The Syracuse Orange will enter the 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl with six members of their receiving core that were in the roster for the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl.
Heading into the upcoming match, each of the six players has had a positive impact for the 2012 season.
Lemon ended the 2010 season with 32 receptions and 397 yards in 12 games, starting 10 of them.
In the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl, he caught two passes for a total of 20 yards.
For the 2010 campaign, he reached the end zone four times.
Last season, starting in all 12 games, Lemon more than doubled the amount of receptions he had (68), setting a new single-season high in Syracuse history.
He also more than doubled his receiving yards, with 834, while adding two more touchdowns, finishing the 2011 season with six.
After injuring his shoulder and having surgery, Lemon missed the first game of the 2012 season, but went on to play in all of the next 11 games, starting in each of them.
Coming into this year's Pinstripe Bowl, he leads the Orange in receptions (70) and receiving yards (1,063).
Lemon's 70 receptions are a new single-season record for the Orange, while his 1,000-plus yards make him one of only three Syracuse players to achieve such a feat within one season.
He also added one more touchdown from his output in 2011, with seven scores in 2012.
From 2010 to 2012, Lemon has become more productive, achieving one 100-yard game in 2010, two in 2011, and five so far in 2012.
Though known for his breakout game in the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl, Sales second on that team with 414 receiving yards on 26 grabs. More than doubling his reception total in 2012 after taking a season off, Sales has also racked up nearly 900 yards to go along with eight scores. He remains the No. 2 receiver target on the roster, though he was the pace-setter for the group early on this season.
While Jarrod West was on both the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl Syracuse squad and the 2012 edition, his roles could not be more different. During fall camp prior to the 2010 season, West suffered a season ending foot injury. The big receiver spend the entire season rehabbing and familiarizing himself with the Orange offense. That off the field work paid off as he has been an emerging talent in 2012.
West finished the 2012 season with 42 receptions for 571 yards and 2 touchdowns. All were good for third on the team. The redshirt sophomore had a career game in Syracuse's comeback win against South Florida with 7 catches for 98 yards and a touchdown. West emerged this season as a weapon out of the slot, showing improved hands and route running ability. He also added the vertical game to his arsenal, and should continue to be a productive player for the Orange going forward.
Wales caught four passes for a total of 31 yards in the 2010 season, competing in 11 of Syracuse's 13 games, but not the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl.
In the following season, Wales played in all 12 games, including his first-ever start of his career. He caught three passes for 25 yards behind Syracuse's starting tight end, Nick Provo.
As the team's starter in 2012, Wales has competed in all 12 of Syracuse's contests. So far this season, Wales has the most catches for a single-season in his career (29) and receiving yards (315), as well as his first collegiate touchdown.
After not appearing in any games during his first two seasons, Stevens saw his first college action in 2010 primarily on special teams. As a redshirt-senior in 2012, Stevens has seen solid time as a tight end, contributing as a good blocker and as a receiver en route to 10 catches for 107 yards – nearly half the production he registered in 2011 as Nick Provo's backup. The offense was more geared to the tight end position prior to this season.
In 2010, Carl Cutler was unable to contribute due to a knee injury which also kept him out for all of 2011. During his final campaign with the Orange in 2012, Cutler finally saw the field again. He contributed five catches for 32 yards and 5 rushing yards in 2012. A backup tight end and special teams performer, Cutler is looking to finish his injury plagued career on a high note.
As a unit, Syracuse's receiving provides quarterback Ryan Nassib will many options to choose from. He has spread the ball out all season, throwing to as many as nine receivers at times.
The depth of the Orange receiving core makes it difficult for opponents' secondaries to figure out where to send their players, making Syracuse competitive against any defense.