Head coach Doug Marrone highlighted two of the Orange’s most explosive players during Syracuse’s football media day on Saturday.
Wide receiver Marcus Sales and Ashton Broyld drew high reviews in spring practices and will be important parts of a team that is looking to rebound from a 5-7 year.
“He has given us some big plays in the past,” Marrone said of Sales. “I think we can always reference the Pinstripe Bowl.”
Of course, Marrone was talking about Sales’ breakout game in the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl where he recorded five catches for 174 yards and three touchdowns as Syracuse won its first bowl game since 2001.
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.
But while he was gone, SU lost its last five games of the 2011 season, averaging just 16.2 points during its slide, partially because of a lack of a deep threat. Sales will certainly help with that.
“We’re looking at what’s going on today and what we’re going to do now,” Marrone said. “We need to be a better football team on a daily basis and more consistent. For us, what are we going to be able to do to win? Marcus Sales has the ability to help us do that.”
Broyld falls into that category as well. The dynamic freshman had a stellar spring game, highlighted by two catches for 50 yards, including a dynamic 44-yard reception from the backfield.
Though he didn’t lineup under center, SU ran a trick play where Broyld found backup quarterback Charlie Loeb for a 14-yard strike.
Broyld, who played quarterback in high school, will be seen all over the field.
“Mostly, we will have him lined up at running back,” Marrone said. “We will have him lined up on some outside things and we will have him lined up at the wildcat position. We will have those things going on into camp and, like I said at Big East Media Day, we need to do a good job of managing what he can handle.”
Much of that will be determined in the next few weeks.
“Our goal is to focus on our players and to become a better football team during camp,” Marrone said. “I understand that we have a lot of hard work. I’m excited to get on the practice field on Monday.”