The Syracuse Orange have released the depth chart for week one’s matchup vs. the Liberty Flames, and of course, there are a few surprises in there.
The most notable items here:
- Sam Heckel winds up at center, which should mean he’s healthy enough after an offseason injury.
- Airon Servais moves out to tackle, as we’d hoped/expected. Though Carlos Vettorello gets the surprising start over South Alabama transfer Ryan Alexander and Dakota Davis gets the right guard nod over Darius Tisdale.
- Chris Elmore and Abdul Adams also appear to be at full health; Adams shed the “OR” that was previously shard with Jarveon Howard as the second running back. The second running back designation also probably won’t matter much, as he splits carries with starter Moe Neal.
- Nykeim Johnson and freshman Courtney Jackson still have an “OR” at one of the receiver spots, but otherwise, business as usual over there.
- Freshman tackle Matthew Bergeron making the two-deep also counts as a surprise.
- No McKinley Williams after he suffered an offseason injury — we’ll see if that’s just a precautionary measure vs. Liberty, or a long-term problem.
- Josh Black and Kenneth Ruff are your defensive tackles without Williams in there.
- SU will at least “plan” to start in a 4-2-5 look, with Andrew Armstrong and Lakiem Williams getting the starts at linebacker, and Trill Williams in at nickel. Notably, Mikel Jones is already on the linebacker two-deep right behind Armstrong.
- Antwan Cordy is both a backup free safety and cornerback, which should come in handy.
- Ifeatu Melifonwu retained the starting cornerback gig.
The fact that it’s officially game week is great. And the fact that there’s only one potential injury concern at this juncture is potentially reassuring. Hopefully Syracuse will be able to take advantage of a lesser foe here, and we’ll wind up seeing a lot of the younger guys out there vs. Liberty on Saturday.