The Syracuse Orange’s National Signing Day just wrapped up last week. But that means it’s officially 2017 on the college football calendar, so we “can” start looking at depth charts for the upcoming season.
Whether we “should” is debatable, but that’s never stopped us before.
Based on everyone that’s supposed to be on campus this fall, here’s what SU’s offensive depth chart could look like when they kick off vs. Central Connecticut State in over 200 (!!!) days. We’re only gong two-deep here, but obviously plenty more players on the roster as well.
Syracuse offensive depth chart
Quarterback: Eric Dungey (Jr.) | Zack Mahoney (Sr.)
Running back: Moe Neal (So.) | Markenzy Pierre (Fr.)
Outside receiver 1: Steve Ishmael (Sr.) | Russell Thompson-Bishop (Fr.)
Inside receiver 1: Ervin Philips (Sr.) | Sean Riley (So.)
Inside receiver 2: Dontae Strickland (Jr.) | Tyrone Perkins (Jr.)
Outside receiver 2: Devin Butler (So.) | Jamal Custis (R-Jr.)
Tight end: Ravian Pierce (Jr.) | Aaron Hackett (Fr.)
Left tackle: Cody Conway (Jr.) | Sam Heckel (R-Fr.)
Left guard: Aaron Roberts (R-Jr.) | Sam Clausman (R-So.)
Center: Colin Byrne (R-So.) | Donnie Foster (R-Jr.)
Right guard: Evan Adams (R-So.) | AJ Duerig (R-So.)
Right tackle: Jamar McGloster (R-Sr.) | Airon Servais (R-Fr.)
Some notes per position group below:
This is Eric Dungey’s job until he loses it (if he ever does), so it’s an easy call to insert him as the starter once again. Zack Mahoney put up some record-setting numbers in the final game vs. Pitt last year, so he gets the nod at No. 2. But don’t count out Rex Culpepper this spring.
Dontae Strickland wasn’t super effective as the starter last year, and he’s probably better served at receiver (he has shown himself to be a very capable pass-catcher). That hands the starting job to Moe Neal, whose running style is shiftier than Strickland’s. Markenzy Pierre is the bigger of the two incoming freshman backs, which could make for a more effective run game this year. He gets the temporary nod for split duty with Neal.
Amba Etta-Tawo and Brisly Estime’s departures open up a few opportunities for others to move up the depth chart, which is why there are a lot of young/new names here. Still, three of the four starters (Steve Ishmael, Dontae Strickland, Ervin Philips) are proven commodities. Where things will get interesting is what SU does with the other outside receiver spot.
Devin Butler appears to be the most obvious choice after he was getting early burn before injury in 2016. Beyond him, it’s all newbies to fill that spot. Russell Thompson-Bishop looks like he has the size to be a capable AET substitute, but you could say the same of Cameron Jordan or even yet-to-be-unleashed Adly Enoicy. Jamal Custis is the pick for now, but we’ll see if injuries create unfortunate hurdles for him again.
Ravian Pierce and Aaron Hackett are the only two tight ends on the roster. Pretty self-explanatory.
Most of these players were your injury subs last year. So that time on the field could translate into valuable experience for 2017. All five first-teamers started at least a handful (or more) games. The rest are mostly newcomers, but newcomers with at least a year of training in a college weight room under their belts.
Looks good? Bad? The only glaring item is clearly the Strickland shift. But perhaps there are those who think Tommy DeVito will be second on the QB depth chart? Share your own thoughts below.