By Sean Fernandez
Camp opened yesterday for Doug Marrone and the Syracuse Orange. It was the team’s annual media day, which gave us an opportunity to hear the Head Coach answer some of the most pressing questions regarding the roster. With just under a month until the season finally kicks off, there is still a lot left to be determined, but we did learn a few things yesterday.
We learned that the two suspected transfers, Quinta Funderburk and John Raymon, AREboth on the official roster. Funderburk is a WR that came to Syracuse from Arkansas. He is enrolled at SU, but will have to sit out the 2012 season because of NCAA rules regarding transfer students. He will use the year to become more acquainted with the offense and will take the field as one of the go-to WR’s in 2013. Raymon is a Defensive End that never really felt comfortable at Iowa. He, too, recently enrolled at SU, and has some questions regarding his eligibility. He recently filed an appeal to allow him to play in 2012, but it is unlikely that the NCAA will grant his request.
We also learned that former California JuCo WR Chris Clark is also on the roster, but is currently nursing an injury to his wrist. Clark is a 6’0” 175lb speedster that, according to his coach at East LA College, runs a “legitimate 4.3 40 yard dash”. When he is healthy and able to play, Clark’s speed can make him a deep threat for the Syracuse offense.
The Syracuse Defensive line got a much-needed boost when JuCo All-American Markus Pierce-Brewster decided to join the team in January. He is listed on the official roster despite being left out of the media guide. Some unknown questions about his immediate eligibility are lingering, but it looks as though MPB will be ready to go in the opener against Northwestern. He is a vicious speed rusher off the end that should have an immediate impact on the D-Line.
Freshman “athlete” Ashton Broyld has seen his name pop up all over the depth chart. He can play QB, RB, WR, and even return kicks. Doug Marrone let us know that Broyld will see the majority of his time at RB, and in the wildcat formation. It should be exciting to see the former Rush-Henrietta star play, wherever that may be.
The big news from last Tuesday’s Big East media day was the injury to All-Big East LT Justin Pugh, who has been suffering from an upper-body injury. Marrone said that Pugh will be out for an extended period of time, and that he will be replaced on the depth chart by junior Sean Hickey. The oft-injured Hickey seems to be fully-recovered from the torn ACL that sidelined him for the 2011 season. He will have to stay healthy (and play well) in order for Ryan Nassib to have time to throw in the pocket.
The official roster was missing a few notable names from last season. Cory Boatman, whose name was first on the post-spring depth chart at DT, graduated from SU this past May and won’t return to the team. Safety Shutang Mungwa was expected to be a big part of the secondary in the years to come, but he has also stepped away from the team. Apparently his studies at the university will continue, but his time on the football team has come to an end. Sophomore P/K Riley Dixon will in fact return to the team, although that was in doubt earlier in the week.
Again, there are still plenty of roster concerns that are unanswered at the moment. We’ll be hearing more in the days and weeks to come as camp continues and as the depth chart changes. Stay tuned to NationOfOrange.com for these updates.
The official Syracuse University 2012-2013 football roster can be found here.