The vast majority of the Syracuse Orange football team’s incoming recruiting class has signed, and hopefully Trishton Jackson’s the last unexpected departure of the offseason (though we know he almost certainly won’t be).
But given what we know right now, it seemed worth a shot to project the two-deep depth chart for the 2020 season. First up, the offensive side of the ball:
Quarterback: Tommy DeVito (RJr.) | David Summers (RFr.)
Yes, DeVito’s the starter, and will be until further notice. His 2019 had its ups and downs, but assuming he has an improved line in front of him and is healthy, we should see a better DeVito in 2020. Beyond him, though, there are a lot of questions right now and a lot of inexperience. We’ll probably see what we have in Summers, even if just in garbage time.
Running back: Abdul Adams (RSr.) | Jarveon Howard (Jr.)
Adams was oddly used less as the year went on, but he still has breakaway speed and is the favorite to take over as the primary ball carrier with Neal gone. Opposite him will likely be Howard, who’s shown himself to be quite the bruiser. Again, assuming the line’s improved, we should see a jump in production for both players.
Outside receiver 1: Taj Harris (Jr.) | Damien Alford (Fr.)
Outside receiver 2: Anthony Queeley (RSo.) | Ed Hendrix (RSo.)
Inside receiver 1: Nykeim Johnson (Sr.) | Sharod Johnson (RJr.)
Inside receiver 2: Courtney Jackson (RFr.) | Jawhar Jordan (RFr.)
Trishton Jackson’s departure throws this group up in the air a bit, and we’ll definitely see a bit more youth on the depth chart than we would’ve otherwise. Harris and Nykeim Johnson seem like the most likely starters. After that, it gets a bit more questionable. With luck, Hendrix is healthy and the former four-star can work his way in as a major playmaker. While Jordan’s a running back, SU will want to be creative in how they get him on the field. If you’re opposed to him lining up in the slot, feel free to toss Luke Benson in instead.
Tight end: Aaron Hackett (Sr.) | Chris Elmore (Sr.)
Hackett’s quietly turned himself into one of the team’s best pass-catching options. And if he’s not forced into pass protection too much, we’ll likely see more of him exploiting mismatches in the red zone. Elmore’s role could wind up going away if SU decides to put him on the defensive side. Benson’s absence here doesn’t man he won’t be seen, as I think we see more two-tight end looks in 2020.
Left tackle: Airon Servais (RSr.) | Mark Petry (So.)
Left guard: Sam Heckel (RSr.) | Darius Tisdale (RJr.)
Center: Carlos Vettorello (RSo.) | Airon Servais (RSr.)
Right guard: Dakota Davis (RJr.) | Patrick Davis (RSr.)
Right tackle: Matthew Bergeron (So.) | Qadir White (RSo.)
Due to injuries last year, the Orange may be able to withstand Evan Adams’s graduation because of all of the experience they have now. Whether or not this line is actually up to snuff, however, is still up for debate. The last three games of 2019 were a vast improvement from what we saw to start the season. Consistently “good” play is still required though, and if this isn’t the group to make it happen, there could be capable backfills at most spots.
What do we think? Reasonable guesses, or completely off base? Feel free to share your own #HotDepthChartTakes below.