From press releases -- SYRACUSE, N.Y.- While the Syracuse football team officially began preseason camp today, to head Doug Marrone and the rest of the team, the 2012 season began seven months ago in January.
"A lot of people come back and say, here we go, and we're starting today," said Coach Marrone. "We haven't started. We started this in January. I started this right after the last game. That's when we started. We're transitioning back in as coaches. Right now our players are transitioning into more football related activities to become better football players."
Preseason camp began this morning, with the team reporting to campus for meetings. SU football media day was also held where Coach Marrone along with the rest of the coaching staff and various student-athletes previewed the 2012 season. The first practice of camp will be held on Monday.
"Last year was last year for us," commented junior center Macky MacPherson. "We started the new season in January, so our 2012 season started seven months ago. As Coach Marrone says, we have a three foot goal and it's to get through camp right now and then we focus on Northwestern after that."
The 2012 roster features 102 players, including 12 returning starters. Returning for the Syracuse offense is a strong offensive line including MacPherson, senior offensive guard Zack Chibane, and senior offensive tackle and2011 All-BIG EAST First Team selection, Justin Pugh. The record-setting tandem of three-year quarterback veteran Ryan Nassib and senior wide-receiver Alec Lemon are back as well for the Orange.
The Orange defense has a total of seven returning starters including senior safety Shamarko Thomas, junior defensive tackle Jay Bromley, sophomore linebacker Dyshawn Davis, redshirt senior defensive tackle, Deon Goggins, junior cornerback Keon Lyn, and linebackers Marquis Spruill and Dan Vaughan.
Kicker Ross Krautman is back after another standout season along with punter Jonathan Fisher.
"Our goal is to focus on our players and to become a better football team during camp. I understand that we have a lot of hard work. I'm excited to get on the practice field on Monday, " said Coach Marrone.
Following the first week of camp, the team travels up to Fort Drum on Monday Aug. 13th. Syracuse will hold preseason camp at the 10th Mountain Division's facilities for the week to advance as a football team and strengthen team bonds.
"For us, what we wanted to do was to take our focus and change the environment a little for our players and go up there, have them help us become a better football team," commented Coach Marrone. "Our reason for going up there is to become a better football team. We are looking to get some of the discipline, some of the practical leadership principles, and we look forward to what the soldiers and the administration up at Fort Drum have to offer. "
The 2012 regular season kicks off at home Saturday, Sept. 1 against Northwestern (noon, ESPN2). Season and individual game tickets are available online, in person at the Carrier Dome Box Office (Gate B), or by calling 1-888-DOMETIX.
The Orange also host USC in the New York College Classic at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 8th. Visit nycollegeclassic.com to purchase tickets and travel packages.