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 offensive lineman Jason Emerich.
One of the first things that head coach Dino Babers did when he arrived at Syracuse was change the nutritional patterns of his team.
Babers removed the soda machine from the team facility and has emphasized hydration, and has also cut out simple carbohydrates from menus.
“I’ve never been a huge soda guy. I know it’s nice to have it not around the building at all so there’s no temptations,” offensive lineman Jason Emerich said. “[The coaches have] done a great job at building our plan nutrition-wise to focus for the offense and for the whole team.”
The Orange will need every advantage it can get to run Babers up-tempo, no-huddle offense. Fitness has been at the core of his philosophy.
“They’re getting us in shape the way we need to be,” Emerich said. “Pushing on and doing everything they’re asking us to do.”
Emerich is in a unique position as an elder statesmen on the Orange. The fifth-year senior was recruited by Doug Marrone’s coaching staff, and played during all three years of the Scott Shafer era.
Babers makes the third coach that Emerich has played college football under.
So far, Emerich has liked what he’s seen.
“The coaches have high expectations of us. We have high expectations of ourselves,” Emerich said. “We want to go out there, have a great year. We want to be the best offensive line that we can be.”
Inside slant: Emerich was one of SU’s best offensive linemen last season, recording five knockdown blocks and earning the highest grade of any Orange lineman in Syracuse’s loss to No. 8 LSU. He’ll once again play a huge role on this year’s team.
- Birthdate: March 1994
- Hometown: New Ringgold, Pa.
- High School: Blue Mountain
- Position: Offensive lineman
- Class: Redshirt Senior
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 293 lbs
Career highlights: Emerich was named to the 2016 Rimington Trophy Watch List, for the nation’s top center. In his career, he’s played 26 games, making 12 starts. Emerich was part of the offensive line that helped carve up Clemson’s defense in 2015, paving the way for 242 rushing yards, the most allowed by the Tigers in 2015.
Jim Stechschulte and Nick Salamone contributed to this report.