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Syracuse football: CB Darian “Duce” Chestnut returns to Orange

That’s one way to ring in the new year.

NC State v Syracuse Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange faithful received a welcome gift to ring in the new year as CB Darian “Duce” Chestnut announced at midnight that he would be returning to Central New York for one more season. The two-time All-ACC corner transferred to LSU for the 2023 season after two years with Syracuse.

Because of the NCAA’s new guidance rules regarding two-time transfers, Chestnut is immediately available to play in the 2024 season under new Syracuse head coach Fran Brown. Duce originally transferred from Syracuse after starting all 24 games that he featured originally for the Orange. He racked up 83 tackles, four interceptions and 13 pass defends during his first stint with Syracuse. Unfortunately, Chestnut struggled during his time at LSU, only playing in the first four games with the Tigers and registering only six tackles with one pass defend and one interception.

Chestnut naturally rejoins the growing New Jersey cohort growing at Syracuse. He reunites with his fellow DB and friend Alijah Clark. The duo, along with the Diggs brothers and Coach Brown, are from Camden, NJ. Chestnut will be a favorite early on to slot right back into a starting cornerback role as one is vacated due to Isaiah Johnson’s graduation. Syracuse fans will naturally expect Chestnut to replicate similar production from his first time in an Orange uniform. He was the runner up for the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2021 while receiving multiple freshman All-American honors. Chestnut was named to the honorable mention All-ACC team in his sophomore year.

Chestnut grows the growing list of prolific transfers that Brown has courted to Syracuse during this cycle which include former Ohio State QB Kyle McCord, former Texas A&M DE Fadil Diggs, and former Georgia players in OL Joshua Millar, WR Zeed Haynes and WR Jackson Meeks.