Over the weekend, we learned that defensive tackle Kayton Samuels would head to Indiana after announcing his intent to transfer from the Syracuse Orange program months back. On Monday, another SU defender announced his own intent to transfer as well. Defensive end Justin Ellis will be headed elsewhere (to be determined).
On to new beginnings pic.twitter.com/4AMsVY2dIy— Justin Ellis (@Justin_Ellis5) May 7, 2018
Ellis, who was originally a walk-on then added to scholarship in the fall recorded one tackle as a freshman last year. While he didn’t figure as a large part of the young Syracuse defensive line rotation to-date, the thought was that the athletic Georgia product could potentially make an impact down the road. He’d recorded 19 sacks as a senior and was first-team all-state in his team’s class (7A).
Given that he’s going into just his second season of eligibility, Ellis would have to sit a year at any FBS school once he decides on a destination.
Without Ellis, Syracuse is down to seven defensive ends for 2018, though there’s a good amount of experience there. Kendall Coleman, Kingsley Johnathan and Alton Robinson all have starting experience. Brandon Berry, Zach Morton and Jake Pickard have also seen the field a bit while at SU. The lone newcomer will be Caleb Okechukwu, a member of the freshman class of 2018.
Though Syracuse has seen a fair share of attrition since Dino Babers took over -- especially on the defensive side, where 10 players have left in the last two offseasons alone (chalk that up at least in part to Scott Shafer’s scheme and the fact that he recruited all of those players). Ellis would be the first transfer that’s a Babers recruit, however.
In any case, best of luck to Justin, wherever he may land.