With all things looking up in the world of Orange, one first-year player has decided to transfer before ever stepping on the field in a game for Syracuse. He announced his decision in the middle of last week, and although the team will be fine without the wideout, his presence would have helped the offense.
Corey Cooper was originally a member of the 2013 recruiting class, but was reclassified to 2014 because of academic issues. Finally given a chance to step on the field, he was buried on the depth chart behind numerous players. At the start of training camp, the Orange had 17 receivers on the roster.
Cooper was likely to redshirt in his freshman season, according to George McDonald. Instead of this, the receiver decided a transfer was a better option. Syracuse will block his transfer to all other ACC schools.
Looking at the depth chart, Cooper would not have made an impact in the coming year. However, top recruit KJ Williams was deemed academically ineligible and 3-star Adly Enoicy went down with a lower-body injury. Fans can exhale, however, because Enoicy is due back in just a couple weeks. He could play in the team’s opener against Villanova. The freshman wide receivers include Enoicy, Steve Ishmael and Jamal Custis, as well as a handful of players classified as “athletes.”
Custis will be very important in the offense down the road, as his 6’5” frame could potentially be a hybrid of wide receiver and tight end. He worked out with the tight ends while at Fort Drum last week. Ishmael, on the other hand, is fighting for playing time in a group of receivers who underperformed last season.
How important is having a dependable receiving core? In 2012, Alec Lemon had over 1,000 yards receiving yards and Marcus Sales came close to that number. However, last season, Ashton Broyld led the way with only 452 yards receiving. Jarrod West had only 397 receiving yards, the second-highest total of the season.
The Orange’s ground game took a big hit when Jerome Smith graduated. The trio of Prince Tyson-Gulley, George Morris and Devante McFarlane can certainly help fill those big shoes, but it’s time for the Orange’s receiving core to step up and help junior Terrel Hunt.
Cooper’s decision to transfer will not hurt the Orange this year as much as it will down the road, but the team is equipped with plenty of players to combat that. Enoicy’s approaching return is a huge part of that, as is Broyld’s development. Fans can get their first glimpse at the improved receiving group in the Orange’s first game in two weeks.
Posted by: Jason Weingold