Shafer praises freshmen

Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer discusses the incoming freshmen and how they've performed in training camp through the first several practices inside.

Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer had previously refrained from discussing the incoming freshmen too much. From his point of view, it was hard to give too much of an assessment without seeing them over several days of training camp.

Offensively, Shafer is excited about the potential that the skill position freshmen possess.

”We had some freshmen do some good things,” Shafer said. “I’m excited about Ervin Philips. I think Steve Ishmael has a chance to be a really good player. Adly Enoicy is one of the sharpest kids I’ve been around in a long time. He’s picked things up extremely well and been able to move from different positions, inside and outside.

”I’ve been pleased with him. Jamal Custis is raw. A young guy out there but it’s hard to teach that 6-foot-6, 235. He can run and I’m excited about him.”

The linebacker haul for Syracuse in their 2014 class was considered one of the best positional grabs for the Orange. Coach Shafer likes what he sees from the four freshmen there as well.

”On the defensive side, I like our linebackers,” Shafer said. “JT’s (Jonathan Thomas) made some good plays. Parris Bennett will be a very good football player. Colton Moskal and Zaire Franklin are just what I thought they’d be. Tough hard-nosed kids that learn well.”

In the secondary, Syracuse may have to rely on a freshman or two to contribute this season. But there is a safety who Shafer is very high on as well.

”The young corners,” Shafer said. “The young DBs in general. Rodney Williams, you’re really going to like this guy. You guys are going to like this guy. Juwan (Dowels) has done some nice things.”

It may be a couple of years before the freshmen show whether they can live up to the hype surrounding them coming out of high school. But it seems that things are looking positive in the early going.

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