FB : Team holds practice in Rochester Saturday

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 28, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img ROCHESTER, N.Y. — For Doug Marrone and the Syracuse football program, Saturday’s practice and scrimmage were more of the same. But in reality, beyond the humdrum repetition of the two hours in full pads spent at Sahlen’s Stadium, the bus trip 90 minutes west to Rochester served up a different practice environment.Due to the attendance of Rochester’s two most talked-about current high school football players — one an embattled 2011 Syracuse signee and one a lauded 6-foot-7, 290-pound, baby-faced 2012 SU target — the significant news of the day strayed from SU’s progression on the field and into the stands.On Saturday afternoon, the city of Rochester was supposed to reunite with Syracuse by way of the traveling scrimmage. It was SU’s first practice outside of campus in as long as any SU athletics representative could recall. But Ashton Broyld and Jarron Jones became the news amid an underwhelming turnout. In 24-degree temperatures with winds whipping through the stadium, no more than a few hundred people filtered into the stands to see the Orange practice.Still, SU’s head coach Marrone promised to return to the neighboring city and preached the importance of SU’s relationship with Rochester.‘I think it is important for us to reach out to this (Rochester) community and say, ‘Hey, there might have been a little bit of a disassociation, but we are doing our part and we are going to come here as much as we can,” Marrone said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut while braving the frigid temperature post-practice with a seven-minute-long session with the media, Marrone spoke about Broyld for all of 20 seconds. Standing just yards from a smiling Jones — who, per NCAA rules regarding unsigned high school players, coaches are not allowed to comment on — Marrone addressed Broyld’s status with the SU football program.Marrone, a head coach who has taken a hard stance with regard to discipline in his two seasons at Syracuse, hinted that Broyld will be a part of SU. He said that despite a March 9 incident in which Broyld made inappropriate gestures to a crowd after a high school basketball game at Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena.Marrone said he talked to Broyld, and he spoke of Broyld on Saturday as if he were just another one of SU’s 27 signees in 2011.‘I’ve talked to Ashton,’ Marrone said. ‘I’ve talked to the family, people at the school. We are well aware of the situation. It is a private matter. We expect Ashton, as well as the rest of our signees, who have work ahead of them to do. But we expect all of them to be a part of Syracuse University in the summer.’Broyld exhibited behavior that his high school, Rush-Henrietta, described in a statement as ‘completely unacceptable.’Broyld apologized for his actions two weeks ago through his own statement.‘I know I violated our district’s code of conduct,’ Broyld said in the statement. ‘I value the importance of sportsmanship and the good that comes from being a student-athlete.’The athletic 6-foot-4, 225-pound quarterback was named the New York State Class AA Player of the Year after leading Rush-Henrietta to a 13-0 record and the state Class AA Championship in the Carrier Dome.Along with his family, Jones soaked in all that Syracuse’s excursion to Rochester had to offer. After the 86-play, 55-minute scrimmage, Jones strolled alongside the Syracuse contingent at the stadium, which is only five minutes from his house. Jones, who is rated a three-star defensive tackle recruit by Scout.com, is regarded as a talent with upside, evidenced by his scholarship offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame and Penn State.Syracuse has offered Jones as well. And Saturday, a smiling Jones said the Orange is in his ‘top five.’Among his family, Jones’ would-be defensive coordinator — SU’s Scott Shafer — sprinted up to Jones while he was on the Sahlen’s Stadium field. Shafer introduced himself to Jones for the first time with a handshake.It came after another run-of-the-mill SU practice, during which Shafer’s defensive unit outperformed the offense. The defense muzzled SU’s returning starting quarterback, Ryan Nassib, forcing him into poor pass after poor pass Saturday.‘(We) definitely got some stuff to pick up on,’ Nassib said.The drive west to Rochester aboard three buses did little to shake the cobwebs off of a traditional slow start to spring ball for the more than 70 SU players in attendance.Saturday’s scrimmage was just the third practice in pads for the Orange. Nothing groundbreaking came close to occurring. Nobody was injured. The turnover and unforced error situations weren’t bad, as Marrone said. Position battles, the likes of which are occurring at linebacker and backup running back for the Orange, simply couldn’t be analyzed ‘overall’ by the third-year head coach.Practice was practice. But what surrounded it — Rochester — provided a flurry of news.‘It’s always the same,’ Marrone said. ‘You sit here as a coach — especially the head coach — you see things they do well on defense, on offense. I think the players, you got to get used to playing with each other.’[email protected]last_img

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