Football season is finally here and Syracuse fans will get their first look at the Orange on Friday night against the University of Rhode Island. There is a lot of turnover with this team and the roles of certain players is, therefore, amplified. For the Orange to have any hope at a bowl game, they need certain players to step up.
Terrel Hunt, QB
A simple rule when talking about football is always start with the quarterback. With the Orange, it’s no different. After missing most of last season with a leg injury, Terrel Hunt looks to get back to his 2013 form, when he led the Orange to a Texas Bowl Championship. Early in the season it will be interesting to see how Hunt works in Tim Lester’s new offense. He, at least in practice, is more comfortable in Lester’s offense because Lester fits his run-and-gun style. This season is Hunt’s last in a Syracuse uniform and he has never been more important to the success of the team.
The 6-2 Sophomore may prove to be Hunt’s most valuable weapon. He was arguably the brightest part of a dismal Syracuse offense last season as he broke out for over four hundred yards in his freshman year. The Orange can hardly afford a Sophomore slump out of the wide-out. With the departure of Jarrod West, Hunt is in need of a new number one target, and all logic points to Ishamel filling that void.
Durrell Eskridge shocked Orange Nation last spring when he decided to leave school early and declare for the NFL Draft. Rodney Williams, a red-shirt freshman, is now thrust into a starting role at least one year earlier than expected. He won’t have a year to learn behind a seasoned vet. He will be thrown right in there and with so much turnover in the secondary, the Orange surely need him to be ready from the get-go. The defense was really the only positive that the Orange had going for them last season. This year, that defense is a huge question mark and Rodney Williams could prove crucial cog in the defensive unit.