Here are a few thoughts from the Syracuse football spring game:
- On offense, one the players you have to be most excited about is Jamal Custis. The wide receiver is 6-foot-5 and 232 points, and caught a nice route in man coverage from Terrel Hunt. While it was the only pass he caught all day, the quarterbacks were throwing to him, and for good reason. He’ll make an excellent tandem with fellow WR Steve Ishmael.
- Speaking of Custis and Ishmael, there were some embarrassing mishaps that involved the two of them. For Ishmael, staffers flipped the ‘a’ and ‘e’ in his name, and the back of his jersey said “Ishmeal.” As for Custis, the announcer kept saying his name “JamEl” to start before it was later corrected. I guess the spring practice isn’t just for the football team. At least they didn’t misspell Roosevelt ‘Bowie’ again.
- Scott Shafer didn’t open up the playbook, so it was hard to get a true gauge on how the offense will settle in. Hunt was once again the starter under center but looked shaky. He finished 10-for-30 for 145 yards, misfiring on some of his deeper throws. Then again, Hunt is learning Tim Lester’s new offense and coming off an injury, so there will be growing pains. AJ Long and Austin Wilson also got reps in and Wilson fired the only touchdown pass of the day to Adly Enoicy.
- Senior defensive ends Ron Thompson and Donnie Simmons combined for five sacks. While the duo hasn’t been officially named starters yet, it would be hard not to consider them in those roles. They will replace Robert Welsh and Micah Robinson.
- One underclassmen to watch for on defense is redshirt freshman Cordell Hudson. He defended several passes, drawing the praise of Shafer. “”I was pleased with some of our young corners,” he said. “I thought Cordell Hudson played well, he had a couple nice pass breakups down field for us.” Linebacker Alryk Perry also defended a pass and finished with five tackles.