SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- When Beckett Wales went down last week and was announced out for Saturday's game against Boston College, most were not concerned about how it would impact the offense. After all, Syracuse had not used the tight end in the passing attack much this season.
Redshirt freshman Josh Parris got the start against the Eagles, and proved those opinions wrong. All he did was finish with seven catches and two touchdowns as a critical part of an improved Orange passing game. One of those two scores was the game winner with just six seconds left.
"Like coach (Scott Shafer) preaches, it's next man up," Parris said after the game. "Everybody's got to be ready to go at any point in time."
It may have taken an injury to get Parris into the game plan, but his effort were a result of what Shafer preaches to the team every day.
"The ‘next guy in' has been our creed," Shafer said. "I don't care what your name is, I don't care what jersey, I don't' care what position you're supposed to be playing. But the next man is up and it's his job to get it done."
Parris got the job done, and was a big reason why Syracuse became bowl eligible on Saturday. Don't think this wasn't intentional by offensive coordinator George McDonald.
McDonald is a smart man, and sitting in the stands watching the game was 2015 three star tight end Chris Clark. Seeing the use of the tight end today will only help with his recruitment.
Regardless, Parris gave Syracuse fans a glimpse of how the tight end position can blossom in McDonald's system, and it came at the perfect time.