Syracuse Football: The LeQuint-essential side of SU’s 2023 running game

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

It seems to me that often when you discuss a predecessor to something successful, whether at Syracuse football or other ‘Cuse sports, people want to use that to compare and contrast. Much like those who thought 44 should be retired because nobody could compare to the greats who wore it.

When in actuality, I and many others never did that but simply enjoyed the tradition of passing it down and seeing it on the field.

And by that same logic, when I talk about my optimism in regard to the 2023 Syracuse football running game, I’m not comparing anyone to Sean Tucker. I loved Sean Tucker and even believed he should have been given the 44 jersey. I loved watching him play and will miss him immensely like I do many Syracuse players when they move on.

But in 2023, Sean Tucker is on the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster and it’s my opinion that those on the Syracuse roster will be just fine. I wish Sean well obviously and can do so while also saying I believe that the Orange current roster can be successful too.

I like the Syracuse football running back group in 2023.

Now having said that, there are three names I think could really make an impact at any given time. Is there one I think is the primary running back? Yes but I also think the other two are capable if called upon to help the team.

By the way, that’s no slight on Ike Daniels and the Escobar brothers (Mario & Joshua) who are also listed on the Cuse website/roster. At one time, Sean Tucker was low man on the depth roster too and maybe if they get a chance, could provide some depth or make plays on special teams. But as of this writing, the other three are the ones I think could be the depth this position needs and be very productive.

First, I’ll start with the most uncertain only because he’s a true freshman, Muwaffaq Parkman. I can’t explain why but I love Parkman and something about his character says he loves being here, a trait I often treasure. But he was also quite the high school player from Newark, NJ, graduating high school averaging 14 yards per carry. I believe he will have a successful career at Syracuse before it’s over.

Next up is New Mexico State transfer Juwaun Price. I don’t know a lot about Price except I did find a fun YouTube clip from his days at Peoria High School. And while 32 of his 39 rushing yards last season came in one game against Wagner, Juwaun also adds depth on special teams where, while at New Mexico State, he actually put up 398 yards on 20 kickoff attempts. Could we see more Juwaun on special teams or in the backfield in 2023? I think there’s a chance for sure.

And last but certainly not least at all, LeQuint Allen, who most likely will see the most significant action at running back in 2023. When Sean Tucker was out of the Pinstripe Bowl, LeQuint was the one who took the workload and made the most of it.

Allen finished that game with 94 yards rushing and 60 yards receiving and was definitely a bright spot in a losing effort. And some will view that bowl game in a negative way but I can tell you this Orange fan saw a lot of hungry young players like LeQuint who took advantage of the opportunity and showed Orange fans the future is in good hands against a quality Minnesota opponent.

LeQuint also took advantage of an opportunity earlier in the season against Wagner and rushed for 90 yards, which as writer Mike McAllister pointed out here was the first run of 90 yards in Syracuse football history since 1949.

LeQuint was the 2021 Gatorade New Jersey football player of the year. I’d also like to point out that his Pinstripe Bowl stats show more than just the yardage he finished with…it also showed he can be a dual threat to run and catch the ball out of the backfield giving Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader another option should the defense pressure or coverage won’t allow the play he wants.

In my mind, LeQuint is just as capable of being another successful running back in Syracuse history joining a long list of greats.

So while some of you maybe are pessimistic about the running game in 2023 without the amazing ability of Sean Tucker back there, Syracuse football will be just fine. Sean will be missed and I for one am grateful for his contributions to the program but it’s a new season and new names and new potential and I for one think it’s in great hands and I look forward to them taking advantage of the opportunity.

Next. Syracuse Football: Phil Steele doesn’t have a ton of optimism about ‘Cuse. dark