On Tuesday, Scott Shafer named the four captains on the football team for the upcoming season in a press conference. He seemed to cover all the bases by naming an offensive lineman, a running back, a linebacker, and a special teams player. The team voted on the captains, and all four players deserve their titles.
Twenty different players received at least one vote, and more than 12 players received multiple votes.
The first and most obvious player elected captain was senior left tackle Sean Hickey. Hickey is a prototypical offensive lineman that Syracuse has produced over the last few years, following in the footsteps of former players Justin Pugh and Macky MacPherson. Hickey is Syracuse’s most NFL-ready talent right now and was nominated for the Rotary Lombardi Award earlier this season. He is a rock on an offensive line who figures to be a strength for the team in the coming season.
Senior linebacker Cameron Lynch was also named a captain for the upcoming season, and rightfully so. Like Marquis Spruill last year, the senior linebacker will be the anchor of the defensive unit. According to Shafer, Lynch received a vote from nearly everyone on the team. In three seasons with the Orange, Lynch has recorded 146 tackles and ten sacks. He was named to the Lott Impact Trophy Award Watch List earlier this summer. Both Lynch and Hickey represented the Orange at ACC Media Day a couple weeks ago.
The third captain named was senior running back Prince Tyson-Gulley. Tyson-Gulley was nearly named a captain last season after getting some votes, and he is ready to step into the spotlight as the Orange’s feature back in 2014. Fellow tailback Jerome Smith earned the nod last season instead. PTG has rushed for nearly 1,500 yards in Orange and really stepped into the spotlight in the 2012 season. He has scored 13 touchdowns in the last two years alone. With a strong offensive line and a strengthening offensive unit, PTG will be a focal point of the Orange’s three-headed rushing attack this season.
The surprise captain is long snapper Sam Rodgers. The fourth senior to earn the nod is a leader on the special teams unit. According to Shafer, Rodgers is a player who loves to give back and his teammates respect him for his philanthropy.
Potential snubs for captain this season include junior quarterback Terrel Hunt and senior linebacker Dyshawn Davis. Both play huge roles on the team, especially Hunt, who will be leading the offense. He is all but a guaranteed lock for captain next season. Davis will still be relied upon heavily as a leader in the locker room and on the field.
Posted by: Jason Weingold