Helping fill the void at Syracuse tight end for the injured injured Oronde Gadsden is no easy task, but Dan Villari is looking to make the most of it.

“Whatever opportunity I get, just make the most of it," Villari said. “If it's two catches, three targets, one target, just make everything I can do with it. I really just emphasize this season being where my feet are. And if I'm at practice, I make it the best practice you can make it. If you're at walk walk-through, make it the best, walk-through class, pretty much everything. So I'm just being where my feet are.”

What You Need To Know

  • Dan Villari is looking to make an impact for Syracuse any way he can

  • Last spring, he transferred to Syracuse from Michigan with hopes of being the next QB of the Orange

  • But after bouncing around a few positions, Villari finds himself a tight end

Villari is focused on the task at hand this week as the Orange look to down Clemson and move one step closer to bowl eligibility.

But his career up to this point certainly has not been what he envisioned not long ago.

“All of the stuff I've been through really helped me [and] really made me into this monster that I am today,” Villari said.

He transferred to Syracuse from Michigan last spring, arriving on the SU Hill with hopes of playing quarterback.

“Coming here, I thought I was going to be a starting quarterback," Villari said. "I thought it was going to be all flowers and roses and, you know, good times. And then I get benched. Then I get switched to tight end. And then I'm on the scout team to start off. I'm not even playing. So [there's been] a lot of bumps in the road, but and I'm glad I'm where I'm at. I kept pushing through.”

So much change in just a short time, leaving Villari searching for answers.

“[There were] a lot of sad nights, I'll be honest," Villari said. "Like, [there was] a lot of anger and a lot of sadness, a lot of not knowing, not understanding why my career has been taking this turn. Because I've always worked hard. I've always been a really hard worker.”

But Villari found the strength to fight adversity through his family. He credits his father and brother for sticking with it.

“My dad's always been there for me," Villari said. "He's always been in my ear speaking positive. My brother's always been there for me, really. Those two men in my life have really pushed me through all these times.”

Villari found the silver lining. Showing his athleticism can be the strength he can bring to the Orange as he looks to carve out his role.

“Athleticism helps me a lot because I don't have to think about making athletic plays," Villari said. "I'm kind of just do it, just go out there [and] play hard. And I think it helps our offense as well.”

It’s a journey that’s made him a better player and a better person -- someone willing to do anything for his teammates.

“Every day I tell my teammates every time before a game, I tell them I love them and I'm giving everything to them today, give me everything too,” he said. “So it's kind of a tradition I'm kind of starting.”