Name: Durell Eskridge
Position: Strong Safety
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
High School: Miami Central
2012 Stats: Durell had a pretty nice redshirt freshman year in 2012, getting highly involved in the defense's overall success over the final couple months. He started two games, recording 36 total tackles. More notably, he had two sacks plus another tackle for loss, too. Obviously, given his size, he's a pretty hard hitter.
2013 Projections: Eskridge is Syracuse's starting strong safety, and should thrive in the role. Expect him to put up much bigger numbers than last year, and get further involved in defending the pass.
How'd He Get Here?: He was a star on his high school team, which went 12-1 and reached the no. 2 spot in the national rankings. Scott Shafer recruited him, beating out the only other offer he had on the table: Utah State.
What'd Scout/Rivals Say?: Rivals had him as a three-star player, while Scout said two. Both evaluated him as a wide receiver originally (he played both ways in high school).
Money Quote: Durell is focused on emulating the work ethic of former Orange teammate Shamarko Thomas, who was an absolute beast in the weight room and on the field. As part of that conversation with Syracuse.com, he also had this to say:
"You become a full-time guy and you have a lot more responsibilities than you had with those two starts. It's a big change, it's a big role. I just want to go out there with my secondary and be the best that we can be."
Links of Wonder: Syracuse.com writes about the struggle Durell dealt with growing up. He even spent part of his childhood homeless.
Tweets of Wonder:
Love being able to motivate and inspire young boys. It's something I never had so I will embrace every moment #H&H pic.twitter.com/XNWBrj3n5j— Durell Eskridge (@Deskridge_d3) August 27, 2013
What Does Shafer Think: Shafer's a father figure to Eskridge since helping get him out of his poverty-stricken neighborhood in Miami. They're very close and Shafer provides advice and encouragement to Durell all the time.
Interesting Nugget O'Interest: Durell has a daughter, and is probably a Miami Heat fan, based on this photo and the fact that he's from Miami.
Let Us Get a Good Look Atchya: Durell's a pretty awesome wide receiver based on these highlights. This is likely a big game, since they're playing at the House that Mario Cristobal Built.