Football

Shafer says Gulley will return next season as 5th-year senior

Prince-Tyson Gulley has been listed as a senior on Syracuse’s roster all season long, but will not be honored as a part of the Orange’s Senior Day festivities Saturday against Boston College. Head coach Scott Shafer said during his press conference Tuesday that the running back was granted an extra year before the season began and will return next season as a fifth-year senior.

“He didn’t want to walk because in his mind, ‘I’m still here. I’m still an underclassman,’” Shafer said.

Gulley hasn’t played since reinjuring his ankle during SU’s blowout loss to No. 2 Florida State on Nov. 16. The running back is Syracuse’s second leading rusher with 440 yards on 79 carries. His 5.6 yards per carry also rank second on the team and his 14 catches and 51 receiving yards lead all SU running backs.

Gulley’s extra season comes because of a medical hardship waiver granted after playing just four games in 2011, The Post-Standard reported.

Juniors Jerome Smith, the Orange’s starting running back and leading rusher, Sean Hickey, Syracuse’s starting left tackle, and Jarrod West, SU’s No. 1 receiver, will be honored during Senior Day. Smith and Hickey are both considered NFL Draft prospects.

Shafer said the honoring has nothing to do with their future status at Syracuse. None have decided whether they will declare for the draft

“They consider it almost ‘graduation,’” Shafer said. The fourth-year juniors came to Shafer and asked, “Can we walk with the guys we came in with?”

Shafer said he talked with some of the potential draftees about declaring before the season and then again during the Orange’s bye week. He’ll talk to his players once again after the season ends.

“There’s a lot of people out there that always try to meddle,” Shafer said, “so I said, ‘OK, let’s finish this season right, control, focus on what we’re doing right now.’

“We’ll talk about it once the season’s over.”

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