Syracuse has a lot of talent to replace on the offensive side of the ball. Joining Ryan Nassib, Alec Lemon, Marcus Sales and others is talented left tackle Justin Pugh. Pugh announced his intentions on twitter Thursday night.
"I have decided to forgo my last year of football at Syracuse University and pursue my dream of playing in the NFL," Pugh tweeted. "Thanks for all the support!"
“Coach Marrone and Coach Adkins have been great throughout my career, including through this process,” Pugh added in a Syracuse University release. “I wanted to be honest with everyone as I made this decision and they were the same with me. My Syracuse career was the best four years of my life. My teammates, coaches, the staff and the fans have been great. I would not change anything about my decision to attend Syracuse or my career. I am so happy I came to Syracuse University. I will always be active in the Orange football program and the Syracuse community. I love the Orange. Go ‘Cuse.”
“Justin is a big part of this program turning the corner,” said head coach Doug Marrone in the same release. “He came in with us four years ago and gave us everything he had. We are proud of him for earning his degree and for what he has accomplished on the field as a leader of this team. He has earned it. I believe he will be very successful at the next level and in everything he does outside of football. Justin will always be part of the Orange football family.”
It remains unclear how the Orange will replace the steady lineman. Sean Hickey could slide over to the left side, or a JUCO tackle could be move into the position.
Regardless, the Syracuse offense will look very different in 2013 as they look to build on the success of the 2012 record breaking season.