LeQuint Allen is eligible to play for Syracuse this Fall, and is already receiving praise on a national stage. SU’s new bellcow running back was named to the Doak Walker award watch list, one of 75 preseason candidates to win the award for best running back in the nation.
Allen is set to be a centerpiece in Syracuse’s offense. The rising sophomore was suspended for the entire season because of an alleged fight that happened last December by a student council. Allen was never charged and the school itself decided not to discipline him. The suspension was overturned after Allen sued, and agreed to an out-of-court settlement that lets him play in 2023.
On the field, Allen was used sparingly as a true freshman last year. He only ran for 247 yards as Sean Tucker’s backup, but when he was used, he was effective. Allen averaged 6.7 yards per carry, and had Syracuse’s longest play from scrimmage of the season, a 90 yard scamper vs Wagner in week five.
He truly showed his potential in the Pinstripe Bowl against Minnesota. Allen ran for 94 yards on 15 carries, averaging 6.3 yards per rush. On top of that, Allen caught 11 passes for 60 yards, finishing the day with 154 all purpose yards on 26 touches.
Tucker missed that game as he prepared for the NFL Draft, and with number 34 watching from the sidelines, Allen showed Syracuse fans that he appears to be a more than capable replacement for SU’s all time single season leading rusher.
Allen certainly has the track record as well. He was Syracuse’s most prized recruit in the class of 2022, and was named the New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year as a high school senior.
The Orange will need Allen to be explosive out of the backfield to have success. Syracuse was built on a three headed monster offensively last year, with Tucker, Garrett Shrader and Oronde Gadsden. The latter two are back and bring an extra year of experience with them.
It will be a bit of a different look offensively with Jason Beck taking over as the coordinator and play caller. Beck worked under Robert Anae for over a decade, so the main components will be the same, but reports are that Beck plans to use his running backs as pass catchers more than Anae did.
As Allen showed in the bowl game, he’s plenty capable of filling that role. He’s tasked with replacing a legend. Syracuse fans and coaches are confident he can do so effectively, and observers around the country have already taken notice.