We don't need to wait for John to reach the defensive line in his position previews to know that the Syracuse Orange are lacking at that position heading into Spring. With the departures of Ron Thompson, Luke Arciniega, and Donnie Simmons combined with the dismissal of Amir Ealey and Qaadir Sheppard, the Orange have no one on the current depth chart with collegiate experience.
But perhaps help is coming?
Stephen Bailey of Syracuse.com reported that the Orange are the current leader for graduate transfer Gabe Sherrod from Delaware State University. Sherrod, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound defensive end out of Maryland, is scheduled to visit Syracuse at the end of the month. He told Bailey that right now, the Orange are his leader, and have followed up with him harder throughout the process than other potential suitors (such as Duke and Coastal Carolina).
A former QB/WR, Sherrod converted to defensive end as a redshirt sophomore, and last season compiled 64 tackles (25 for loss), eight sacks, two forced fumbles and four blocked kicks (hi, special teams help!). Sherrod knows that playing time is available at Syracuse, and that the program has produced current NFL sack-specialists Dwight Freeney and Chandler Jones.
He is also interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and his experience can help a group that returns only Jake Pickard and Kenny Carter from last season, and adds Josh Black, Jaquwan Nelson, and Kendall Coleman this summer.
Bailey notes an incident involving a 2014 burglary at Delaware State that resulted in a couple guilty pleas, restitution and a probation period. He did not serve jail time, but his probation lasts through December 2016. Sherrod addressed the incident head-on in the Syracuse.com piece.
Orange fans can also take note of Sherrod's athleticism in this video he posted:
Going to impact someone's Saturday! pic.twitter.com/Sy7YFhoned— Gabe Sherrod (@ges88_) February 9, 2016