Syracuse Orange athletics confirmed on Wednesday that defensive end Jaquwan Nelson is no longer a member of the football program.
After the roster update earlier this week, it was noticed that Nelson was not listed as a member of the team. Nelson and safety Devon Clarke were arrested back in February stemming from a robbery. According to SU spokesman Mike Morrison, Clarke has now been reinstated, and Nelson has not. There’s been no additional information made available about the aftermath of the arrests, or why Clarke is the only one of the two players to return.
Losing Nelson is a blow to the defensive line, given how thin things have been there, and how much that group has lacked for production. During spring practice, we noted just how young and inexperienced the defensive end position, in particular, was. Without Nelson, Kenneth Ruff, Kendall Coleman, Josh Black and Jake Pickard are the only returning players. Brandon Berry arrives as a JUCO transfer, while the team also adds Zach Morton and Kingsley Jonathan to the position. So as much as it’s worrisome to lose Nelson (who was a high three-star recruit and almost flipped to Georgia), there are reinforcements coming in to better solidify that spot.
Nelson is the second defensive lineman to depart the program this offseason. Defensive tackle Steven Clark was medically disqualified stemming from issues with blood clots. Syracuse.com’s Stephen Bailey recently spoke with Clark, who’s now seeing a blood clot specialist and may still transfer without an opportunity to play for SU again.