Syracuse has had their share of injuries and absences this season, but one talented player was available for the first time this season against Wake Forest. True freshman wide receiver Damien Alford went through pre game warmups in full pads and is active against the Demon Deacons. It is not know if his absence in the first six games was related to injury, eligibility, or simply getting ready enough to contribute.
Alford was a big recruiting win for Syracuse in the 2020 cycle. Alford, a 6-foot-5 physical specimen has all of the measurables of a potentially dangerous weapon in the Orange offense. He has length, size and athleticism combined with straight line speed.
Alford picked Syracuse over offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Miami, NC State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Rutgers, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington State, West Virginia and many others. Alford starred at McArthur High School during the 2019 season, but is originally from Canada and played there prior to his time at McArthur.
"The players made me feel like I was at home," Alford said after he committed. "The ambiance of the campus. I went and visited the major I want to do. Everything just felt right in the moment. I definitely came to the conclusion that I wanted to make my decision right there and then."
Syracuse has received several key contributions from true freshman so far this season. Sean Tucker has been a breakout star at running back. Rob Hanna, Ja'Had Carter and Aman Greenwood have all filled in at safety and made some plays. There have been more as well, including Stefon Thompson, Josh Ilaoa and others.
Tucker, along with safety Trill Williams, was inactive.