For the SU football team, spring practice has been underway despite the school being under the spotlight for NCAA sanctions that were dropped last Friday.
While the team and the school is currently on spring break, there are two key areas on the team that should be looked.
The first impact area that needs work is the offensive line. What has been a relative strength for the Orange in the past couple seasons is currently facing a lot of question marks. Players are being shuffled around and the make up is changing day in and day out. Right now, it looks like Ivan Foy will play at left tackle and Nick Robinson will play left guard. Omari Palmer has played both right guard and right tackle, while Rob Trudo had gotten looks at center before suffering a high ankle sprain. The rest seems to be up in the air, with Alex Hayes, Aaron Roberts, Jason Emerich, and a group of others jockeying for spots in the starting unit.
With Terrel Hunt coming back from injury and a young running back group, the line will play a huge role in next season’s offense. With Sean Hickey focused on the draft, somebody will definitely need to step up and assume the leadership position that SU is lacking for the first time in a long time after Hickey, Macky MacPherson, and Justin Pugh all have moved on in the last couple years. According to Shafer, nobody has stepped up enough to single himself out yet.
The second area of concern is the secondary, where SU will be replacing its two starting safeties. Durrell Eskridge, perhaps the brightest spot on the defense last year, declared for the draft, while Darius Kelly and Ritchy Desir graduated. Wayne Morgan and Julian Whigham will provide some experience at corner, but the secondary drastically needs to improve its play from last season, when it allowed 211 passing yards per game and really struggled to get three-and-out stops. It really didn’t matter much when the offense couldn’t move the ball; but next season the success could start with the defense and eventually spread to the offensive side of the ball.
Keep an eye on the offensive line position battle and the play of the secondary as spring practices resume when students and athletes return from spring break next week.
Posted: Jason Weingold