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Syracuse football: Allen Stritzinger, walk-on James Cherry will transfer (per report)

The most recent of several later-than-normal departures for the Orange this offseason.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 21 Western Michigan at Syracuse Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This offseason has already seen a few surprising departures for the Syracuse Orange football team. We can now add another name to the list, as senior defensive back Allen Stritzinger will enter his name into the transfer portal — per a Wednesday night report from Syracuse.com’s Stephen Bailey.

Stritzinger began his SU career as a running back, but switched to cornerback in 2018 and actually became a significant contributor on the other side of the ball. Last season, he made 18 tackles over the course of 11 games and also broke up three passes. As a sophomore, he wound up as the starting nickel corner in the Camping World Bowl vs. West Virginia. His fourth quarter interception was crucial for the Orange as it helped established a two-score lead with nearly 13 minutes left to play.

For 2020, Stritzinger was slated to appear on the two-deep at either cornerback or the nickel/”rover” role in the 3-3-5. Without him, Syracuse doesn’t possess a whole lot of experience there beyond Ifeatu Melifonwu and Trill Williams.

Bailey also notes in his story that walk-on wide receiver James Cherry will also leave the program after two seasons. He saw limited action last year, playing in two games.

Obviously we wish both players the best going forward. And from a Syracuse perspective, Stritzinger’s departure in particular could be a sign that younger players on the roster are ready to step up and challenge for snaps — or at least, we can hope that’s the case.

Stritzinger is the third player projected on the defensive depth chart to leave this offseason, joining linebackers Juan Wallace (Kent State) and Kadeem Trotter (destination TBD). SU also implements a new scheme under defensive coordinator Tony White, and will have to do so with much less in-person coaching than would normally be the case. At least we’re far from the only team in that boat, though.