Flemming finally gets best, last chance as Syracuse receiver

first_img Published on September 9, 2014 at 12:06 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Adrian Flemming is used to waiting his turn.As a starter for Broad Run (Virginia) High School, Flemming was a prized wide receiver on a team that hardly utilized him. The Spartans had a run-first offense, rushing for more than 3,000 yards per season.“For a kid to have his power and his ability and be so happy just blocking and waiting his turn and never asking for the ball,” said Michael Burnett, his high school coach, “he’s just one of those special, selfless kids.”Five years later, Flemming’s turn has finally come. After two years of riding the bench for Syracuse and two more recovering from season-ending injuries, Flemming has come into the 2014 season atop the wide receivers on the depth chart. The past two years helped Flemming improve as a leader off the field. Now, for the first time in his Syracuse career, he’s getting a chance to show what he can do on it.Flemming entered last year with the same starting aspirations that he has now. In his first game against Penn State, he had two catches for 18 yards. But after making a catch in practice the following week, he came down hard on his right foot, and the optimism of a breakout senior season was dashed by a fractured metatarsal.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s definitely been a struggle for me. Ups and downs,” Flemming said. “I’m always looking ahead to the future, I’m trying to have a better future.”The downs have outweighed the ups for Flemming throughout his college football career. But up until his injury last year, there was always a guarantee of more football. After he fractured his jaw during his sophomore year of high school — an injury that needed an emergency trip to the hospital and required him to wear a metal plate — he knew there was more football.After a high ankle sprain cut his junior season short after five games, he knew he’d come back.But following his foot injury in 2013, Flemming didn’t know if he’d even get a medical redshirt for the 2013 season. And when he finally did in February, he had to decide if it was worth it to keep playing. A degree would be waiting for him in May regardless. He had to decide whether his long, yet unfortunate college football career would have one more season in it.“It was an opportunity,” said Sarah Gautier, his mom, of Flemming coming back for a fifth year. “And he talked to me about it and he said, ‘Mom, they offered me a spot to come back.’ We were just very excited.”But the process to making that last year a reality was a long one. He had surgery the week after the injury and was completely immobile for the month following it. By the time his team was taking the field in the Texas Bowl, he had only just begun running. Every day this summer, fellow wide receiver Ashton Broyld said he remembered always seeing Flemming getting worked on in the trainers room.His main focus was being able to last in his second chance at a senior season.Now that he’s been through his injuries, Flemming said they have forced him to take better care of his body, putting his position as a leader on the team in perspective.When other players were injured, Gautier said, Flemming would take them aside and give them pep talks. When the team would lose, he’d take responsibility of keeping the team upbeat.“When the team would lose the game, he would be like, ‘We can go back and get this done,’” Gautier said. “‘It’s just a game, we lost it, let’s keep going.’ He’s that go-getter, we can do it, we can do it.”In his first game back against Villanova on Aug. 29, Flemming made a jumping 12-yard catch on a 3rd-and-11 during the third quarter from Austin Wilson.It was his first catch in more than a year and the emotions that came with it were well overdue.“It’s a good feeling,” Flemming said. “I feel like I should have been that guy last year. But things happen.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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