Where They Stand: The Offense

As the Orange eye their first season in the ACC, step one is figuring out who fits best and where. Get a taste of the top performers on the offense so far and more inside.

With Spring practice having come to an end and newcomers set to join the squad soon, here is a look at how things are starting to pan out for the Syracuse Orange offense:

Quarterback:

Heading into the Fall, Terrel Hunt appears most ready to take the reins of the offensive general position. He looks most comfortable in the pocket, throws more on target than his peers, and has led the team down the field better than others, placing them in scoring position.

John Kinder has passed Charley Loeb as Loeb continued to struggle as Spring practices went on, but neither has been consistently good at leading scoring drives.

Incoming Oklahoma Sooners' transfer Drew Allen and freshmen Austin Wilson and Mitch Kimble have some work to do to catch Hunt, but the number-two spot still seems wide open. 

Running back:

Jerome Smith returns after gaining over 1,000 yards on the ground last season and appears to have only gotten faster. Already having produced while working to be faster in the open field puts Smith at the top of the pile of backs.

Prince-Tyson Gulley remained out of Spring practice due to a prior injury, but his ability to catch the ball, move between tackles, and breakaway speed should result in him sharing time with Smith once again.

Adonis Ameen-Moore and George Morris have shown value as extra options in the backfield. Ameen-Moore had three touchdowns in three games inside the "tank package" last season, which utilized his power. Syracuse also scored off of fakes to Ameen-Moore because of the success of his running.

Morris had the strongest Spring behind Smith. His ability to elude defenders while trying to find a lane and focus on staying inbounds as long as he can make him a threat the Orange cannot afford to leave completely off the field.

Wide receiver:

Jarrod West has the most field experience of those returning. Though quiet at times in the Spring, West became a constant threat in the Spring game, showing more fight in the open field to not only catch the ball, but to score.

Adrian Flemming had the best hands last Fall. Throughout his time at Fort Drum up to his ankle injury, Flemming secured more passes than his receiving peers. Though he has been utilized sparingly in his time at Syracuse, his hands are magnets that will provide more help on the field than on the bench.

Macauley Hill had a good showing at the Spring game, attacking after the catch and getting into the end zone. He joins Alvin Cornelius and incoming receivers Corey Cooper, Corey Winfield, and Brisly Estime in what looks to be a pretty wide open competition for field time behind West.

Tight end:

Beckett Wales is the returning starter, so he should get reps in games after showing his ability to catch.

Josh Parris was useful in the passing game in the Spring and his improvement could get him some time on the field as well.

A healthy Ron Thompson, who sat put all last season, and freshman Tyler Provo could make things even more interesting once they get onto the field and show their strengths.

Center:

Mackey MacPherson's return means he will be at the middle of the line once again. MacPherson was an integral part, with the rest of the offensive line, in helping both the passing and running elements of last season's squad to be more dangerous and productive than in recent years.

Jason Emerich has shown flashes of potential to become the next in line. With MacPherson on the roster, he will have to remain the second option for now as he works to become more of a lockdown lineman.

Tackle:

Sean Hickey, Ivan Foy, and Kyle Knapp are competing for the two available spots at left tackle and right tackle. Hickey played both, starting on the left side last season for an injured Justin Pugh and moving down to right tackle upon his return. His work on the left side helped lighten the blow of losing Pugh, while his play on the right aided in uplifting the weakest side of the line. Either side, he is a starter.

Foy spent last season sharing the right guard position with Rob Trudo in a revolving door-like fashion. He now eyes a move to tackle and holds the experience advantage over Knapp.

Knapp came in last season as a freshman who had less wrong with his mechanics and decision-making than some veterans. His continued hard work in practice should put him in the fight for the tackle position opposite Hickey.

Guard:

Trudo has field experience from last season on the right side, helping the Orange to having just shy of two 1,000-yard backs in a single season. His place on the right side should remain in his grasp now with Foy attempting the move to tackle.

Omari Palmer had to wait his turn with Zack Chibane locked in at left guard last season and Trudo and Foy sharing the right side. With Chibane gone and Foy seeming to move, little stands in front of Palmer other than himself for the opposite guard spot to Trudo.


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