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Syracuse Football: Observations from second open practice of summer camp

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We’re starting to see how the Orange might line up in week one.

The media got its second open look this summer at the Syracuse Orange football on Friday morning. Today we got a decent look at the team and how the depth chart might shape up. Keep in mind this is all unofficial, but if our eyes don’t deceive us, we might have a few answer as to how the Orange will take the field against Ohio.

Practice started with three 11v11 drives. The ones started, with Sean Tucker not gaining much ground against the Syracuse run defense. Notably during today’s practice, presumptive starting tight end Luke Benson was on the sidelines in street clothes. Taking his tight end spot on the ones was Max Mang.

Also on offense, it appears that Damien Alford is the front runner to be the No. 3 wideout behind Taj Harris and Anthony Queeley. We didn’t see much from the passing game, with only one pass attempted and completed to Harris.

Speaking of the passing, it was Tommy DeVito who ran with the ones. As I mentioned above, the ones only ran one passing play, so not much to show from him.

Also of note, on the defensive side of the ball, transfer Jason Simmons ran with the ones, seemingly as one of the safeties. Perhaps the bigger development is that Darien Chestnut appears to be the frontrunner for the No. 2 cornerback role alongside Garrett Williams. A lot of hype surrounded the New Jersey native during the recruiting process, and it seems like the true freshman is ready for the spotlight.

The twos showed a bit more about who might be the backups this season. Jarveon Howard was the running back who came out second. Fan might think Abdul Adams should have that spot, but Adams was limited in practice today. It’s currently unclear as to where Adams sits on the depth chart.

Garrett Shrader, unsurprisingly, ran out with the twos. He attempted and completed four passes, with the caveat that all of the passes were for short yardage. Two of his passes went to tight end Steven Mahar, which makes people like me happy that Syracuse might use their tight ends more.

One of the bigger highlights of the open practice was a rush/block drill between the linebackers and the group of the running backs and the tight ends. The starting linebackers did get the better of the offensive blockers early, which is to be somewhat expected.

On a side note, Josh Hough is a big dude. He was the running back with the threes on their drive and he has a ton of mass behind him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he shoots up the depth chart particularly quickly in the coming years.

Football excitement is brewing, there’s no doubt about that. And now we have a better idea on how the team will line up for the upcoming season.