Sean Tucker is the running back room for Syracuse football. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. But what if I told you that a transfer running back from some place called New Mexico State will make him even more dangerous in 2022. Does the name Juwaun Price ring a bell? Odds are it doesn’t but come September, he’ll be a household name. The Orange snagged the high profile transfer over the offseason to add to its efforts in building for a better future.
Before we dive into what Price brings to SU, let’s talk about what the ‘Cuse didn’t already have. In the tailback spot it was Sean Tucker, Sean Tucker, and maybe Cooper Lutz. The Orange had no viable options behind the Maryland native to shoulder some of the auxiliary load. As a result “load management” simply wasn’t a thing and Dino Babers entire 2021 team hinged upon the success of number 34.
Things will be different this fall. Price comes in from New Mexico State (same school as SU safety Jason Simmons Jr.) and provides depth and playmaking ability at the running back position. The Arizona native racked up just under 700 rush yards last season averaging over five yards per carry. The redshirt-sophomore tacked on 26 catches for 181 more yards. This was in Price’s first real season playing college football mind you.
The 5’10, 195 pound ball carrier redshirted in 2019 then saw his 2020 year wiped out due to COVID. The Peoria High School product burst onto the scene in 2021 and opened up the door for a bigger opportunity. Babers and company poached Price via the transfer portal and snagged the #11 transfer tailback in the 247sports.com rankings.
Why is Price so valuable? Watch some of his tape and you’ll see. The former Aggie plays a similar style of ball to that of Tucker. He outruns safeties, has some wiggle, and is always good for one or two broken tackles which spring big plays. So now SU’s new offensive coordinator Robert Anae can feel comfortable and slot Price in the backfield alongside Shrader and still be confident in his run game producing.
Price produced in a big way down in New Mexico. Keep in mind that these big rushing outputs came against lower-tier competition than he will see in the ACC. Will the skills and production translate? We’ll have to find out. If nothing else, Price offers a depth piece in a backfield that is starving for one.