Each week over the summer, The Juice Online is going to highlight individual players on the 2016 Syracuse football team. This week, we’re profiling running back Jordan Fredericks.
One of the biggest position competitions Syracuse will have over the summer is the battle for the starting running back spot.
Among the candidates vying for the position include Dontae Strickland, George Morris, Moe Neal and 2015’s incumbent, sophomore Jordan Fredericks.
Fredericks was taking first-team reps to start spring ball, but an injury sidelined him and Strickland filled the spot. That has not disheartened Fredericks.
“Competing is great. We all push each other,” Fredericks said. “Whoever starts at the end of the day, when the season starts, it’s best for the team.”
Besides, there is a long way to go before the Orange kicks off its season in September.
“You can’t win a job in spring,” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said. “I think with the physical contact work we have coming up will be the deciding factor for the first and second team guy.”
For right now, Fredericks is looking to keep his weight under control.
As a freshman, he came into spring ball at around 225 pounds. He looked more trimmed down in the spring game, saying he was at 210 pounds, with the goal of 200 in mind.
The main advantage to dropping weight will be endurance, Fredericks said. In the spring game, he carried nine times for 33 yards.
“Every year you have to compete. New freshmen coming in. Kids transferring over,” he said. “Not every year, you’re going to have that starting spot. You just have to keep working at it.”
Regardless of who starts, there will be plenty of opportunities in Babers’ offense, which has been known to produce a healthy amount of scoring.
“It motivates a lot of people,” Fredericks said. “You never know who’s going to get the ball at any second. We have a bunch of play-makers.”
Inside slant: Regardless of who starts, Fredericks will have a chance to gain yards in Babers new offense. That was evident in the spring game, when four different running backs, including Fredericks, got opportunities to play.
- Birthdate: March 1997
- Hometown: Inwood, NY
- High School: Lawrence
- Position: Running Back
- Class: Sophomore
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 208 lbs
Career highlights: Fredericks was one of 15 true freshmen to log time for the Orange last season. He appeared in all of SU’s games, and started the final seven games of the season. He was named a 2015 College Football News and CampusInsiders.com Honorable Mention Freshman All-American, finishing with 607 yards on 107 carries and had four touchdowns.
Jim Stechschulte and Nick Salamone contributed to this report.