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 Omari Palmer.
Syracuse offensive lineman Omari Palmer didn’t try to hide from the truth. This was one of the hardest offseasons he’s ever had.
Palmer, a redshirt senior, has played mostly under the same kind of blocking system during his time at Syracuse. But when new head coach Dino Babers arrived, he implemented a system that keeps things moving at a breakneck pace.
That’s fine for skill players, who are used to constant movement and sprinting, but for the big boys on the offensive line? That’s an entirely different story.
“This offseason has been tough, especially for me,” Palmer said during Syracuse’s football media day. “I’m not the most conditioned person, and I’m not the greatest runner or sprinter.”
The offseason is a 10 week program, and coaches consistently harped on conditioning and nutrition. The first three weeks were daunting for Palmer, but like any challenge Palmer has faced, he adjusted.
“As the offseason progressed, I got better with it,” Palmer said. “It got easier and I got more comfortable with the sprints.”
Other adjustments have included the amount of time Palmer will required to block during any given play.
“It’s a lot different with the passes and the run,” Palmer said. “You’re going to be one someone quick, and off quick, which means you have to be running quick. This is a speedy offense.”
But a speedy offense will only go as far as its offensive line takes it.
“As a unit, we got better and we’ve improved,” Palmer said. “We might be seen as a weak part of the team, I feel that as the season goes on, we will be one of the strengths.”
Inside slant: Palmer made the move from tackle to right guard in the offseason because Syracuse lost three starters on the O-line. He was around 330 pounds last year, but is now listed on the Syracuse athletics site as down to 315, and may even be closer to 310.
- Birthdate: May 1994
- Hometown: Coram, NY
- High School: Longwood
- Position: Offensive lineman
- Class: Redshirt senior
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 315 lbs
Career highlights: As a redshirt junior Palmer started all 12 games at right tackle. On Nov. 21 against NC State, Palmer notched eight knockdown blocks, the highest single-game total for any SU offensive lineman in 2015.
Jim Stechschulte and Kicia Sears contributed to this report.