Green Group of Receivers: Who Will Step Up As Syracuse’s Offensive Targets?

A unit that was so effective last year loses lots of experience, so Jarrod West and company must step up.

The foundation of the Syracuse passing attack that was so potent last year has all moved on. With Ryan Nassib with the Giants, Alec Lemon hanging on with the Texans, and Marcus Sales recently cut by the Atlanta Falcons, the Orange is looking at options for Drew Allen, Terrell Hunt or maybe even both to throw to. Last season the trio of Nassib, Lemon and Sales combined for over 130 catches, nearly 2,000 yards and 15 TDs. Who will fill the void? In his first season calling the plays, George McDonald is searching for new faces for his quarterback(s) to throw to.

On the most recent depth chart released by Shafer there are four receivers listed; Jarrod West, Adrian Flemming, Christopher Clark and Jeremiah Kobena. We also know that John Kinder is moving to WR and there’s Arkansas transfer Quinta Funderburk. Ashton Broyld and Brisly Estime are targets as well, but they are at the H-Back position. The Orange learned this week that it will also be without Macauley Hill for the season after he suffered an undisclosed lower body injury. He also missed all of last year recovering from a torn ACL.

West is the one receiver who is truly a known entity. He caught 43 passes for 588 yards and a pair of scores. Kobena used his speed to beat corners off the line in the Spring Game, but has limited game experience at the receiver position – he caught just six passes last season. Funderburk is a former four-star recruit, but he has yet to play a game at the college level. Then there is Adrian Flemming who McDonald has praised about having a great training camp and a spring. But Flemming played in just five games last year and never touched the football. Christopher Clark played in 11 of the 13 games last season for the Orange, but only had 11 catches. Kinder showed athletic ability as a quarterback and has the size at 6-3 to play wide receiver, but nobody can really be sure how that transition will actually work out until Kinder faces game action.

The past two years, Kobena has been a kick returner for the Orange and was also there on the spring depth chart. However, in the latest depth chart, George Morris II is listed at that spot. Maybe this signals an increased role for Kobena in the offense? The scouting report on Funderburk is that he’s a big, strong receiver who can adjust to the ball in the air. Flemming is listed as the starter across from West. Clark is listed as a “key reserve” on the depth chart, but again he didn’t touch the ball much last year.

Overall, this group is very inexperienced outside of West. That may mean relying heavily on Beckett Wales, who returns at TE and grabbed 35 balls for nearly 400 yards last season. Whether the quarterback is Allen or Hunt, the offense will need to focus on the running game, a unit that really has a lot of depth. If the ground attack is good defenses will be forced to bring an extra safety into the box, allowing the receivers in one-on-one matchups on the outside to utilize their size. McDonald will need to be creative with the formations and packages to best utilize a green group of receivers and make the offense effective through the air as well.

Posted: Seth Goldberg

27 Comments on this Post

  1. I have big expectations for Funderburk

  2. @Seth Goldberg;

    The first four recievers you mentioned(Jarrod West, Adrian Flemming, Christopher Clark and Jeremiah Kobena)are good,and I feel will do the job for the Cuse this year.

    But I feel that Ashton Broyld and Brisly Estime is going to have a say on how successful Syracuse will be, coming/running out of the slot position.

    I feel if we use TE Beckett Wales more than once or twice in a game will be productive.

    I feel Syracuse has the tools,it’s just finding the right group to throw too.

  3. Who is this kid Winfield who has a great leaping ability.

  4. @Lou;

    Juwann Winfree is a 6’2″ 180 4* WR out of Dwight Morrow HS, Englewood NJ.

    He would make a very nice addition to the orangemen if he were to commit.

  5. Cuse don't luse

    At they start of the year syracuse spread the ball around on offense to the receivers and kobena and Clark both looked good in the catches they did make but then nassib/Marrone started relying on sales which then switched to lemon when he got healthy I think it’s clear we don’t as good of receivers as last year losing lemon and sales but I see us spreading the ball around like the start of the year and alot of running. I think Clark is definitely the guy who people forgot about last year in a spread offense with 4wr I could see a small scrawny but very fast guy like him or kobena or Estime for that matter being a good alot opposite of broyld let me tell you now though drew Allen WILL be the starter come on ik Paulus didn’t work out but he didn’t just transfer from the backup of OU to be the backup at SU let’s be real he wants to play he got a guarantee by the coaches then everyone is talking about the season smith will have I see him maybe having less yards and PTG to have a big jump like almost equal he killed it at the end of the year then McFarlane will be really nice I think and of course everyone thinks Morris will breakout the line will be fine foy and Trudo both basically started last year and there really has been nothing said about Robinson so I assume he’s good then I think DE is better than people think on the other side with Thompson and Johnson making a stellar 2nd team what I think should be stressed is special teams last year that single handily lost us the northwestern game and in my opinion the Minnesota game where Wayne Morgan took that like knee that turned out to be a safety which shifted the momentum and got a wild Minnesota the momentum here are my projections :
    Penn state: win
    Clemson:I’m saying loss here but I think this could be like the Louisville game last year where people get fired up in the done and syracuse wins a game it’s not supposed to by a confusingly rather large margin
    NC State: win
    Georgia tech: win
    Wake forest :win
    Florida State: loss
    Boston College win
    10-2 with a ranked win at northwestern
    We always give syracuse a low bar but this year I just have this feeling Allen and McDonald will make this offense dynamite I’m really really excited I see a top 10 offence and maybe an 11-1 year where cuse beats Clemson in a game the dome gets into a groove the rest of the year ending in a 3 way tie in the division but looses at playing in the confrence championship Cus of the others 2 probable better rank I’m really excited for this year every year we low bar cuse and then we come out strong but injuries and miscues here and there kill the season this could be a really good year though let’s go who else is fired up?

  6. Ya im going to agree with above. 10-2

  7. @Cuse don’t luse;

    Keep pounding the drums young man. My prediction is 9-3 or better for 2013.

    If we hadn’t made so many stupid mistakes last season we could have been 11-2,12-1 or the very worst 10-3.

    Here are my predictions;
    Penn State——-win
    Bye week
    Clemson———-loss I keep on saying we’re going to beat them in the dome for the upset of the year.
    NC State———win
    Georgia Tech—–loss
    Wake Forest——win
    Florida State—-loss
    Boston College—win

    I go through the schedule every year and make my prediction and hang in my SYRACUSE MAN CAVE,and at the end of the year I review it to see just how close I was.

    But “Cuse don’t luse” just another great post from down Texas way. Enjoy the game on Saturday,young man.

  8. @Cuse don’t luse;

    I think you and I are the only ones(brave enough)predicting a 4-0 start this year.


  9. Cuse Don't Luse

    Thanks Ron you enjoy it too hopefully it will be a Happy Labor Day Weekend for all of us who else is getting pumped I want to see Allen come out the way Connor Shaw did tonight and first series just launch a bomb down field and start the year off fast if we when the toss we better receive I can’t wait anymore til the 2:30 (Central time) slot I have to wait to see this offense

  10. Just got back to the room from dinner with families. Grandkids raising hell like I did at their age that sound at times is great. See many more PSU fans than CUSE fans so far.

    You guys just gave me indigestion!! Double digit wins your nuts totally. You all need counselling 6-6 at best!! That also means a slip by SU and a below .500 record is there. I’m not sure where the 6 wins will come from or the losses to. But I’m guessing 6 wins will come from Wagner, Tulane( Joe Montana son starts for them)NCS,WF, Pitt and BC. They’ll probably do the SNOW BOWL again for this record. The best they can do!!

    Ladies going shopping tomorrow. I’m taking the grandkids to the Big Apple to see the Museum of Natural History and check out my other relatives the Dinosaurs!! We will decked out in our CUSE stuff no doubt. Getting closer and the jabs from both sides are a flying around. Great time!!

  11. Clemson is so much different than Louisville/West Virginia the last few years. Clemson is a legit national contender when they Tahj Boyd and Sammy Watkins are healthy, and playing in “near perfect” conditions in the Dome would play into their fast style of play. Much different than WV and L’Ville coming up as flawed teams and national pretenders

  12. @Terry;

    I’m glad to read that your having a good time with the family.

    me I’m watching the Old Miss/Vanderbilt game. I ‘m just wondering if your watching it too and if you were did you watch that(#87) 6’3″ 206 lb WR Jordan Mathews catch and score a TD? Just letting you know that he’s senior and came to Vandy as a 2* recruit and has earned the name 2*from his teammates.

    Kid will be playing on Sundays next year.

  13. Goldy,CU may be talented but lets be honest…OOP’s I think WVU is still scoring??Why can’t we look at teams in the eyes like their mortals instead of making the(Clemson) they haven’t really earned on the field but in recruiting rankings?Isn’t their (CU) QB a WVU castoff Tajh Boyd?btw Goldy,Sammy Watkins is LEGIT!!I think along with Ron we beat Clemson!!”GoCuse”…I hope your enjoying FB CDL!!

  14. Ron,RU’s young kids are scary electric,I thought the FSU QB was gonna smoke them?

  15. @Russell Stugots;

    Is Fresno State that good Russell? Posting a 52-51 win over Rutgers WOW.

    Did either team play defense?

  16. @Russell Stugots;

    I watched the Old Miss/Vanderbilt game last night. After watching the speed of #87 WR Jordan Mathews run for a TD,only reenforces my thoughts about the star rating system. He was recruited to Vandy as a 2* WR. I guess he showed them(pundits) all wrong lastnight.

  17. @Cuse Don’t Luse;

    If Syracuse wins the toss they will elect to kick the ball to Penn ST.

    The reason is,In a close game they want the ball to start the second half. They have always believed that if they score on their first possession of the second half,they win the game.

  18. bk su fb fan

    Ron, I am with you on the star system. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be one. I am saying that regardless of rating, coaching can help maximize the talent. Some schools cannot and do not have the ability to draw the hiighest caliber football talent. Very few schools can win recruits by name alone..and SU aint there yet. However, the Orange can still recruit reasonably regard talent and under the radar guys that can be developed into legiit college players and pro prospects. As the program inceases its profile, other recruits who may never have given SU a shot could start considering the school..

  19. Wow,Ron that FSU/RU game was wild!!I was up till 3 and thought they played(both) pretty good O for the 1st game and RU has some amazing young kids!They surprised me in that game!I had 200$ on FSU but they had to win by 10 points so I lost!I wish they played earlier but I still have 150$ on SU to cover or win Sat!….FSU is supposedly better than Boise this year and there ranked in the top 25 preseason with a lot of expierienced players!I think Carr is a better QB than his 1st RD brother on the Giants but he’ll probably go 2nd or 3 rd IMO!!Caroo as a WR and Ian Thomas on RU are going to be really big along with that Fr Kr Janarious Thomas….man are they stocking the young talent!Nova is much improved!I hope our D comes out in midseason form at Metlife and impress the young recruits going to the game!I hope we offer Juwan Winfree cause someone said we didn’t offer him yet and hes still available Im sure!?!

  20. Yeah Ron the O seems to be way ahead of the D on both teams but I think FSU averaged close to or about 40 pts a game last year and everyones back and RU lost their whole back 7 to the NFL and is very green starting 6 or 7 fr or sophs….thats why I bet on FSU??For awhile I thought FSU was gonna lose their composure but there gonna win at least 10 games this year but RU “might” win 8 or 9 before a bowl?Next year there D will be more experienced and Nova will be a Sr but going to the B1G it might not show so much in their record but they’ll be in the middle of the pack!(similar to Iowa,MSU or NW)!I hope we can develop a QB this year to get the ball to some of our new WRs next year cause DA starting won’t help the kids get much experience!I think Kimble might be the next great SU QB but I haven’t seen the reports on his progress?Im not YET big on AJ but we’ll see!If hes even a half of Russell Wilson or RG111 who knows?He’s certainly cocky enough lol!

  21. Last night it was near 98 at kickoff and over 100 at 4pm!Probably the reason RU went for the 2 pt conversion play as the D must have been exhausted ?

  22. @bk su fb fan;

    I agree 100%. Thanks for responding.

  23. @Russell Stugots;

    Yes,Russell;Syracuse gave offers to both Juwann Winfree and Kurt Huloba early on,back in January I think.

    Like I’ve said early and often Russell,I hope that maybe both players commit to Syracuse.

  24. CAN YOU FEEL IT!!! Guys getting really pumped. One day left. I like the article. I truely hope that the team has a good game. Like I said in other posts that I feel flemming and funderburk have alot to prove. I would like to see the tight end thrown to WAY more. I would think bout 15-20 times in a game. To me that is such a big weapon and I just don’t think that cuse uses it enough.

    Hey Terry. Glad to hear you are have a good time. I hope that you enjoy the museum. A few yrs back my son and I had a sleep over there. IT was for his boy scout trip. He and I really enjoyed it. Some really nice things in that place. To let you know we sleep in the rm with the giant whale hanging from the ceiling.

    By the way, cuse don’t luse and ron. I would really love to see the cuse go 4-0 to start the season. I see them starting 3-1 though. I feel the NW is a good team with alot of experience coming back. My overall perdiction for the team is 8-4. I too feel that thier is a different feel for this team. I think we may see a big win in our future. but maybe a lose that shouldn’t be. Just hope the injury bug doesn’t hurt us(knock on wood)like in past yrs. Guys enjoy the game and GOOO CUSE BEAT PENN ST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  25. @Russell Stugots;

    The next 4 years,the competition for the QB position at Syracuse,is going to be real interesting. With Terrell Hunt as the 2014 starting QB and Kimble,Wilson and Long competing for #2,is going to be one of the biggest battles during spring practice.

    The way I see it Russell is,it’s going to be a battle between Kimble and Wilson because Shafer will probably redshirt Long giving him a year to learn the system. We’re not going to hear a thing from him until 2015.

  26. Sorry guys but the Star ratings is all we got. Yes they are not always correct, but mostly they are. Ron your Vandy WR alone is probably in the lower top 10/15 of the SEC. Georgia, Alabama, and LSU/Florida have way better. Oh yeah a high star kid at USC is # 1. Sorry I will gamble on talent any day rated good over NR/2 star any day.

    Great that Rutgirls got beat and a shock UConn got beat to. Maybe by alot of 2-star player from Townson St!! LOL!! Glad SU is out of the Big Least

    Kids just loved the Museum. The dinosoars were a hit. They named one after me. I kinda wonder if that means anything. Saw plenty of CUSE fans and their jersys/t-shirts on. Ran into a SUBB only fan/alum. He got my blood boiling but we had a drink together and laughed it off. His feeling is about SUBB is the winning and the GeorgeTown/Villy games. He just seems to think that SUFB is not even close to that. He does have a point. But I got my points in to so we shook hands and said we’ll see you someday at a CUSE chance for a NC in FB.

    SU gets 8 points. I agree with that and I would take that no doubt. But its PSU 27 SU 18!! Sorry Ron, Russ,cuse dont lose and others. That’s nothing NW is much better than PSU, but you guys just refuse to see that to!! GO SU!!

  27. @Terry;
    I really don’t care whart any of the players star rating was. It’s hard for me to visualize any of them any faster than what Jordan Mathews displayed lastnight.

    Maybe Ben Lewis could out run Mathews in his prime. I just don’t see any current player do it.


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