The post-spring depth chart has been released and the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Doug Marrone may have run another linebacker from the program.
E.J. Carter, a rising sophomore, was left off the depth chart creating another void where experience is desperately needed for the Orange.
There was smoke already wafting from the Carter fire – rumors abounded he was going to leave the team to return closer to home near Orlando. There was also buzz that academically he was struggling. Reportedly, his parents talked him into returning for Spring Ball.
Of course, Marrone won’t speak about any player who is not with the program. So it’s muddy whether this is just Marrone being his usually prickly self or if Carter has left.
Look, I like Marrone and his no-nonsense approach. Groobers was all nonsense – hokey motivational gimmicks, inane rationalizations, a shift with the wind structure which behooves no one.
Marrone has created a firm set of rules and expectations, restored some stability to Syracuse football.
But how many players will we have to wait and wonder about who have mysteriously disappeared – like the Bermuda Triangle of the Big East?
It was Carter who benefited from the last time the linebacker dismissal happened: Last summer, Derek Hines left the Orange – the fourth linebacker to do so.
From the Syracuse.com report: “Hines, a safety in junior college, was handpicked by SU recruiters to fill a hole created when 2008 starter Mike Mele transferred, Dan Sheeran was asked to move from wide receiver to the spot and promptly quit the team less than a week into the experiment and Parker Cantey and Gillum failed to impress the coaches enough to earn a vote of confidence. Cantey also then left the team.”
Eventually, some one has to start. You can’t run off everybody. And while Carter may just be dealing with his own personal issues and insecurities, it’s hard not to wonder if there’s some fault with Marrone’s my way-or-the highway approach. Because stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Another linebacker may have left the program.