|Alec Lemon and Van Chew look to kick it up a notch in 2011|
So the plan was to put up a couple of quick posts on Wednesday tying everything together, get out of work early on Thursday to head out to Syracuse and catch the season opener. But then, in the immortal words of Lee Corso - not so fast my friends. In my haste I had completely forgotten the wide receivers. It's almost inexcusable given the amount of gin/drug dealer jokes I could make about Marcus Sales alone.
So, with that extremely long and pointless explanation complete I'll stop rambling and start breaking down...
A position of weakness in recent years is now a position of strength. The Syracuse Orange have a group that combines game experience with a lot of athletic potential. At least theoretically SU will have the ability to stretch the field in ways that were not possible last year. And all this is true even with the suspension of Marcus Sales, who would have been the number one receiver this year. Marcus decided that a career in dumb-assery and pharmaceuticals suited him more than football, so we won't be seeing him on the field any time soon. Or ever.
Alec Lemon and Van Chew will anchor a unit where as many as 6 guys will get reps. Dave Rahme favorite Jarrod West, Dorian Graham, former walk-on Michael Acchione and Adrian Fleming could all get snaps and talented freshman Jeremiah Kobena, Kyle Foster and Keenan Hale provide depth and hope for the future.
"Z" Wide Receiver
- Van Chew (Sr.)
- Dorian Graham (Sr.)
- Alec Lemon (Jr.)
- Jarrod West (Soph)
Both Lemon and Chew began last year as the starters and came out strong, however thanks to injuries and the emergence of Marcus Sales, neither was on the field for the Pinstripe Bowl victory over Kansas State. It's probably safe to assume the depth chart could be fluid this year as well.
Alec Lemon looks the part. He's started off and on for two years and he's got the body to be a very good wide receiver at this level. However, he's been plagued by inconsistency and has simply dropped too many footballs up to this point in his career. Last year he played the second half of the year with a hand injury, which is obviously a big deal for a wide receiver -- but by all accounts he's healthy and had a good camp. If Alec Lemon is going to "make the leap" this is the year he needs to do it.
Van Chew showed up as a freshman skinnier than a guy who was trapped in Carnie Wilson's house and had to survive on left-overs. Like Lemon, he started fast but wore down as the season went on. He's still thin, but it looks like he's added some muscle this year. Chew's hands have always been solid, if he's healthy and is indeed stronger he could build on last year's output when he led the team in receptions and yards.
Dorian Graham and Jarrod West are great unknowns. Graham is an athletic freak who reportedly has trouble from time to time hanging on to the ball. Seems like that could be an issue since that's a key part of the job description. West would have played as a true freshman last year, but an injury sidelined him early in camp. He was good enough in high school that Jim Harbaugh wanted him at Stanford, so expectations are high for him......provided he doesn't get arrested for boozing again.
Best Case Scenario
Using technology, Lemon gets some invisible stick em, Lester Hayes style, and catches everything in sight. Chew, West and Graham stretch the field and Michael Acchione becomes Syracuse's Wes Welker.
Worst Case Scenario
The unit plays like it did down the stretch last year.
Did you know there's a comedian named Van Chew? There is, and the nicest thing I can say about him is that he's comedically challenged - so that can't be the bonus video. Watch current wide receivers coach Rob Moore do great things for SU in 1987 instead.