The new faces in Syracuse Orange football camp this year won't just be the players. There's a couple new coaches in our midst as well. One of them, secondary coach Donnie Henderson, got a little profilin' on Thursday courtesy of SUAthletics.com and Syracuse.com.
So how does the former NFL coach end up coaching the secondary here? Like so many folks currently or previously on our staff, he used to work with Doug Marrone.
"We were only there two years together. It was a fun time where we worked for a pretty good guy (Edwards). I got to know Doug on a personal level and got to watch him perform as an offensive line coach, and we've gotten to know each other over the years."
Henderson got a head start on his new gig long before he was officially hired in February.
"I had a little bit of an advantage. I talked to Doug right after the season had ended, and I said, 'Why don't you send me some tapes so I can take a look at some of your guys?' I had a little familiarity with some of the guys, but not all of them. The two things I saw were that they ran to the football and that they were passionate. Overall, their effort level was very good."
Henderson has a young group of players to work with. There's senior #SHAMARKO Thomas and junior cornerbacks Keon Lyn and Ri’Shard Anderson, but Lyn is out at the moment. Junior Jeremi Wilkes is making moves but its an opportunity for sophomore Ritchy Desir, redshirt freshman Durell Eskridge and redshirt freshman Shu Mungwa to make a sudden impact.
"The football IQ is good, and that’s what you’re looking for in a young group."
Henderson says we won't see too many differences in the style of play by this unit, coached by DC Scott Shafer last year. He hopes a couple tweaks here and there make a big difference.
“We’re just changing a few of the techniques with it. The scheme’s very well thought out.”