Spring football practice is in full swing as the April 4th Spring Game approaches. On Tuesday, it was a day where the Syracuse wide receivers stepped up and flashed their playmaking ability, much to the delight of their head coach.
”Saw some big plays out of the wide receiver bunch,” Scott Shafer said. “Enoicy made a great catch down the field. Stevie made a great catch down the field. And Custis, also. So it was great to see some big plays being made.”
One player in that group that has consistently earned the praise of the coaching staff is Alvin Cornelius, who figures to have a much bigger role this season.
”Alvin Cornelius is probably, if I had to say one guy on that side of the ball, that’s really been a good, consistent player, it’s probably him,” Shafer said. “He also made a nice play today.
”He’s catching the ball well in traffic, which is good to see. I think he enjoys the route combinations that we’ve put in with the new offense. He’s just stepping up to the challenge.”
Defensively, it was a physical practice with a lot of big hits. That was led by the linebackers, who are looking to replace two key starters from a season ago. Thus far, one player has taken charge as the leader of his position group.
”I’ve been pleased with the way they’ve been practicing,” Shafer said. “Zaire Franklin’s taken over the group extremely well. Been pleased with the way he’s kind of led the charge. Parris Bennett has done some real nice, athletic things. He’s a real good athlete in space and a good blitzer off the edge.
”On the other side, Marqez Hodge, coming off of his knee injury. It’s nice to have him back. He’s probably playing as consistent as any of the linebackers. It’s a good group. J.T. Thomas is another young man who’s doing some good things. I like their work ethic.”
Along the offense line, Kendall Moore is transitioning from the tight end position. He is working at center predominantly, and is continuation to try to add weight to his frame.
”He’s done a good job,” Shafer said. “We’re trying to get him to gain a pound a week. That would put him at a pretty good number. He’s very athletic. He’s by far the best athlete on the o-line. He’s just a little light in the lower body that he knows he has to continue to work on those things and he has.”
Moore indicated he is up to 252-pounds, to which Shafer quipped with a laugh, “that probably means 248.”
In injury news, wide receiver/h-back Brisly Estime tweaked his ankle and is considered day-to-day.