Every Tuesday over the summer, we’re going to highlight individual players on the 2012-13 Syracuse football team. This week, we’re profiling tight end Beckett Wales.
Last year, tight end Nick Provo had one of the best seasons for a tight end in Syracuse history. He caught 51 passes (an SU single-season record) for 537 yards and had seven touchdowns while being named to the All Big East First Team.
Provo went undrafted, but signed a free agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens, leaving Syracuse in need of a blocking tight end with soft hands. Enter junior tight end Beckett Wales, who will try to pick up where Provo left off.
Wales looked solid in the spring game, catching an out route from quarterback Ryan Nassib on Nassib’s second throw. It was a route that Provo had run many times before.
Wales may have more underneath opportunities with the return of Marcus Sales. Last year, without a primary deep threat, opposing defenses were able to play the underneath routes, stifling Syracuse’s passing game.
While Nassib started the season completing 66 percent of his passes through his first seven games, the quarterback’s rate dropped to a 58 percent clip as Syracuse suffered through a five game losing streak to end the season.
Now, with Sales back, it will open up more opportunities for other receivers.
“We’re got a lot of athletes and you put the ball in their hands you never know what’s going to happen,” Wales said. “That’s what we’re trying to aim for.”
Inside Slant: Though Wales appeared in all 12 games last season, he was used sparingly last season as a pass catching option. In the entire year, he had three receptions for 25 yards. For Syracuse to be successful, especially in goal line situations, the ball will need to be in his hands more.
Career Highlights: Wales played all 12 games last year. Against West Virginia, he had a season high two receptions to go along with six yards. He also had a 19 yard reception in the season finale against Pittsburgh. In the 2010 season, he played 11 of 13 games, and had six receptions for 37 yards.Wesley Cheng