positions. He will not be a RB and has stated that his best/favorite position is in the defensive backfield.

  11. if jerome has a great season i predict he will go pro if he doesn’t he will stay one more year. we definately have some decsent depth at rb, and i hope to see ameen moore have a break out year as well.

  12. Right now I worry about several SU FB positions, but RB is not one. We have quite a stable of players at RB with another one or two to be added. I do have concerns about the OL (Pugh is gone), QB (who knows if its Hunt or Allen or ????) and the defense.

  13. OnionDip

    Rb thoughts….
    1. How could @Fizz post within last week: LBs graded A+ position on team, and then say RBs are the #1 position this week?

    * obviously read all our the comments, and changed their tune?

    2. We aren’t GT I pray to the almighty fb gods, “years to come” will be balanced with 3,000 yds passing every season in the ACC!

    3. Rb recruiting: with 5 backs how can you recruit the position? JS got another year, AAM has fresh legs, Morris & MCF both have 4 years.. in a positive way it frees up spots elsewhere on the roster. Logjamming RBs wouldn’t be wise the next 2 seasons… look for a stud recruit in ’15!

    4. NFL ready: Jerome Smith is not an NFL back right now, or with another 1,000 yd season. He needs some work, he’s raw, and didn’t score a TD until games into the season. If he wants to go pro..a. run opponents over, no jumping.. b. Redefine his body, increasing speed.. and c. Accountability/ decision making, prone to occasional lapse.

    5. OCs and HCSS’ guys: the new regime could push for new direction after this ACC inauguration season? If Rb recruits pop up then its a clear sign of displeasure with the “cubbard” .. I vote to build around the 5 rbs

  14. CuseOnly

    AAM has been moved to FB so that is already solved.

    I went to every open spring practice and the spring game. Rome’s speed is very much improved, you will be very surprised when you see him in the fall.

    As Marrone said in the past, you need 3-4 RB’s just to make it through the season. They always get injured (Gulley) and Rome was banged up for the Temple game and they sent in AAM.

  15. Russell MacEachern

    I see where Domer aint coming to Cuse summer camp on SU dot Com!!Are we still in it with him?Seem’s were recruiting speed instead of power so where does that leave our power RG which looked like our strength this year!?! @OnionDip? I like it…hilarious,funniest yet!!I think if we don’t take Lock were not in it with Mavety!He’s(Mavety) been giving late love to RU’s coaches!There getting last visit before he commits but RU won’t give the package deal w/Lock so we better do whatever it takes!Mavety seem’s to be close too Lock off field!Ron and I predicted the package 4 month’s ago!

  16. This team is going to go to a bowl game this year. if we stay healthy and play smart ball SU is a winner in 2013. GO SU!!!

  17. @Russell MacEachern;

    From the lastest article I read about Matt Domer is that he will and I repeat will commit to Syracuse. One of the current coaches and his high school coach played college football together and became good friends. Also he comes from the same high school as Donovan McNabb and wants to continue the tradition that Donovan has set at Syracuse.

    Russell, Chad Mavety is going to be on campus the 28th & 29th. I’m expecting him to commit after the visit. If & when he does commit RB Travis Lock will follow.

  18. You’re retarded if you think Mavety will commit on the trip

  19. I like what CuseOnly had to say in his post,and he’s right,3-4 running backs really isn’t enough to have on a team.

    Syracuse is going after 4 or 5 RB’s this year. I see Matt Domer and Travis Lock committing to Syracuse. They will join George Morris III and Devante McFarlane next year as the premiere group of RB’s for Syracuse. That group will have size,speed,and strenght and will rush for 2000+yeard over the next 4 years. Jerome Smith and Prince Tyson Gulley will graduate and enter the NFL Draft. We have a RB already committed to 2014 in Naesean Howard,but I feel that he will get asked to play on the defensive side of the ball when he gets to Syracuse.

    I really don’t see Syracuses ground game hurting after this year. I’m looking for great things from Morris III,Domer,Lock and McFarlane.

  20. @TnT;

    I’ve been called a lot of different namesover my life time,BUT NEVER RETARDED.

    Let’s wait and see what happens before you start to show us just how stupid you really are ok. But thank you for the heads up,I appreciate the comment.

  21. Ron don’t worry!! You ought to see some of the names those uneducated SU fans out there called me nowadays!! But Howard is by no means a quality RB. Safety maybe but not a RB!! I’m still concerned about lack of solid verbals after all the hoopla from so called talented FB interests.

  22. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,The guy’s obviously a tool!!He’s not from the Fizzfam so Effem!What’s he say’s is invisible to the board!!!I like what you and CuseOnly said about RBs…team’s run thru quite a few in a physical season and ya should have reliable backups or you receiving game will suffer too!!Wise observation!

  23. Russell MacEachern

    Glad to hear Domer’s still on board!!I like him!!Ollison too,he’s more of a physical type guy but so was Jim Brown and Duane Thomas!!

  24. Russell MacEachern

    How could I forget Larry Czonka?

  25. I’m sorry that I missed your comments today. I had to work and just got home to read them.


    Guys like TnT come a dime a dozen. I’ve dealt with that kind all of my life and what they have to say really doesn’t mean much to me at all.

  26. bear659

    Reports are that Domer has verbaled to Illinois.

  27. Dynasty, 12 team 30 roster spots. My cuernrt QB’s are Peyton, Luck, Sanchez, and Nick Foles (PHI).I am thinking of offering Peyton and a #2 for Newton and a #3. I am cuernrtly tied for 2nd to last in the standings but could make the playoffs as the last wildcard by total points scored. The other guy is 2nd overall in the standings.What do you think of this trade? If I had to, is my #1 and Peyton worth a trade for just Newton?VN:F [1.9.21_1169](from 0 votes)

  28. You mean I don’t have to pay for expert advice like this anymore?!

  29. It’s always a pleasure to hear from someone with expertise.

  30. Thanks for helping me to see things in a different light.

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