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Syracuse Football: Hernz Laguerre Practicing at DE, Taylor & Thomas at Nickelback

The ever-rotating positional carousel spins yet again, it appears.

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Syracuse Orange head coach Dino Babers has been shifting positions around to find the right fit, and is determined to do so quickly if you take anything from yesterday's remarks about the running back/wide receiver hybrids. One position where several players have switched to is defensive end. With roster dismissals this offseason, Jake Pickard is the only returning scholarship DE, so Trey Dunkelberger and Kenneth Ruff have made the switch. Based on today's practice, it seems like linebacker Hernz Laguerre may be on his way to doing the same:

If Laguerre officially switches that would be four defensive ends in camp, with four more (three true freshmen, plus Delaware State transfer Gabe Sherrod) arriving this summer. Still not a perfect solution, but if the players that switched positions can step up, it could mean things don't look as bad as we thought at DE.

Mink's other note, regarding Chris Fredrick, is also worth diving into. He's one of the few defenders that was able to hold onto their redshirt in 2015, and the quick safety may ultimately be a better fit for what Babers is looking for at cornerback. At 5-foot-11 and 173 pounds, his size would appear to be a departure from what the Tampa-2's safeties will look like. Now we just have to see how he does in coverage. Syracuse will obviously take any help it can get in terms of corner play, in particular. The team also added JUCO transfer Michael Moore at the position this week.

***'s Stephen Bailey also spoke quickly with linebacker Ted Taylor, who shared that he and Jonathan Thomas have been working out at nickelback this spring. That's a surprising move in some ways, just because both players would seem to be a bit big for the role, which comprises a safety/corner hybrid as a fifth DB (for those looking for a quick refresher). Thomas's fit could be primarily based on his speed, however, and perhaps a concession that he'd get more playing time at nickel than linebacker this fall. The Tampa-2 requires a lot of guys to be able to play in coverage, so wherever Taylor, Thomas and anyone else in the back-seven end up being slotted in, it would seem we'll be better in that regard this year.


Bailey captured some additional video from practice below. Check it out for some quick clips of defensive end drills: