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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‚Äôs opener against Villanova.¬† The freshman wide receivers include Enoicy, Steve Ishmael and Jamal Custis, as well as a handful of players classified as ‚Äúathletes.”
Custis will be very important in the offense down the road, as his 6‚Äô5‚Äù 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs time for the Orange‚Äôs receiving core to step up and¬†help junior Terrel Hunt.
Cooper‚Äôs 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‚Äôs approaching return is a huge part of that, as is Broyld‚Äôs development.¬† Fans can get their first glimpse at the improved receiving group in the Orange‚Äôs first game in two weeks.
Posted by: Jason Weingold ¬†¬†