Yep, it's that time again. Last year we counted down every SU football player from Chandler Jones (#99) to Phil Thomas (#1), as you can see here. Well both of those guys (and a few more in between) are gone and it's time to profile the entire Syracuse Orange
2012 Projections: Meet your (current) starting nose tackle! Boatman's penciled in at starter above sophomore Eric Crume. The fifth year player certainly isn't a new face, having played in every game the last two years (mostly on special teams in 2010), but his role will be dramatically increased with the departures of Chandler Jones, Mikhail Marinovich, and Torrey Ball.
As we've all pointed out, coach Doug Marrone is all about remaking the defense this year. That means Boatman will get his chance to prove he's a part of the solution to the defensive problems of 2011.
How'd He Get Here?: Boatman chose Syracuse over The Conference That Was schools like Rutgers and Cincinnati.
Making matters worse for both the Scarlet Knights and Bearcats? Boatman picked SU and Greg Robinson (Yes, that Greg Robinson!) over
fairly somewhat competent coaches like Greg Schiano and Brian Kelly!
Money Quote: Boatman was a defensive end who converted to nose tackle to fit into defensive coordinator Scott Shafer's scheme. Last year the redshirt senior told the Syracuse Post Standard's Nolan Weidner it wasn't an easy switch.
'It’s been a challenge. It’s different moving from outside in. There’s a lot of different combinations of blocks. It’s a man’s world on the interior line.'
Links of Wonder: Although Boatman chose Greg Robinson's sinking ship to hop on, it's important to note he landed with SU rather than the train wreck that turned out to be Butch Davis's North Carolina program.
Still, even knowing what we know now, I would have picked Davis. Just saying.
What Does Doug Marrone Think?: This is what Marrone said about the defensive line after last spring:
'Nothing is set in stone. This is the lineup that if we started today. There's still a lot of time, still a lot of development for our players to get better.'
That was on the changes to the defensive line heading into 2011. Imagine his thoughts heading into 2012? Boatman's the next man up in terms of experience, but that alone will not guarantee his being the starter for long. Boatman will have to produce, or someone else will get the chance.
Interesting Nugget O'Interest: Boatman, despite being closer to three bills than two, played basketball and competed in field and track in high school.
Let Us Get a Good Look Atchya: So, here's a glimpse into what exactly Boatman bought into when he committed to Syracuse in the fall of 2007. By the way, guess who did this negative report on SU?