Like fellow JUCO transfer, Josh Kirkland, Luke Arciniega had himself a worthy game versus Wagner last Saturday in Syracuse's home opener.
"I think, personally, it's intertwined," Arciniega said about his assessment of his play and the defense's. "We work hard as a group. We are getting better individually and push each in practice and in individual drills. Overall, that is what gets each individual's performance up. It's because we work hard together."
Arciniega had three solo tackles on the afternoon for the Orange, including one for a loss of five yards.
This season alone, the Syracuse coaching staff brought in eight JUCO players to fill the necessary voids at linebacker, safety, defensive tackle, defensive end and on the offensive line.
"I think it's just a little bit more readiness," Arciniega said about coming in as a transfer. "That's what the coaches have told us in the past - to kind of expect some JUCO players to come in and play right away."
Arciniega, who currently backs up senior linebacker Marquis Spruill, has already accumulated five tackles and a sack on the young season.
Coming in as a transfer can be a mixed bag -- one either adjusts or finds trouble adapting. However, for Arciniega, in his words, it has been "awesome."
"The program itself just really makes you feel at home," he said. "You feel like part of the family. You start to find that everyone treats each other like a brother."
However, one drawback coming in this past January was the volume of the defensive playbook.
"When I first came in, it was definitely a little bit difficult to pick up at times," he said. "You just have to go with what's in your head and go for it. This (past) summer, as a group, we really studied and I think that has helped us."
Similar to what coach Shafer preaches in his press and teleconferences, it's all about staying the course and continue to improve the parts and pieces of the formula.
"I think as we go in each week of practice," he said, "we work on the same things over and over and get a little bit better each day."
He continued, "We are just going to do the same. We will come in, study film and practice. The rest will take care of itself."
Arciniega finding early success
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