The Syracuse Orange are heading into the ACC in 2013 and new head coach Scott Shafer has plenty of work to do before they’re ready to open the season next fall. While he shuffles through his many options under center, likely waiting until well into fall camp before deciding on a signal caller for next season, Shafer will have to have a steady presence at receiver to help ease the transition at quarterback. Senior wide receiver Jarrod West can be that man for the Orange in 2013.
West is the prime candidate to step up as the No. 1 receiver in 2013. He is the leading returning pass catcher this season after finishing third on the team in 2012 with 43 receptions for 588 yards and two touchdowns. He’ll be looked to heavily early and often next season as the Orange try and replace the lost production of Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales who led the team in receiving their senior years with 137 catches and 15 touchdowns combined.
His role takes on even greater significance when we take a look at the rest of the receiving corps. As of now, the depth chart at receiver is completely up in the air with heated battles for playing time taking place all over the place. Shafer has been very high on Ashton Broyld, who returns after catching seven passes for 53 yards during his freshman season, but the sophomore has missed the majority of the spring with an injury. It remains to be seen if he can improve in his second year on campus without the benefit of reps during the spring.
Elsewhere, former Arkansas Razorbacks transfer Quinta Funderburk was expected to step in and immediately become a featured part of the offense, but he has fallen off during the spring. Flashes of good play have come in between stretches of inconsistency which has landed him in Shafer’s dog house heading into the summer. During Syracuse’s spring game, Funderburk failed to get a single target the entire day. He will have plenty to prove during fall camp if he hopes to find his place in the offense next season.
With the quarterback situation still in flux and the receiving depth chart up in the air, it will be pivotal for Syracuse to have someone on the outside that they can rely on to go up and make a play in the passing game. Is Jarrod West the man for the job?