Every Tuesday over the summer, we’re going to highlight individual players on the 2012-13 Syracuse football team. This week, we’re profiling wide receiver Marcus Sales.
During Syracuse’s five game losing streak, one thing was painfully obvious on offense—the Orange missed having a deep threat. With no one to stretch the field, SU’s offense became anemic, averaging just 16.2 points during its slide.
That figures to change this year with the return of wide receiver Marcus Sales.
Sales showed he still has the ability to be SU’s primary deep threat in the Orange’s spring game, where he caught a pair of deep balls for 68 yards, including a nifty over-the-shoulder grab for a 38 yard gain.
The last time Sales was on a football field, he had five catches for 174 yards and three touchdowns in the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl.
“He’s had to do a lot of work,” wide receivers coach Rob Moore said. “When he got here he wasn’t in football shape. It took him a couple of weeks to get his timing back and all of those things you lose when you haven’t played the game in a while.”
Sales was suspended all of last season following a drug-related arrest in July. The charges were dropped in October, clearing the way for Sales to return for his senior season.
The key for Sales now is to rekindle the chemistry he had with quarterback Ryan Nassib.
“The biggest thing was getting our chemistry back and getting the timing back down with our routes,” Sales said. “Me coming back from being off a year, just getting back in shape, getting back to the speed of the game was the thing I wanted to focus on.”
Inside Slant: Sales is one of the biggest question marks on this team. Will he be the player that dominated the Kansas State secondary in the Pinstripe Bowl? Or will he revert back into the receiver from the first half of 2010 that had just five catches in the team’s first nine games? Sales has the chance to be SU’s best receiver since Mike Williams, and will have plenty of opportunities on a thin receiving core.
Career Highlights: In his junior year, Sales played in 11 games, starting three of them. He ended the 2010 season on a tear, starting with a November 13 game against Rutgers. He caught five passes for 73 yards. That would spark a string of four games where Sales averaged 93.7 yards on 5.2 receptions a game, culminating in a 172 yard, three touchdown performance against Kansas State in the Pinstripe Bowl.Wesley Cheng