RB Strength Of Orange Attack

Another situation to look at in the spring is at the running back spot. Walter Reyes solidified himself last year as a serious contender for the upcoming Heisman race with his 1,445 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. Last season, he was expected to split the carries with Damien Rhodes. A nagging foot injury limited Rhodes to just four games and 143 yards, though. Going into this season, Rhodes' foot is healed, and head coach Paul Pasqualoni is expecting to go with the same plan of giving both

"The great I (formation) teams play with two tailbacks, anyways," Pasqualoni said.

So Syracuse will look to get back to a two-back tandem in what looks to be the strongest point of Syracuse's offense. If healthy, Rhodes and Reyes could form one of the nation's top backfields.

Syracuse's wide receiving core might feature a familiar face in a new position this upcoming season. Junior Steve Gregory was SU's best secondary defender the past two seasons. After losing Johnnie Morant to graduation, Syracuse is in need for a deep passing threat. Incumbents Jared Jones and Andre Fontenette are possession receivers. Neither of them displays the kind of big-play potential that Morant showed in running deep routes. This is where Gregory steps in.

Pasqualoni called Gregory the fastest player on the team. Gregory was a good receiver in high school, but has not played the position since then. This spring gives the coaches a chance to see if he can be an impact on the other side of the ball in 2004. Pasqualoni says he has no problem moving Gregory back to cornerback if the experiment does not work out this spring, but he wanted to see what they could get out of Gregory at wide receiver while he has the chance.

"If we don't try him out there (wide receiver) now, we probably never will," Pasqualoni remarked.

In addition, Syracuse will be without slot receiver Rashard Williams, who did not enroll at SU for the spring semester. In his place, Pasqualoni hopes sophomore Landel Bembo can fit in nicely. Bembo (5'8'', 153 lbs.) fits the mold of the slot receiver Pasqualoni likes to use, filling the shoes of Williams, and Jamel Riddle before him. And Syracuse graduated its two tight ends, Lenny Cusamano and Joe Donnelly. Tim Lane and Joe Kowalewski look to be the front-runners to replace them.

Along the offensive line, the Orangemen return seniors Adam Terry and Matt Tarullo at tackle and guard, respectively. Junior Steve Franklin is back at guard, while juniors Brent Caldwell, Jason Greeene and Quinn Ojinnaka, along with sophomore Justin Outten will all compete for spots.

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