Syracuse will ask Ervin Philips to do a lot this year, but the main thing the Orange want is for the 5-11, 179-pounder to make plays.

Philips, a sophomore who is listed as a running back, will get a chance to play a lot of roles in the Orange's new offense this year as he will be featured in the backfield, the slot or as a wing.

Philips likened his hybrid role to former West Virginia star Tavon Austin's when he starred for the Mountaineers.

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"Tavon is one of my favorite players," Philips told "I feel like that's kind of the role I'll be playing. I'm going to be all over the place."

Syracuse wide receiver Steve Ishmael said Philips, who runs a 4.3 40-yard dash, has plenty of play-making potential.

"He's really athletic, can run and catch the ball. He's a dual-threat athlete. He's fast, gets into holes quick, has great routes," Ishmael told "He's going to be really important, especially at the fact the linebackers can't really hang with guys like that, especially with his quick-twitch ability."

Last season Philips rushed for 194 yards on 45 attempts and had zero receptions. However, he said this year he is looking forward to lining up as a receiver.

"I like getting out in the slot because we're creating a lot of mismatches with linebackers," Philips told "I like making linebackers look kind of foolish out of the slot."