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Syracuse Football’s Most Important Players: #9 Marlowe Wax

It’s day two of analyzing Syracuse’s most important players for the 2022 season. Yesterday, Carter focused on Courtney Jackson on the offensive side of the ball, but it’s time to shift over to Tony White’s 3-3-5 defense. The middle three of that formation have some of the Orange’s best, and most important players this season.

Let’s go with third-year linebacker Marlowe Wax at number nine. Wax, a Baltimore native, has played in all 23 games of his career so far, and the results have been strong. His numbers have improved each season, as has his playing time. After making 33 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks as a freshman in 2020, those numbers bumped up to 60 tackles, seven for a loss, and four sacks in 2021.

Why Syracuse Needs Him

Working alongside Mikel Jones, the unquestioned leader of the SU defense, has allowed Wax to play freely next to him and rush the passer. As has been highlighted throughout the spring, summer, and now into training camp, the defensive line is arguably the weakest unit on Syracuse’s roster, which puts more pressure on the linebackers to make plays behind them.

The Orange’s run defense has been a weakness over Tony White’s couple of years on staff as defensive coordinator, while the pass defense has been stellar. Wax is going to be tasked with playing a big role in stepping up behind the defensive line to make plays in the hole and stifle opposing running backs.

Not only that, with Jones commanding the defense in the middle of the field, Wax will have pass rush responsibilities as well. The Orange’s lack of depth and experience along the defensive line puts an onus on the linebackers, guys like Wax and others to help in pass rush situations either via blitzing or rushing on the outside.

Best Case Scenario

At 6’1, 239 pounds, he has both the size and speed to compete in the passing and running game and make an impact wherever White asks him to. Wax almost made the play of the game against Florida State last season rushing the passer off the edge, but a blatant missed holding call allowed FSU to get into field goal range and win the game.

Wax has forced a fumble in each of his two seasons with the Orange so far, and last season has one pass defended as well. Wax’s versatility is clear and evident, but it’s also extraordinarily necessary because of the roster construction of the team. Head coach Dino Babers and White are relying heavily on the linebackers and defensive backs to carry the defense.

Worst Case Scenario

The Orange are likely going to have a tough time stopping the run this season. When SU gets opposing teams in third-down situations, that’s when they make their money. Forcing turnovers is going to be paramount to success for Tony White’s defense this season, and Wax, Syracuse’s ninth most important player as voted on by the Fizz staff, is going to be a big reason why SU is either successful or not, on defense.

That’s number nine on this list of the top ten most important players to Syracuse football. Come back tomorrow to learn number eight.

Sunday, August 21st – #10 Courtney Jackson

Monday, August 22nd – #9 Marlowe Wax

Tuesday, August 23rd – #8?

Wednesday, August 24th – #7?

Thursday, August 25th – #6?

Friday, August 26th – #5?

Saturday, August 27th – #4?

Sunday, August 28th – #3?

Monday, August 29th – #2?

Tuesday, August 30th – #1?

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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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