Syracuse football stars contending for big national awards at LB, receiver

Syracuse football (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images) /

Syracuse football, as it heads to long-time rival Pittsburgh this Saturday afternoon, sits at 6-2 overall and is ranked No. 22 in both major top-25 polls.

What’s more, when the first College Football Playoff ratings came out on Tuesday night, the Orange checked in at No. 20 overall, which is great.

Naturally, ‘Cuse fans are hoping that the team can break out of its two-contest losing streak when Syracuse football battles the Panthers on the road.

This week, two Orange stars who are having stand-out 2022 seasons found out they are in the running for the top national honor at their respective positions.

Let’s give some love to Syracuse football LB Mikel Jones and receiver Oronde Gadsden II.

Per SU Athletics, linebacker and defensive captain Mikel Jones is a semifinalist for the 2022 Dick Butkus Award, which honors the top linebacker across the country this season.

According to, 15 players are semifinalists, and the finalists for this honor will be unveiled on November 21.

Separately, according to SU Athletics, Oronde Gadsden II has been named to the watch list for the 2022 Biletnikoff Award, which will recognize the best FBS receiver regardless of his official position.

The semifinalists for this term’s Biletnikoff Award will get disclosed on November 21.

It remains to be seen whether either of these Syracuse football stars will capture the Dick Butkus or Biletnikoff award, however, the fact that Jones and Gadsden are in the running for these honors is a testament to what they’re both doing on the field for the Orange.

To date in the 2022 stanza, Jones paces the ‘Cuse Mob defense with 69 total tackles. He also has three sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Per Atlantic Coast Conference statistics, Jones is No. 6 in the league in total tackles per game. According to NCAA stats, on a national scale, he is tied for No. 35 in solo tackles per contest, and Jones is tied for No. 44 (#OnBrand) in total tackles per encounter.

Gadsden, meanwhile, has emerged as the Orange’s most lethal threat in the passing attack throughout the current campaign. At this juncture, he has caught 41 passes for 671 yards and six touchdowns.

According to, Gadsden has three 100-yard receiving games, which SU Athletics says is the most in the ACC in 2022.

He is averaging 83.9 receiving yards per game, which is No. 3 in the conference. What’s more, as far as total receiving yards go, Gadsden is within the top 30 around the country.

A huge congratulations from Orange Nation to Oronde Gadsden II and Mikel Jones.

Next. Unless Syracuse football reverses course, Pitt’s run game will punish SU. dark