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Syracuse Football Positional Previews: Return Specialists

In the Fizz’s final installment of positional previews, the return units bring back a lot of promise and stability.

The Squad

Star of the Group: Sean Riley

Riley was an electrifying return man last year. Although he never took one the distance, he had the potential to flip the field whenever he had the ball in his hands. He’s already garnering the respect of the national media. Riley was a pre-season All-ACC pick as a kick returner. He’s also on the Paul Hornung Award Watch List for the nation’s most versatile player. He figures to play a key role as a slot receiver again in 2018. Riley has been a game changer for the Orange ever since his freshman season when he led the country in kick return yards. Now if he can take it to the next level and punch in a couple scores, he could become one of the nation’s most elite assets.

Something to Prove: Everyone else

Antwan Cordy and Shyheim Cullen also appear on this list, but neither played much of a factor in the return game. Nykeim Johnson also returned a handful of kicks last season, so he could figure into the mix as well. Riley will be the primary guy, but if teams start kicking away from him, the Orange could use a secondary option to provide a spark in the kick return department.


This will once again be a solid unit. As long as Riley can avoid turning the ball over, his skillset has shown in the past that he is a productive piece to what SU does in the special teams game.

Thanks for engaging with us Fizz Nation! With the season right around the corner, be sure to keep it locked here at and on Twitter @OrangeFizz to keep up with everything Syracuse football. Look out for our Crystal Ball Picks for the entire season this week!

OFFENSE: Quarterback  | Running Back |  Wide Receiver  | Tight End  | Offensive Line

DEFENSE: Defensive End | Defensive Tackle | LinebackerCornerback | Safety

SPECIAL TEAMS: Punter/Kicker

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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