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Syracuse Tight End Unit Ranked Top-Five Nationally

tight end

Historically, Syracuse football is a program known for its running backs. Jim Brown and Ernie Davis are legends, while Sean Tucker has had the biggest profile in recent years. In the past decade, SU has become more known for punters, sending plenty of talent to the NFL. That list includes players like Sterling Hofrichter, Riley Dixon, and Brendan Carney. However, the Orange’s best position group this year isn’t running backs or punters. Instead, it’s tight ends.

This week, On3 released a list of the top tight end units in the nation. Syracuse ranked fourth, behind just Georgia, Michigan, and North Carolina.

This shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, the Orange have Oronde Gadsden on the roster. The 6’5” tight end earned All-ACC honors in 2022 after racking up just under 1,000 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Gadsden was then a preseason All-American last year before getting injured.

While Gadsden is likely on his way to another successful season, the depth in SU’s tight end unit helps too. 

Dan Villari is a very unique player. Last year, the quarterback-turned-tight end became the starting TE for Syracuse, but also had to take snaps as a QB again. Despite being put in bad spots constantly, he was productive. Between passing, rushing, and receiving, Villari tallied seven total touchdowns.

Beyond Gadsden and Villari, Max Mang provides great blocking with his 6’7” frame. Plus, there’s loads of potential with four-star freshman Jamie Tremble joining the team this fall.
This group should give quarterback Kyle McCord lots of options. He can find Gadsden working up the slot and gaining yards in the middle of the field, hand the ball off to Villari, and get a big block from Mang. That’s without even thinking of Tremble, who could spend the year learning behind such an elite group. That’s not a bad thing at all.

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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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