Nov 23, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Syracuse Orange offensive tackle Justin Pugh (67) during the fourth quarter against the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. Syracuse defeated Temple 38-20. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse Loses Offensive Lineman Justin Pugh To NFL Draft

The Syracuse Orange could be losing head coach Doug Marrone to the NFL, but if he decides to return he will be without standout offensive tackle Justin Pugh.

Pugh announced his decision to enter the 2013 NFL Draft. Pugh had a late start to his season after a shoulder injury kept him out of action early, but he was able to rally and put himself in position to make the jump to the next level.

“Coach Marrone and Coach Adkins have been great throughout my career, including through this process,” Pugh said. “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.”

When talent evaluators are looking at Pugh’s potential in the NFL, they will go to Marrone for some answers. If the statement that Marrone released following Pugh’s departure is any indication, they will hear some good things about the offensive tackle prospect.

“Justin is a big part of this program turning the corner,” said Marrone. “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.”

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