Words of wisdom

Kyle Knapp has been lucky enough to learn under the likes of Justin Pugh and now Sean Hickey. He talks about the advice they have given him throughout the years, making a bowl game for the seniors and more inside.

Kyle Knapp has been patiently waiting.

Sure, the redshirt freshman has seen time -- limited time -- on the field this year for the Orange, however, it's the advice he has received behind the scenes that he holds close to the vest.

Last season Knapp found himself learning from one of the best at his position in former Orange player and now New York Giants offensive tackle Justin Pugh.

"It was really cool to have someone like that, yeah know, to teach me everything he can do," Knapp said. "I've been trying to incorporate everything he taught me and the stuff I've seen from him on film. He is a real good guy and real good role model."

This time around, roughly a season later, Knapp has gained another mentor in Sean Hickey.

"Hickey definitely took over as my role model (when Pugh left)," Knapp said. "He is a lot like Pugh and he has been helpful in helping me out. He is a great guy."

Hickey has not only taught Knapp the tricks and trades to improving his technique, but has acted as a sounding board for the underclassman when it came to the growing pains and frustrations of the game.

"He helps me out out mentally and emotionally when I'm getting frustrated or mad about something," Knapp said. "He always calms me down or shows me how I can do something different or how to cope with the situation."

Aside from observing, Knapp has also taken the time to improve on being an all-around better player as well as one that fits the part.

"One thing I wanted to improve on was my size, which I did, I gained like 30 pounds -- which is good," Knapp said. "I just want to work on my technique, which I still have a long way to go, but I made a lot of progress. I've been working with coach Hicks a lot and coach Perles to get better."

While Knapp can't comment on the defensive game plan for this weekend's contest against Boston College per say, he does take a page out of Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer's book and states that it's all about "controlling the controllables."

"We all have the same philosophy," Knapp said. "We aren't going to change."

With one regular season game left to go on Syracuse's schedule, Knapp not only wants to taste another bowl experience, but go out on top for the seniors, too.

"This is one of those things that you strive for," Knapp said. "That was one of our goals this year was to go to a bowl game. We are really, really going to work hard to get that bowl game, to accomplish that goal and win. It's something that we want to get for the seniors, too. It's their last go around. We want to be able to give that to them -- kind of like a going away gift."

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