Syracuse Running Backs Have Talent to Be Difference Makers in ’14

Prince-Tyson Gulley and George Morris can be x-factors on offense next season for Orange football.

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via Zimbio

When something good comes to an end, it usually makes way for something good to take its place.

That is exactly what Syracuse has heading into its second season in the ACC, but at the running back position. Jerome Smith has declared for the NFL Draft, so the top two guys at the position come down to senior Prince-Tyson Gulley and junior George Morris.

Just to recap: Gulley spent time on the sidelines with an injury. This only helped Smith’s case for the NFL Draft because he was able to get more carries on the gridiron. Although Gulley isn’t the biggest player on the field, he makes a strong case for the top string back because of his footwork. He has quick feet and he’s a fast thinker. He sees the open lanes and loves the work his offensive line does for him.

Gulley NFL comparison: Maurice Jones-Drew

Jones-Drew is similar. He’s small, and his strength gives him the ability to plow through.

Even though this is a positive quality for Gulley, who has 83 carries for 456 yards and four touchdowns, he’s a solid third-down back as well because of his aggressiveness and ability to see the lanes close to the end zone.

Then there is George Morris, the junior back who got opportunities as a sophomore. The speedy Morris rushed for 334 yards on 79 carries. Morris, like Gulley, has the quick feet. If there is a lane and Morris can run into open field, nobody will catch him because of his speed.

Morris NFL comparison: Doug Martin

Martin also jumped onto the scene last year as one of the NFL’s better young backs. Morris can do that and possibly surprise Orange Nation and college football as the man taking over for a senior.

The good thing for the Orange is that these two running backs are different. When Syracuse is in a certain game situation, Scott Shafer and his staff can look at these two players and decide who gives the team the best chance to succeed at this moment in the game.

Even if the offensive line can’t create a good lane for the running back, Morris’ quick feet and decision making gives him the chance to not only create his own lanes, but to sneak through the defense and find the open field. When the offensive line can’t do much for the running back, Morris gives Syracuse the best chance to win. If the coaching staff sees that Morris can do more and help the Orange put more points on the board, do not be surprised if at some point in the season Morris is getting more carries than Gulley.

Posted by: Austin Pollack

29 Comments on this Post

  1. orangeinva

    Both ought to have 150+ carries this year…
    keep’em happy//keep’em healthy!!

  2. Cuse17

    If Hunt has bulked up and offers a “good” run option the backs should benefit! Long way to season opener but am actually a little optimistic.
    We won’t be a top 25 team but we won’t be an embarrassment. Things look to be improving.
    We get more ACC revenue than our old Big East tv days… Hope the administration spends it on the program and not social causes. Time for our new Chancellor to get behind the football program…..better facilities..more money for coaching staff…more services to support the athletic and scholastic success of the kids…..
    He has lots of work to do to get Cuse back to life before “Nancy” and our current AD.

  3. Brisley Astime has improved his speed over last year and has been moved into the “H-back” position as a starter. The two starting recievers will be Jarrod West and Ashton Broyld. I hope both players have learned the technique of catching the ball.

    I agree with your statement on George Morris II but honestly feel your leaving out his co partner in Devante McFarlane.

    In my opinion these two players should be the starting backs in the game all season long. Prince Tyson Gulley should have graduated last season along with Jerome Smith and try his best at playing in the NFL,and not come back for his 5th year as an Orangemen.

    As for the defense,it only gets stronger because I believe with the freshmen class coming in,there will be some of those players that will push the upper classmen and gain a starting role for playing time.

    Except for leaving out Devante McFarlane as one of the RB’s,not a bad article Austin,not a bad article.

  4. I ‘m going to change the subject here a bit,but I want to welcome the newest members to the Orangewomens Ice Hockey Team. If they’re as good as advertised,then the 2014-2015 season should be something special.

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Five new Orange have been added to the Syracuse ice hockey roster for the 2014-15 season, head coach Paul Flanagan announced on Friday, April 4. Megan Quinn, Alysha Burriss, Abbey Miller, Stephanie Grossi and Emily Costales each signed national letters of intent to play for SU’s in its seventh season.

    Four of the recruits are from Canada and one from Minnesota. Welcome ladies to the Orangenation. Good luck to you all and enjoy your stay here at Syracuse University. Looking forward to watching you play this winter.

    Sorry guys for putting this post here today,but the ladies need support too.

  5. McFarlane and AAM are two players that will factor in the running part of the game. Devante has a bit more power potential and AAM has the power required for those tough short yardage situations.Devante has excellent speed to go along with his strong running technique.PTG will probably wind up with another injury of some sort in fall practice or an actual game. He also has a tendency to run along the LOS laterally looking for a hole and invariably get thrown back of a loss. He doesn’t have the speed he think he possess.

  6. Gulley will break our heart sometime this season. I know I said that before, but he waves the ball around way too much!!

    Smith gave SU some good years, but damn it EVERY time he broke away he was caught from behind easily!! Just wish SU would get a break away fellow!!

    Morris looks to be the man!! I back him up with McFarlane!!

    But really it all depends on the OL and their abilities. I’m not as confident about this OL as in past years. Down the road yes=GOOD!! But now there are issues that HCSS has to fix!!


  7. @Terry;

    You and I were on the opposite sides of a debate concerning Prince Tyson Gulley. @Chris made a couple of greats points on Gulley in his post. Well;your message from 2 years ago to the present hasn’t changed a bit.

    The thing that has changed is I agree with your assessment this time around. He should have gone pro instead of coming back for the 5th year.

    The opposing coaches learned in football 101 that he’s going to get the ball when entered into the game and for them to focus on him,adding pressure on Gully to perform better. That’s why I said George Morris II and Devante McFarlane should be the starters.

    Spring Football Game should be interesting this year.

  8. Cuse Don't Luse

    Agree with Ron and Terry McFarlane and Morris run in an exciting way and they run hard. McFarlane isn’t huge but he throws himself into small holes, while Gulley just tries to find the home run hole. Last year when they went in I compare it to the basketball team. Smith was like Fair, consistent but not exactly the complete breakout performance you always expected in order to win. McFarlane was like Grant, a little quirky but his athleticism carried his game. Morris was like Ennis, composed and a smart runningback (or game manager for Ennis). Ameen-Moore is like a Mookie Jones, he came in talented but rarely got to play.

  9. thesackster

    i hope ameen-moore gets some opportunity this year as well.

  10. Please Cuse Don’t Luse do not use SUBB for SUFB examples. I have seen and heard enough about the SUBB team this WHOLE year!! LOL!! I’ll miss Fair great kid and Ennis great kid well he should of stayed though!!

    Ron PTG would not get drafted-I think!!

    Moore could be a wrecking ball at the goal line and short yardage. Also running out the clock at the end of games!! A squatter Czonka maybe!! Only if and a big IF the OL pans out!! He could be a surprise this year??

  11. @Terry;

    Better shot at free agency for PTG.

  12. RON-I hope so for him!! Decent kid!!

  13. How come all of the stories are focused on them two when I feel the kid with the most potential is Mcfarlane. I have seen him run and he is extremely quick while also being the fastest rb we have. Kid is amazing. I am telling you we have two future NFL backs on our hands in Morris and Mcfarlane. I am just shocked how noone talks about him.

  14. @Jerry Shuster;

    If you would have been a regular member of this website instead of popping in once in awhile,you’d find out that we the members of this web site have talked about Morris and McFarlane quite a bit. Members like Terry,Russell,Malone and the sackster have joined me in talks about these two RB’s for 2 years now.

    We all agree that both of those players are good. You’ve added nothing new that hasn’t been discussed already by the members.

    Have a nice day,see you at the Spring Game for some more discussion on who should be the starters.

  15. @Jerry Shuster;

    Prince Tyson Gulley is a 5th year senior that over time has paid his dues. That’s why he gets all of the notoriety. Syracuse University will try and get him ready for the NFL. That’s what the program does. It tries their best to develope the players into becoming NFL players after graduation.

  16. Cuse Don't Luse

    If key starters like Derrell Smith and Doug Hogue couldn’t find NFL homes than I agree with Terry not only not drafted but he just isn’t an NFL talent. I would also like to jump on the Morris McFarlane band wagon I have been preaching their importance since Morris committed (I originally thought McFarlane would play in the secondary).
    Also @Ron and @Terry who do you guys think will be that small 2-4 group of true freshman that see the field this year?

  17. @Cuse Don’t Luse;

    There’s just to many players coming in that have the oppurtunity for playing time.

    WR’s,Adley Enoicy,Cory Cooper,KJ Williams,Jamal Custis,Steve Ishmael.

    OL/DL Denzel Ward, Wayne Williams

    LB’s Zaire Franklin,Parris Bennett,Colton Moskal

    CB/S’s Cordell Hudson,Treevon Prater,Lamar Dawson,Juwan Dowels,Antwan Cordy and Naesean Howard.

    The reports on this group say’s that we have 3(4*) athletes committed,I honestly believe that some of the 3* athletes could have been rated even higher.

    After the football season is over with I’m looking for Jamal Custis to join the basketball team as a walk-on and play either the small forward or the shooting guard position for the Orangemen,becoming the first football player since Donovan McNabb to join the team.

    Terry and I have said,if the players are good enough both physically/mentally then they should play as freshmen. I kept saying last year the “winds of change are blowing across Syracuse University” this class is the reason that I said that.

  18. McFarland to me is more like Smith than Morris. I would feel that McFarland is quicker than Smith!! It should be a 3 headed RB option for SU!!

    Right now there are no super stars on this program. That’s ok!! with a bunch of good player can take you a long way. Plus win then SU can have that shot at greatness down the road!!

    I hear and its obvious in the media the Rochester kid(I’m embarrassed I can’t spell his name correctly)is showing up at spring practice!! Diamond in the rough-lets hope its a start back to upstate players looking SU’s way!!

    God its scary when myself and the “Ronster” agree on something. We feel that quality Freshman must play in todays game for 2 reasons!! One-it shows the nation(Freshman are starting regularly now nation wide) that SU will play freshmen if they are decent. TWO- builds a team. Yes Freshman will make mistakes but many times in recent history seniors on SU made bone head plays too!! It will build a team and give it depth to. This years OL in a example of that!! Depth at that spot is week!! But with HCSS I doubt that will happen!!

  19. @Terry;

    We have scholarships out to quite a few kids in NYS. Syracuse is after a big OL from the southern part of the state,let’s hope that he decides on syracuse.

    The kid from Rochester that your talking about,is it the N/R CB Jay’Von Hampton out of(Greece Arcadia HS)Rochester, NY?

  20. Ron the kid from Rochester is a 2014 LOI kid!

  21. That’s a little more helpful Terry. Are you then talking about DE’s Godspower Ogide and BJ White?

    If you are,then I want to ask why would they be in camp? Syracuse didn’t offer either one a scholarship last year. Hmmmmmmmmmmm sounds like a story to me that needs to be reported.

    Godspower Ogide is a N/R DE with no size listed after his name.

    BJ White is a 6’4″ 240 lb N/R DE and both players are from the Rochester area.

  22. I’m talking about Chauncey Scissum(hope I didn’t butcher his name)!! DB from Rochester came in last year. Has shown s stuff to the staff this spring!!

  23. @Terry;

    Your original comment”I hear and its obvious in the media the Rochester kid(I’m embarrassed I can’t spell his name correctly)is showing up at spring practice!! Diamond in the rough-lets hope its a start back to upstate players looking SU’s way”is confusing the hell out of me. do you know something about Chauncey that the rest of us don’t? Chauncey was one of the freshmen that saw playing time last year,I honestly don’t understand why you thought it was out of the ordinary for him to make it to practice. He should win a starting job in the secondary this year and I believe the kid is going to be really really good by the time he leaves Syracuse. Future NFL player.

    Worked a 14 hour shift yesterday. I apologize for taking so long to answer your post.

  24. I guess that the story is that Levon lost his voice from pushing too hard on this tour, which given the fact that he came back from taorht cancer just a couple of years ago and wasn’t supposed to ever sing again, is not too surprising. Hearing about it reminded me of a story my dad told about a Jerry Lee Lewis show at the victory theatre in Rogers in the early 60s. Jerry Lee was late, nobody had heard from him, (he finally showed up 4 hours late and stinking drunk) so they called this popular local band to fill in, led by a couple of young guys, twin brothers in fact

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