It remains to be seen what Syracuse football will look like on the field in 2022, as the Orange attempts to navigate a potentially brutal schedule and land in a post-season bowl game in a few months’ time.
But on paper anyway, this 2022 roster for the ‘Cuse boasts a ton of star power, illustrated by all of the national pre-season honors that various Syracuse football players have received in recent days and in recent weeks.
Of course, all of these pre-season awards don’t mean squat if the Orange has another sub-par stanza in 2022. But still, I find these honors encouraging, coupled with the recent sprinkles of optimism that have gone in the team’s direction lately from some national pundits.
SU Athletics has put out a handful of press releases that highlight these national pre-season accolades given to Syracuse football players ahead of the 2022 term. Let’s review them.
A Syracuse football placekicker is looking to regain his magic from 2018.
Per cuse.com, Orange placekicker Andre Szmyt is on the 2022 pre-season watch list for the Lou Groza Award, which every year honors the best placekicker across the country.
Szmyt, the most accurate placekicker in Syracuse football history, won this award back in 2018. He didn’t have a great 2021 campaign, and it’s imperative that he along with the rest of the ‘Cuse special teams’ unit are excellent in 2022, if the Orange wants to realistically capture at least six triumphs this coming season and qualify for a bowl game.
Earlier this week, Syracuse football star linebacker and 2022 All-American candidate Mikel Jones found his name on two national pre-season watch lists.
Jones, who was on the All-ACC first team last year, is on the pre-season watch lists for the 2022 Bronco Nagurski Trophy and the 2022 Butkus Award.
The Bronco Nagurski Trophy is doled out annually to the most outstanding defensive player in college football, while the Butkus Award honors the nation’s premier linebacker every season.
Jones leads terrific a ‘Cuse line-backing group that I believe is underrated on a national scale and will be a centerpiece of the Syracuse football defense, along with the squad’s secondary.
That brings us to Orange record-setting running back Sean Tucker, who was an All-American in 2021 and is poised for another sensational stanza in 2022.
Tucker, who shattered the single-season rushing mark on the Hill a term ago when he collected nearly 1,500 yards on the ground, is on the pre-season watch lists for the 2022 Maxwell Award and the 2022 Doak Walker Award.
The Maxwell Award honors the top all-around player in the sport every year, while the annual Doak Walker Award goes out to the best running back in college football.
SU Athletics, earlier this week, said that it had launched a Heisman Trophy campaign for Tucker, which pleases me a ton.
Also, not too long ago, cuse.com noted that Syracuse football long-snapper Aaron Bolinsky is a nominee for the 2022 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Founded in 1992, this team recognizes college football players who excel in the classroom and participate in charitable efforts in their communities.
Additionally, keep an eye out for Orange defensive backs Garrett Williams and Duce Chestnut, as both have significant potential to earn All-ACC and even All-America honors during the upcoming campaign.