Corey Winfield was a late target for Syracuse during the 2013 recruiting cycle. With the staff change, Scott Shafer and company went after several prospects the previous staff did not have on their radar. Grabbing Winfield so late was seen as a big recruiting victory for the Orange.
With the wide receiver position in a state of transition, some thought Winfield may have a chance to contribute as a true freshman. Two weeks into camp, the former three star prospect is still adjusting to life at the division one level.
"It's a little different," Winfield admitted. "There's a little more to learn. I just have to put my head in the playbook and put it all together. I think I can do that."
In Fort Drum, Winfield suffered a lower body injury and missed practice Saturday morning. He is considered day to day, but is still taking the time to do all he can off the field in order to be prepared on it.
"From a scale of one to ten, I'm about a seven right now," Winfield explained. "I'm pretty strong and pretty confident about it. It's getting easier as days go by. Learning things and watching the other players, the upperclassmen. So everything's going good."
"Chris Clark, he teaches me a lot. Jarrod West, I've learned a lot from him. Jeremiah Kobena and Adrian Flemming, they've helped a lot. Those are the guys that have taught me the most. If I ever have a problem or need to talk about something, those are the guys I go to."
During the first week of fall camp, Winfield took some reps as a punt returner in addition to his normal work with the receivers. Because of his experience in high school and his skill set, Winfield is confident he could make an impact on special teams should the coaches call his number.
"Yeah I think I can contribute there," Winfield declared. "I did it a little bit in high school. It's not that bad, really. It's just learning how to do it at this level. But I'm comfortable with it."
One of the things that has stood out to Winfield since arriving on campus is working with former NFL veteran and college standout Rob Moore. He says Moore is helping to limit the learning curve for the talented rookie.
"It's been great," Winfield said. "He makes sure you're on your game. He makes sure you're giving your all. I think he wants you to be like he was in college. He's trying to give you all the tips he can to make you a better player."
While a redshirt year appears to be the most likely route at this juncture, nothing official has been decided. Either way, expect Winfield to continue to work and help the Orange any way he can.
"It hasn't been decided yet," the true freshman claimed. "We'll see after camp's over. If I do, I'll help out anyway I can. I'll keep working out, get in the gym, continue to learn the playbook so I don't even have to look at the card. Just get ready for next year."