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Get to Know Your Orange Man: #99 DE Elijah Fuentes-Cundiff


NC State v Syracuse Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

It’s time to start preparing for the upcoming Syracuse Orange football season. We’re going through the roster to take a look at each Syracuse player as we get ready for a critical season for the Orange.

Starting things off is:

Name: Elijah Fuentes-Cundiff

Position: Defensive Line

Year: Redshirt Freshman

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 267 lbs.

Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.

High school: Cardinal Hayes

2022 stats: Fuentes-Cundiff probably didn’t expect to play as much as he did in 2022. However, after Terry Lockett’s injury, the Bronx native became the backup defensive tackle behind Kevon Darton. He played in 11 games, started one and totaled 14 tackles.

2023 projections: With Lockett’s presumed return to health and the two-deep, Fuentes-Cundiff may not see the same playing time that he did last season. The 3-3-5 rotates the front seven heavily, so he’ll still play, but may not see the field for as many snaps as he did last season.

How’d he get here?: Fuentes-Cundiff had some other Power Five offers from Boston College, Duke, Rutgers and Wake. He ultimately chose the Orange.

What’d recruiting sites say?: Three stars from 247Sports and ESPN, two stars from Rivals. 247Sports and ESPN had Fuentes-Cundiff as a top 10 recruit in New York.

Money quote: For better or worse, Fuentes-Cundiff is most known for a crucial late-hit penalty on Clemson QB Cade Klubnik last season. Dino explained that the Orange have taught the defense to make sure the QB is out of bounds, especially after Jordan Travis gained some extra yards in Syracuse’s loss to Florida State in 2021.

“Since that has happened we use a new technique what we call escorting the quarterback out of bounds. What Eli (Fuentes) was doing was escorting that young man out of bounds.”

Twitter feed: @ElijahFuentes19

Instagram feed: @e_fuen99

Tweets/Instas of wonder: Anywhere in NYC is beautiful.

Interesting nugget o’interest: If Kevin is disappointed that SU football no longer has track representation on the roster, he can breathe a sigh of relief. Fuentes-Cundiff competed in track and basketball during his time at Cardinal Hayes.

Let’s get a look at ya: The coaching breakdown of his high school tape: