Depth Chart Breakdown: Offensive Line

As the Orange look to make up for leadership and talent lost, see who has stepped up to lead the line through the Spring inside.

Heading into the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the Syracuse Orange will not only be in uncharted territory but they will be without previous playmakers at the line.

Syracuse's offensive line has featured Justin Pugh and Zack Chibane for the past three seasons. In each of those seasons, they blocked for 1,000-yard rushers.

Moving forward, newly-appointed head coach Scott Shafer and the Orange staff have been tasked to assemble a unit capable of continuing the most recent success of the offensive line.

At left tackle, Sean Hickey has been given the nod in the post-Spring depth chart. Hickey is no stranger to this position having taken over for an injured Justin Pugh to start the 2012 season. With Pugh out, Hickey provided as seamless a transition any offensive line could ask for, offering protection to former quarterback Ryan Nassib and creating opportunities on the ground for the Syracuse rushing attack.

Hickey has been asked to move back and forth between left and right tackle while on the Orange, showing a level of versatility that cannot be understated.

Behind Hickey is Kyle Knapp. Knapp has shown a knack for the collegiate game, showing good positioning in his hands, shoulders, and feet while at Syracuse. As a redshirt-freshman he is yet to enter onto the field in season play, but his work in practice establishes maturity despite the lack of actual game experience.

Assuming the role that Chibane vacated, Rob Trudo leads through Spring at the left guard position. Trudo played guard for the Orange last season on the right side, splitting time with Ivan Foy. In that time, Trudo aided Syracuse to a 1,000-yard rusher. His experience with the running back arsenal that returns for the 2013 campaign offers support to a line that is undergoing change.

Omari Palmer and Jesse Wolf-Gould follow Trudo at this position, respectively. Neither Palmer nor Wolf-Gould have any game experience with Syracuse and have not outperformed the work of Trudo who is fighting to keep his placement on the line as a consistent starter.

In the middle of the line is center Macky MacPherson on the post-Spring depth chart. This is of no surprise with MacPherson having helped bring about a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last two seasons. MacPherson has worked to balance the line and aid the likes of Jerome Smith, Prince-Tyson Gulley, Adonis Ameen-Moore, and Ashton Broyld in traffic, of which he has shown success. That success has placed him on the Rimington Trophy 2013 Spring Watch List, placing him amongst the 17 returning names of the 44 listed.

On the post-Spring depth chart behind MacPherson are Jason Emerich and Seamus Shanley, respectively. Of the two, Emerich sticks out in the coverage he has provided for the quarterback both in the past Fall and in the recent Spring practices.

At right guard, Nick Robinson leads the race after the Spring to take the position shared last season by Trudo and Foy. Robinson is the only member of the offensive line to be atop the depth chart despite not having started, or even played, in any games last season on the line. His comparison to Chibane offers reasoning for this placement.

The homegrown talent out of Baldwinsville, New York, got himself on the field in the 2012 campaign with the special teams unit. He currently holds the advantage over junior college transfer John Miller.

Completing the post-Spring depth chart leaders on the offensive line is Ivan Foy at right tackle. This is Foy's first season at the tackle position after helping to create the best protection Nassib had in his career with the Orange as well as a 1,000-yard rusher in Smith. Moving Foy to tackle allows Syracuse to fill four of the five offensive line positions with starters from last season.

Behind Foy are Daniel Anyaegbunam and Jon Burton, respectively. Anyaegbunam has yet to get on the field for the Orange, while Burton just completed his first Spring with Syracuse.

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