Every Wednesday over the summer, The Juice Online has been highlighting individual players on the 2013 Syracuse football team. We finish the series with linebacker Marquis Spruill.
Marquis Spruill has come to epitomize the resurgence of Syracuse football.
He was a true freshman in 2010 when the Orange won the Pinstripe Bowl against Kansas State, SU’s first bowl win since 2001. He started every game during his true freshman year and was named a Phil Steele Freshman All-America Second Team selection.
When Syracuse won the Pinstripe Bowl again last year, Spruill contributed another two tackles in a 38-14 win.
In his first three years at SU, Spruill has played in every single game, and has helped Syracuse compile a 23-17 record. With a few more wins this year, Spruill has a chance to be part of Syracuse’s first graduating class in nearly a decade to graduate with a winning record.
If Syracuse gets there, Spruill, who has recorded 177 tackles in his three years, will be the player leading them back to respectability.
Earlier in August, Spruill, along with Jay Bromley, Macky MacPherson and Jerome Smith were named captains for the 2013 season. The captains were selected by a team vote.
“We’ve got a great group of guys. Start with Marquis in the middle,” Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer said. “He was voted captain almost by a unanimous margin, maybe minus just seven, eight votes. So I am extremely proud of him.”
There are plenty of other people who feel the same way.
Syracuse will open the season against Penn State on Aug. 31 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Spruill will be nearby Hillside, where he grew up. He expects plenty of family and friends to be on hand to watch the season opener.
“I know he’ll be excited about playing at MetLife because he grew up playing down the road,” Shafer said. “I’m sure they’ll be a ton of people out there supporting him.”
Inside slant: Spruill will shift back to middle linebacker for the 2013 season after the graduation of Siriki Diabate. He’ll be part of an experienced and deep linebacker core that includes Dyshawn Davis, Cameron Lynch and Lewellyn Coker. Spruill had another solid year in 2012, ranking 10th in the Big East in tackles for loss at 0.75 per game and there’s no reason to think he can’t do the same in the ACC.
- Birthdate: May, 1991
- Hometown: Hillside NJ
- High School: Hillside HS
- Position: Linebacker
- Class: Senior
- Height: 6’0″
- Weight: 224lbs
Career highlights: In 2012, Spruill tied for 10th on SU’s career tackles for loss list with 26.5 tackles for a loss of 103 yards. Spruill was a All-Big East Second Team selection in his sophomore year. In his freshman year, he was named a Phil Steele Freshman All-America Second Team selection.