first_imgAs the Syracuse players stormed the field before their home opener, Jarrod West kneeled in the eye of the hurricane.Right knee touching down on the ‘G’ of the ‘ORANGE’ in the end zone, West put his forehead in his hand. He spoke with his grandfather, Frank, who passed away Saturday morning.“I said a prayer in the end zone and I told him I’d meet him in the end zone,” West said.Two hours later, he did. West hauled in a 65-yard deep post from Terrel Hunt midway through the third quarter and upon breaking the plane of that same end zone, immediately dropped to a knee and prayed again.On a day when West said he had trouble getting out of bed in the morning, he not only caught that touchdown, but turned in a career performance in SU’s (1-2) 54-0 home opener win against Wagner (1-2) on Saturday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFive catches for 147 yards and a pair of third-down receptions on Syracuse’s first touchdown drive rounded out West’s breakout game.“My parents tried to keep it from me, but I found out and I was pretty hurt,” West said. “But it just gave me that extra oomph to play today.”Every weekend this summer, West drove from Syracuse to his home in Bethlehem, Pa. And every weekend he made sure to go visit his grandfather in nearby Nazareth.“I would always try to find an opportunity to go and visit him because he doesn’t get a lot of visitors,” West said. “I felt like it made his day when he got to see me and stuff.“He’d always wear his Syracuse hat.”When West arrived at training camp this summer as Syracuse’s No. 1 receiver, though, he struggled. Filling the void left by Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales was a tall task, and one that resulted in West catching just five passes for 60 yards during his first two games.But that all changed on Saturday. West caught short passes, crossing routes and the deep ball — and most importantly, he fulfilled his promise to his grandfather.“I was happy to see that he played well and overcame a difficult situation,” SU head coach Scott Shafer said. “Losing somebody he loves so much.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 14, 2013 at 10:16 pm Contact Stephen: [email protected] | @Stephen_Bailey1last_img

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