Anthony Queeley is Making the Most of his Opportunities
Syracuse, NY — Last weekend’s 47-21 loss to Clemson was a statement loss, if there is such a thing. But it was more than just standing toe-to-toe with the number one team in the country for three quarters. Statements were made before a single Orange player set foot in Death Valley. Specifically, one of the strongest statements made pertained to a player that never even made the trip.
Starting junior wide receiver Taj Harris, who led the ACC in receiving going into Saturday, was left behind because of an obscene gesture he was seen making on the sideline during Syracuse’s 38-21 loss to Liberty. Syracuse head coach Dino Babers declined sharing details surrounding the decision, but admitted it was a tough one to make.
“That stuff is always in house because that's family business,” Babers said during his postgame press conference.
“And, you know, I love that young man and I want nothing but the best for him... That stuff's internal. I can't wait to get back to talk to him, and hopefully everything's going to be okay and he's going to be with us for many more battles to come.”
Redshirt sophomore Anthony Queeley, who stepped in as the primary passing target for the Orange against Clemson, expressed a similar familial attachment to Harris.
“Of course, you want everybody to play,” Queeley said to the media on Tuesday. “That's my brother. We always play together. But like I said, it's the next man up. That's what we need.”
Queeley did step up, making a statement for why he should be a bigger part of this Orange passing attack. Queeley’s second straight game recording five receptions was good enough to lead all Orange receivers in that category. His 58-receiving yards trailed only Nykeim Johnson’s 83, which came all on one play.
You don’t need to look at the stats to know that Queeley is getting more and more comfortable as he goes along. That comfort has lent itself to a prospering working relationship with QB Rex Culpepper, who’s connected with Queeley ten times over the past two games. Queeley’s becoming one of the Orange’s more dependable playmakers on offense, a development he says has been a long time coming.
“It felt great,” Queeley said of his increased role. “I’ve been working for a long time now. The coaches prep us like we're the starter, we're the number one receiver. I felt very comfortable in that position and I felt comfortable enough to add to the team, to help the team out to possibly get a win.”
As is, Queeley is ready to be a number one wide receiver. But what’s probably the most exciting thing about this young player is that he’s never satisfied. He isn’t content with one statement performance. He simply wants to keep working.
“We can't keep dwelling on the fact that, yes, we competed against the number one team in the country. But the outcome wasn't what we wanted. We don't want to be stagnant. We want to keep progressing.”