Every Wednesday over the summer, The Juice Online is going to highlight individual players on the 2013 Syracuse football team. This week, we’re profiling offensive lineman Macky MacPherson.
When Syracuse attended ACC kickoff in July, head coach Scott Shafer took linemen Jay Bromley and Macky MacPherson with him, bucking a trend. Normally, coaches go with skill players such as a quarterback or wide receiver.
Why did Shafer decide to go with an unorthodox pairing?
“You can have the best quarterback, running back, wide receiver in the nation, but if you don’t have a halfway decent offensive line to protect them, you’re not going to win games,” MacPherson said. “I think that’s why coach Shafer went with Bromley and I.”
While that certainly may be a part of it, MacPherson is a star in his own right.
He was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List, the award for most outstanding college center. In the last three seasons, MacPherson has blocked for a 1,000 yard rusher and also anchored an offensive line that set several school records for offensive output last year.
MacPherson will be even more important to the offensive line this season. Starters Justin Pugh and Zack Chibane are now playing in the NFL, and MacPherson is the most experienced returning starter.
“I’m confident in the guys we have up there,” MacPherson said. “I know they’re going to work to get the job done no matter what they do.”
They will do that by being hard-nosed, a mantra that Shafer has become known for.
“Nose to the grindstone, blue collar, anything you can possibly imagine. Any cliche about gravel in your gut,” MacPherson said. “It’s one of those guys that just doesn’t quit and doesn’t go away. It’s not just a gimmick. It’s something (Shafer) really believes in.”
Inside slant: The key for Syracuse this year will be keeping a healthy offensive line. Last season, Syracuse struggled with Pugh missing most of the first half of the season. “Our first half we had to rotate offensive linemen in because Pugh was out,” MacPherson said. “The second half we had a solid five and turned it around.”
- Hometown: Syracuse, NY
- High School: Christian Brothers Academy
- Position: Center
- Class: Senior
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 286lbs
Career highlights: MacPherson was part of an offensive line that help Syracuse set single-season records for total offense (6,188 yards), total offense per game (476.0), most plays (1,028), passing yards (3,757), completions (295), passing yards per game (289.0) and touchdown passes (26). He is also on the 2013 Rimington Award Watch List.