The Next Level: Lemon a bright spot for Syracuse

The Next Level is a weekly Recruiting Report feature that focuses on natives of Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County who appear on NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision rosters. Chris Eckard, a senior at the University of Maryland and Baltimore Sun sports department intern, is your author.

In a similar fashion to last week's Next Level Player of the Week, Syracuse junior wide receiver Alec Lemon (Arundel) made an impact not only as a play-making pass-catcher, but also a southpaw trick play quarterback.


Playing on the other side of the country against USC, Lemon hauled in seven catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. But the Trojans quickly built up a sizable lead, which cued a trick play by the Orange in the third quarter. Lemon threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Van Chew to bring the game within two touchdowns. USC went on to win, though, 38-17.

Lemon, a 6-foot-2 junior, has become a reliable target in the Orange's offense this season, leading the team with 24 receptions. He is second on the team with 218 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns. For his efforts against USC, Lemon is your Next Level Player of the Week.Honorable Mention

• West Virginia junior wide receiver Tavon Austin (Dunbar) torched the Terps for 122 yards on 11 receptions, including a 47-yard catch, as the Mountaineers won 37-31. He also returned six kickoffs for 121 total yards.

Defensively for West Virginia, cornerback Terence Garvin (Loyola) returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Terps. The score gave the Mountaineers an early 14-3 lead. He also had five solo tackles (nine total).

Maryland junior safety Eric Franklin (Archbishop Curley) led the team with 15 total tackles, including 10 solo stops against West Virginia. Terps sophomore safety Matt Robinson (Atholton) finished with 11 solo tackles and two pass breakups, junior defensive end David Mackall (Edmondson) had two solo tackles, including a sack and a forced fumble, and junior defensive tackle A.J. Francis (Severn native, Gonzaga grad) recorded one solo tackle.

• North Carolina senior linebacker Zach Brown (Wilde Lake) led the team with seven solo tackles (12 total) and forced a fumble in the Tar Heels' 28-17 win against Virginia. Cavaliers freshman wide receiver Darius Jennings (Gilman) had a reception for 15 yards.

Other contributions

• Colorado State sophomore linebacker Shaquil Barrett had six solo tackles (seven total) in the Rams' 28-14 loss to Colorado.

• Connecticut junior safety Jerome Junior (Archbishop Curley) had three solo tackles (six total) and a pass breakup in the Huskies' 24-20 loss to Iowa State.

• Michigan freshmen cornerback Blake Countess (Owings Mills native, Good Counsel grad) and safety Josh Furman (Old Mill) each recorded a solo tackle in the Wolverines' 31-3 win against Eastern Michigan.

• Ole Miss senior defensive end Wayne Dorsey (Southeastern) recorded a sack and forced a fumble in the first quarter in the Rebels' 30-7 loss to Vanderbilt. He finished with four solo tackles (five total).

• San Jose State senior cornerback Brandon Driver (Parkville) had a solo tackle (three total) and a pass breakup in the Spartans' 17-14 loss to Nevada.

• Temple senior offensive lineman Pat Boyle (Calvert Hall) had a solo tackle, junior running back Matt Brown (Baltimore native who graduated from New Jersey's Peddie School) had 11 rushing yards on two carries and senior quarterback Chester Stewart (Hanover native, DeMatha grad) went 3-for-6 for 28 yards in the Owls' 14-10 loss to Penn State.

• UNLV freshmen defensive back Mike Horsey (Dunbar) had two solo tackles in the Rebels' 40-20 win against Hawaii.


• Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller (Mount St. Joseph) had four solo tackles (five total), 1.5 sacks and a punt return for nine yards in the No. 13 Hokies' 26-7 win against Arkansas State. Red Wolves senior cornerback Darron Edwards (Dunbar) had five tackles (six total) and an interception.

• Wake Forest junior linebacker Joey Ehrmann (Gilman) had a solo tackle in the Demon Deacons' 48-5 win against Gardner-Webb.

Getty photo of Alec Lemon by Stephen Dunn / Sept. 17, 2011