Syracuse fans… congratulations. You’ve made it. There is only one more day until the Syracuse Football season kicks off. The Orange will be running out onto the field in Athens, OH before you know it.
You’ve also made it to the end of Orange Fizz’s most important players list. We’ve already named players in every positional category, like Matthew Bergeron, Garrett Williams and Mikel Jones. However, there is one group of players that is not represented on our list, yet. The top spot in the Fizz 2021 Most Important Players List goes to the one and only, Sean Tucker.
Why Syracuse Needs Him
Plain and simple – Sean Tucker is Syracuse’s entire offense. Ask yourself, are you confident in either of the quarterbacks? Do you trust the offensive line? Why does it matter how good Taj Harris or Anthony Queeley are if they don’t have a QB to throw it to them?
The only area of the offense you can have supreme confidence in heading into the season is the running back room and Tucker is the star of the position. SU is going to heavily rely on the sophomore because he gives them the best shot to win.
Plus, as shown last season, the Orange struggle when teams dominate time of possession. The defense wears down and gives up easy points. A major area of focus for Syracuse should be slowing down the offense and not letting the other team have possession for 70 percent of the game. In order to do that, SU needs to keep it on the ground, which once again goes back to Tucker. He can help with that style of play, which not only benefits the offense, but also the defense.
Best Case Scenario
I don’t think it’s a hot take to say Tucker has the potential to be a 1,000 yard rusher this season. Logical thinking says the Syracuse offense will be run-heavy and the sophomore is atop the depth chart at the RB position. He played only nine games last season, averaging 15 carries and 70 yards per game. Both of those numbers should go up.
More opportunities, a better offensive line and his inevitable growth will lead Tucker to just around 100 yards per game, 10-ish touchdowns and over 1,000 yards at the end of the season. If he puts those numbers up, we could be having a conversation about the sophomore being a top-five back in the ACC.
Worst Case Scenario
Worst case scenario for Tucker is based on the people around him. Of course you worry about his health after missing a couple games last season, but you can’t predict that. Instead, you should pay attention to how the return of Jarveon Howard and Abdul Adams impacts Tucker. As of now, the sophomore is still RB1, but if he falters and the veterans come back in full force, that may spell trouble for Tucker.
Syracuse’s offensive future is centered around Tucker. So, Howard and Adams’ reappearance stalling the young buck’s growth will not only hurt the Orange this season, but for years to come.
That wraps up the Fizz’s 2021 Most Important Players List. Syracuse begins the new season Saturday, September 4 at Ohio.
Monday, August 16 – #10 Garrett Shrader
Wednesday, August 18 – #9 Matthew Bergeron
Friday, August 20 – #8 Josh Black
Sunday, August 22 – #7 Anthony Queeley
Tuesday, August 24 – #6 Airon Servais
Thursday, August 26 – #5 Garrett Williams
Saturday, August 28 – #4 Mikel Jones
Monday, August 30 – #3 Taj Harris
Wednesday, September 1 – #2 Tommy DeVito
Friday, September 3 – #1 Sean Tucker