February 3, 2011

Smallwood looking to carry on tradition

The running back spot at Syracuse is easily the most reputable and highly decorated position in program history.

Delone Carter, the latest running back to cap off an excellent tenure with the Orange, concluded his run at SU with a career-high 198 yards rushing in the Pinstripe Bowl.

But with Carter's departure, the Orange loses the program's third-leading all-time rusher. As a result, SU head coach Doug Marrone knew he would need to recruit another running back that would be able to contribute to an offense that loves to run the football.

Tyree Smallwood of Cornwall Central is one of the newest members of the Orange who signed on Wednesday morning. Standing at 5'11'' and weighing 170 lbs., Smallwood is a speedster.

"For people that never seen me play, I'm the type of player that looks for touchdowns every time I touch the ball," he said. "I consider myself a serious player because when I'm out on the field playing, I stay focused and determined. My strengths are my determination to play my best at all times."

Smallwood will need to continue to add to his physical build, but he said that will be his focus from now until the start of summer practices.

"My goals is to gain a little more weight, build more strength and increase my speed so I'll be ready the first day I step on the field," he said. "I feel that I can play right away. I will work hard and dedicate my time to improving my skills in order to be an asset to the team."

Smallwood will definitely get an opportunity to earn playing time during summer practices as the Orange lack depth at the running back position. Antwon Bailey is back, as is Prince Tyson-Gulley, but that is about it in the backfield.

The Cornwall Central product rushed for 1,549 yards and had 27 all-purpose touchdowns as a junior. And although his stats dipped a bit in 2010 (962 yards and 10 touchdowns), he said his recruiting experience was a memorable one.

"The recruiting process was a once in a lifetime experience," Smallwood said. "I loved every minute of it, and I'm glad its over because now its all about football again.

"I chose Syracuse because I loved the hospitality I received while I was there visiting," he added. "The most appealing thing to me as a student-athlete are the coaches. I love the direction the program is going in, and it is only going to get better."

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