2019 Depth Chart - Defense | Syracusefan.com

2019 Depth Chart - Defense

SUFan44

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As was the case with the offense, returning starters in bold.

Defensive Line
DE1 - Alton Robinson (Sr.)
DE2 - Kingsley Jonathan (Jr.)

DT1 - McKinley Williams (Sr.)
DT2 - Kenneth Ruff (Sr.)

DT1 - Josh Black (RJr.)
DT2 - Curtis Harper (RSo.)

DE1 - Kendall Coleman (Sr.)
DE2 - Brandon Berry (RSr.)

Other Options - Jake Pickard (RSr.), Caleb Okechukwu (RFr.), Zach Morton (RSo.), Shaq Grosvenor (RSr.)
Incoming Class - Andrew Tuazama (Fr.), Joe Rondi (Fr.), Cooper Dawson (Fr.), Ishmael Goulbourne (Fr.)

Thoughts: Slayton is a HUGE loss, but if Robinson does what he needs to do and the top players remain healthy, our two DEs will be among the best duos in the country at the position. Inside depth is a little light, but there are a lot of reinforcements waiting in the wings. Will Pickard move inside for his final year and overcome all of his injuries to have a great final year? Will Grosvenor be back? Okechukwu picked SU over a couple SEC schools and Texas, will he play strongside DE or can he get some time at DT? I believe all four of the incoming frosh will redshirt and our depth will continue getting better in future years.

Linebacker
WLB1 - Andrew Armstrong (Sr.) (?)
WLB2 - Nadarius Fagan (RSo.)

MLB1 - Tyrell Richards (RSo.)
MLB2 - Lakiem Williams (Sr.)

SLB1 - Shy Cullen (RSr.)
SLB2 - Andrew Armstrong (Sr.)

Other Options - Tre Allison (RFr.), Juan Wallace (So.), Tim Walton (RJr.), Kadeem Trotter (RSo.)
Incoming Class - Mikel Jones (Fr.), Lee Kpogba (Fr.), Geoff Cantin (Fr.)

Thoughts: Moved Richards to MLB for two reasons. 1) He won't see the time he deserves at the DE position with the depth we have at the position and 2) Guthrie did the exact same thing last year. Kept Cullen at SLB because he showed he could be a very useful piece there at the tail end of the year. Have no idea what will happen at the WLB position. Placed Armstrong there for now but could see any number of younger guys there. Speaking of the younger guys, we have eight guys that will be freshmen, redshirt freshmen or sophomores next year. Might there be a surprise or two in the starting lineup by ACC play? We need these guys to step up and make an impact.

Defensive Back
CB1 - Trill Williams (So.)
CB2 - Scoop Bradshaw (Sr.)

FS1 - Andre Cisco (So.)
FS2 - Devon Clarke (RJr.)

SS1 - Evan Foster (Sr.)
SS2 - Eric Coley (RSo.)

CB1 - Christopher Fredrick (RSr.)
CB2 - Ifeatu Melifonwu (RSo.)

Other Options - Carl Jones (Sr.), Cam Jonas (RFr.), Allen Stritzinger (Jr.), DuWayne Johnson (RSr.)
Incoming Class - Aman Greenwood (Fr.), Garrett Williams (Fr.), Adrian Cole (Fr.), Cornelius Nunn (Fr.)

Thoughts: Obviously our cornerback position is as deep as it's been in a long, long time. Fredrick and Williams are as good a tandem, along with Melifonwu, that we have ever had (at least in my opinion). Cisco was a ball-hawking FS that should only get better and Foster is good in run support. Put Clarke as backup FS due to seniority, but will likely be Jonas or Nunn there. Will be interested to see if DuWayne Johnson plays this coming year, and also how the staff rotates in the younger players (Coley, Nunn, Jonas). Cupboard is stocked in this department but things can change due to injuries quickly (RE: Bowl Game).

Overall Thoughts: Eight returning starters and depth all over the place, I would love to see a couple of the younger linebackers step up and play a lot next year. With Lawrence around for two more years at Clemson, it is nice that our strengths (at least this year) appear to match up well with our top competition in the league. The one thing I will say that concerns me just a little is the turnover margin (+13) this past year is basically unsustainable. That, plus special teams, are the hidden factors that greatly contributed to our 10 wins. Can we get to +6 or +7 next year, and be more solid and trim the number of big plays allowed? Something to look for as the 2019 season progresses...
 
Last edited:

OttoMets

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As was the case with the offense, returning starters in bold.

Defensive Line
DE1 - Alton Robinson (Sr.)
DE2 - Kingsley Jonathan (Jr.)

DT1 - McKinley Williams (Sr.)
DT2 - Kenneth Ruff (Sr.)

DT1 - Josh Black (RJr.)
DT2 - Curtis Harper (RSo.)

DE1 - Kendall Coleman (Sr.)
DE2 - Brandon Berry (RSr.)

Other Options - Jake Pickard (RSr.), Caleb Okechukwu (RFr.), Zach Morton (RSo.), Shaq Grosvenor (RSr.)
Incoming Class - Andrew Tuazama (Fr.), Joe Rondi (Fr.), Cooper Dawson (Fr.), Ishmael Goulbourne (Fr.)

Thoughts: Slayton is a HUGE loss, but if Robinson does what he needs to do and the top players remain healthy, our two DEs will be among the best duos in the country at the position. Inside depth is a little light, but there are a lot of reinforcements waiting in the wings. Will Pickard move inside for his final year and overcome all of his injuries to have a great final year? Will Grosvenor be back? Okechukwu picked SU over a couple SEC schools and Texas, will he play strongside DE or can he get some time at DT? I believe all four of the incoming frosh will redshirt and our depth will continue getting better in future years.

Linebacker
WLB1 - Andrew Armstrong (Sr.) (?)
WLB2 - Nadarius Fagan (RSo.)

MLB1 - Tyrell Richards (RSo.)
MLB2 - Lakiem Williams (Sr.)

SLB1 - Shy Cullen (RSr.)
SLB2 - Andrew Armstrong (Sr.)

Other Options - Tre Allison (RFr.), Juan Wallace (RFr.), Tim Walton (RJr.), Kadeem Trotter (RSo.)
Incoming Class - Mikel Jones (Fr.), Lee Kpogba (Fr.), Geoff Cantin (Fr.)

Thoughts: Moved Richards to MLB for two reasons. 1) He won't see the time he deserves at the DE position with the depth we have at the position and 2) Guthrie did the exact same thing last year. Kept Cullen at SLB because he showed he could be a very useful piece there at the tail end of the year. Have no idea what will happen at the WLB position. Placed Armstrong there for now but could see any number of younger guys there. Speaking of the younger guys, we have eight guys that will be freshmen, redshirt freshmen or sophomores next year. Might there be a surprise or two in the starting lineup by ACC play? We need these guys to step up and make an impact.

Defensive Back
CB1 - Trill Williams (So.)
CB2 - Scoop Bradshaw (Sr.)

FS1 - Andre Cisco (So.)
FS2 - Devon Clarke (RJr.)

SS1 - Evan Foster (Sr.)
SS2 - Eric Coley (RSo.)

CB1 - Christopher Fredrick (RSr.)
CB2 - Ifeatu Melifonwu (RSo.)

Other Options - Carl Jones (Sr.), Cam Jonas (RFr.), Allen Stritzinger (Jr.), DuWayne Johnson (RSr.)
Incoming Class - Aman Greenwood (Fr.), Garrett Williams (Fr.), Adrian Cole (Fr.), Cornelius Nunn (Fr.)

Thoughts: Obviously our cornerback position is as deep as it's been in a long, long time. Fredrick and Williams are as good a tandem, along with Melifonwu, that we have ever had (at least in my opinion). Cisco was a ball-hawking FS that should only get better and Foster is good in run support. Put Clarke as backup FS due to seniority, but will likely be Jonas or Nunn there. Will be interested to see if DuWayne Johnson plays this coming year, and also how the staff rotates in the younger players (Coley, Nunn, Jonas). Cupboard is stocked in this department but things can change due to injuries quickly (RE: Bowl Game).

Overall Thoughts: Eight returning starters and depth all over the place, I would love to see a couple of the younger linebackers step up and play a lot next year. With Lawrence around for two more years at Clemson, it is nice that our strengths (at least this year) appear to match up well with our top competition in the league. The one thing I will say that concerns me just a little is the turnover margin (+13) this past year is basically unsustainable. That, plus special teams, are the hidden factors that greatly contributed to our 10 wins. Can we get to +6 or +7 next year, and be more solid and trim the number of big plays allowed? Something to look for as the 2019 season progresses...

Good post - I like the point regarding turnovers. I love the skill players on offense, I'm bullish on Devito, I'm cautiously optimistic about the offensive line and however they replace Slayton on defense. But I'm also prepared for the turnover margin to shrink, special teams to be a little less special, and the injury bug to rear its head to some extent. That's just how things go - reversion to the mean, I guess.
 

721Comstock

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Won’t Fredrick be back? Him and Trill seem slotted in for the CB positions...

Shoulda stayed in school, Elwood. Fredrick is listed at the very bottom, 2nd set of CB's.
in BOLD.
 

shu 49

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I hav not heard anything on Wallace and or a Fagan in practice at lb and was wondering does anyone have some good info. Bradshaw will be nickel back and split time with Trill at corner. He got beat once Friday but played good everother time. We have a man defense ability wise, wether we do it is a different story. Sky is the limit.
 

upperdeck

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The turnover margin when its more from INTs then fumble bounces is something you can sustain if your offense holds onto the ball. We really just caught the simple INTS, very few crazy ones.
 

Cusefan69

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As was the case with the offense, returning starters in bold.

Defensive Line
DE1 - Alton Robinson (Sr.)
DE2 - Kingsley Jonathan (Jr.)

DT1 - McKinley Williams (Sr.)
DT2 - Kenneth Ruff (Sr.)

DT1 - Josh Black (RJr.)
DT2 - Curtis Harper (RSo.)

DE1 - Kendall Coleman (Sr.)
DE2 - Brandon Berry (RSr.)

Other Options - Jake Pickard (RSr.), Caleb Okechukwu (RFr.), Zach Morton (RSo.), Shaq Grosvenor (RSr.)
Incoming Class - Andrew Tuazama (Fr.), Joe Rondi (Fr.), Cooper Dawson (Fr.), Ishmael Goulbourne (Fr.)

Thoughts: Slayton is a HUGE loss, but if Robinson does what he needs to do and the top players remain healthy, our two DEs will be among the best duos in the country at the position. Inside depth is a little light, but there are a lot of reinforcements waiting in the wings. Will Pickard move inside for his final year and overcome all of his injuries to have a great final year? Will Grosvenor be back? Okechukwu picked SU over a couple SEC schools and Texas, will he play strongside DE or can he get some time at DT? I believe all four of the incoming frosh will redshirt and our depth will continue getting better in future years.

Linebacker
WLB1 - Andrew Armstrong (Sr.) (?)
WLB2 - Nadarius Fagan (RSo.)

MLB1 - Tyrell Richards (RSo.)
MLB2 - Lakiem Williams (Sr.)

SLB1 - Shy Cullen (RSr.)
SLB2 - Andrew Armstrong (Sr.)

Other Options - Tre Allison (RFr.), Juan Wallace (RFr.), Tim Walton (RJr.), Kadeem Trotter (RSo.)
Incoming Class - Mikel Jones (Fr.), Lee Kpogba (Fr.), Geoff Cantin (Fr.)

Thoughts: Moved Richards to MLB for two reasons. 1) He won't see the time he deserves at the DE position with the depth we have at the position and 2) Guthrie did the exact same thing last year. Kept Cullen at SLB because he showed he could be a very useful piece there at the tail end of the year. Have no idea what will happen at the WLB position. Placed Armstrong there for now but could see any number of younger guys there. Speaking of the younger guys, we have eight guys that will be freshmen, redshirt freshmen or sophomores next year. Might there be a surprise or two in the starting lineup by ACC play? We need these guys to step up and make an impact.

Defensive Back
CB1 - Trill Williams (So.)
CB2 - Scoop Bradshaw (Sr.)

FS1 - Andre Cisco (So.)
FS2 - Devon Clarke (RJr.)

SS1 - Evan Foster (Sr.)
SS2 - Eric Coley (RSo.)

CB1 - Christopher Fredrick (RSr.)
CB2 - Ifeatu Melifonwu (RSo.)

Other Options - Carl Jones (Sr.), Cam Jonas (RFr.), Allen Stritzinger (Jr.), DuWayne Johnson (RSr.)
Incoming Class - Aman Greenwood (Fr.), Garrett Williams (Fr.), Adrian Cole (Fr.), Cornelius Nunn (Fr.)

Thoughts: Obviously our cornerback position is as deep as it's been in a long, long time. Fredrick and Williams are as good a tandem, along with Melifonwu, that we have ever had (at least in my opinion). Cisco was a ball-hawking FS that should only get better and Foster is good in run support. Put Clarke as backup FS due to seniority, but will likely be Jonas or Nunn there. Will be interested to see if DuWayne Johnson plays this coming year, and also how the staff rotates in the younger players (Coley, Nunn, Jonas). Cupboard is stocked in this department but things can change due to injuries quickly (RE: Bowl Game).

Overall Thoughts: Eight returning starters and depth all over the place, I would love to see a couple of the younger linebackers step up and play a lot next year. With Lawrence around for two more years at Clemson, it is nice that our strengths (at least this year) appear to match up well with our top competition in the league. The one thing I will say that concerns me just a little is the turnover margin (+13) this past year is basically unsustainable. That, plus special teams, are the hidden factors that greatly contributed to our 10 wins. Can we get to +6 or +7 next year, and be more solid and trim the number of big plays allowed? Something to look for as the 2019 season progresses...
^^^^. Nice write up. Love our defense next year except for interior def line. We just look paper thin there. I get the Cuse approach is to evolve DE to DT...but we really could use another body there. The physical beat down those guys take in the trenches just necessitates more bodies. That said I like Ruff, Black and Williams. We will miss what Slayton brings. I am blanking on Harper. Was he a NJ guy?
 

Crusty

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Nice effort. The thing is its difficult to project with young players. Look at the preseason thoughts on this board with respect to the defense. Cisco and Iffy came out of nowhere and the DEs proved to be a strength. The LBs did a good job replacing the irreplaceable.

This stuff is great off season fun but is likely to be way different after Spring and Fall practice. This staff has shown their ability to identify and develop skills and strength in youngsters. I think we will see many pleasant surprises.
We are starting to build a strong cadre of red shirts, which we have not enjoyed in decades.
Fasten your seatbelts.
 

cusefan88

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How fun is camp going to be? The stud DE's challenging the green OT's. LB competition and slightly overlooked is the first look at Cam Jonas, who was highly rated but tore his ACL and missed his senior year.
 

SUFan44

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I could be wrong, but I believe that Wallace burned through his RS since he played in 4+ games.

You are correct -- will make that change.
 

orangeinohio

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I hav not heard anything on Wallace and or a Fagan in practice at lb and was wondering does anyone have some good info. Bradshaw will be nickel back and split time with Trill at corner. He got beat once Friday but played good everother time. We have a man defense ability wise, wether we do it is a different story. Sky is the limit.

I was wondering about Fagan, too.
I don't think he played at all this year.
 

MSOrange

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Fagan redshirted but I’m concerned he’ll be on the not returning list. No reason either just a gut

Not that I disagree but that one just stuns me. Was he just overrated coming out of high school? I was real excited when he committed.
 

bigmike

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I hope he's back. I caught him on the sidelines es this year and he did not seem like he was LB sized. I noticed him standing right next to Cam Jonas who appeared 20 lbs heavier. Could he possibly become a safety or a contributing special reamer?
 

Trueblue25

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I hope he's back. I caught him on the sidelines es this year and he did not seem like he was LB sized. I noticed him standing right next to Cam Jonas who appeared 20 lbs heavier. Could he possibly become a safety or a contributing special reamer?
Jonas is incredibly physically gifted for a young DB. That being said, Fagan needs to get up in size if he wants to compete with Tyrell, Tre, Juan, and the younger guys. Same with Trotter. Trotter coming out of highschool was a bigger prospect than most realized but i thinj size has held him back.
 

PhatOrange

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Not that I disagree but that one just stuns me. Was he just overrated coming out of high school? I was real excited when he committed.

I shouldn’t have suggested it cause I really have zero reason to even think it. I just didn’t like the radio silence this year. He did enroll early and played and then took the redshirt so it’s probably nothing. I hope he’s back and in the mix. I could see him step in at the WIL but I think he needs to be in the 225 range and now things are getting crowded with ready made size.

Clarke is another one I hope is back and in the mix. Hits like a ton of bricks but has been snake bit. enters his junior year having not played because the injury this year and could be buried bc of it as guys like Stritz made huge leaps. Played in the first 3 games and had 2 tackles plus a pass breakup against FSU. I do believe in limited action that Clarke is better than Coley. Will be interested to see who backs up Foster and Cisco next year.
 

baggerbob

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^^^^. Nice write up. Love our defense next year except for interior def line. We just look paper thin there. I get the Cuse approach is to evolve DE to DT...but we really could use another body there. The physical beat down those guys take in the trenches just necessitates more bodies. That said I like Ruff, Black and Williams. We will miss what Slayton brings. I am blanking on Harper. Was he a NJ guy?
Next year might be time for Elmore to move to DT.
 

bigmike

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From my seats, no one has been more enthusiastic or a better teammate than Jake Picked. I would love to see him back.
 

shu 49

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Scoop will be moved to the nickel and Jonas will beat him out.

Between Cisco, Foster, CF, Trill backed by Scoop in man situations, iffy and Coley...
Me too.. he looked vicious.

We will have the best secondary in the ACC
Fagan redshirted but I’m concerned he’ll be on the not returning list. No reason either just a gut
Not that I disagree but that one just stuns me. Was he just overrated coming out of high school? I was real excited when he committed.
 

shu 49

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Scoop will be moved to the nickel and Jonas will beat him out.

Between Cisco, Foster, CF, Trill backed by Scoop in man situations, iffy and Coley...


We will have the best secondary in the ACC
Jonas I thought was pure safety. I think scoop would be awesome at nickel. Tough on run and can cover really well.
 

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