When the pre-training camp depth chart came out, offensive lineman Rob Trudo was in a surprising position. That is, he was listed as a backup. Since its release, head coach Scott Shafer has downplayed any significance that the depth chart may have at this point. Trudo has a similar thought process.
”I didn’t think too much of it,” Trudo said. “It’s camp and there’s a long time before August 29th. A lot of time to get back out there and get with the ones. I’m still focusing on football. The depth chart is just a distraction in that sense.”
During the offseason, the offensive line has worked diligently to develop their technique as well as develop physically. Trudo is more than pleased with the results.
”I think the way we got after it and developing our physical abilities, getting faster and bigger and stronger, I think that has been the best since I’ve been here,” he said. “We always made strides in the spring and the summer, but I think we’ve made the most strides this year.”
Specifically for Trudo, there has been one area of focus in order to get ready for the physical demands of the college football season.
”I’ve been trying to work on gaining weight,” Trudo said. “I played the last two seasons a little underweight. I’m up to between 295 and 300 right now. I’m feeling good and moving good. Just working on snapping, working on left guard and right guard. Just doing whatever I need to do and being ready to play anywhere on the offensive line.”
With the improvement along the entire offensive line combined with his development and increased size, Trudo has high expectations for the unit as a whole. That despite losing center Macky MacPherson to graduation.
”I expect us to dominate,” Trudo said. “Go out here in the ACC and dominate. Just play physical and be physical with our opponents. Line up, run the ball a bunch. We should be able to run the ball against every team we line up against this year. Give Terrel some time so he can make plays and we can win games.”
Syracuse had one of the faster-paced offenses in the country last season. This year, the goal is to ramp up the speed to another level. According to Trudo, that will help the line.
”Sometimes you get defenses off guard,” he said. “Then you can just smash people and put them on their back even better. The faster we go the better it is for us. We’re in shape for it. We trained all summer for a fast offense. I don’t think it’s a big deal for us. It’s too our advantage, definitely.”
The 2014 football schedule features several marquee matchups. One of those is a home clash with defending national champion Florida State. The Seminoles crushed the Orange last season, which is an experience they can draw on when they come to town in October.
”We got a taste for how good ACC teams can actually be,” Trudo said. “Florida State was a good team. Now that we have the taste, we know what it takes to end up beating a team like that. Knowing what it takes and doing what it takes, it’s just a matter of doing it. Once we get Florida State on the schedule, I think it’ll be a good week for us. We all know what it takes.”