Both literally and figuratively, hulking¬†6‚Äô3‚Äù 315 lbs. OL Omari Palmer¬†was one of the biggest stars of this weekend’s Upstate-Downstate Classic at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse’s incoming lineman from Long Island whipped up pancakes all afternoon as he dominated the Upstate defensive line in a thrilling 27-23 victory. Omari‚Äôs formula for success is simple.
¬†‚ÄúKill, crush, destroy‚Äù
The future Orange muscle will solve a simple problem for the offensive game: keeping the quarterback upright.¬†The O-Line struggled at times last season, and a big body with the ferocity of Palmer should help the transition to an inexperienced signal-caller following Ryan Nassib. Doug¬†Marrone¬†is at heart a big ugly too, and he’s already shopping for more immovable bodies in Alex Officer.
Palmer also proved his humility Sunday. Despite his monster game, he admitted there’s more to work on.
‚ÄúI could do better. I have to work on my steps, staying lower, extending my legs. I have stuff to improve. There is always something to do so you can get better.‚Äù
There wasn‚Äôt a need for much improve much of anything this weekend, that‚Äôs for sure. He owned the trenches for Downstate, and his fundamentals were extremely polished. No surprise the tackle also has strict discipline in his summer workout plans.
‚Äú[I‚Äôm working on] my body. I want to lose a couple pounds and get stronger, faster and get my conditioning up. And after that, I want to work on my technique.‚Äù
While Palmer sounds like all business, he always keeps it light and entertaining when you speak with him.. He becomes a fierce competitor on the field. Syracuse’s huddle won’t lack for a colorful personality with Omari.
Palmer was supposed to be blocking for fellow¬†Orange signee Devante McFarlane¬†all game, but the Downstate RB injured his right shoulder on his first and only carry of the afternoon, a 15-yard gain. Luckily the injury wasn‚Äôt serious. Devante acknowledged in any other game he would have came back in to play. But in an exhibition there was no reason to risk coming back.
The line’s future is bright with Palmer as a building block. The lineman needs to convert more of his weight into muscle, and one day soon he will be protecting the SU blind side. And soon enough, Marrone will be getting unlimited helpings of pancakes of all season.
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald