My 2023 SU Football Preview - Part 3 |

My 2023 SU Football Preview - Part 3


Bored Historian
Aug 26, 2011
The Team - Part One

Who isn’t here

Caleb Okechukwu is the ‘Last of the Mohicans”. He’s the only one of eight seniors on the team who has spent his entire career here. The others transferred in. That’s modern college football. Caleb has taken full advantage of every opportunity to remain with the program and has progressed through the ranks to become the mainstay of our defensive line. He redshirted but played in one game in 2018, then missed 2019 recovering from an illness. He played in 8 games in the disastrous 2020 season, making 14 tackles, one for a loss. He upped that to 10 games in 2021, recording 21 tackles, 2, (well, 1.5 if you prefer), for a loss and recovering a fumble. Last year, he had 48 tackles, 10 for a loss, including 7 sacks two forced fumbles and a 17 yard run with a pick for a score against Purdue. This year will be his extra year, granted for the Covid epidemic. I decided to look at other players, (recruited players – not walk-ons), who could have been on our team this year but aren’t. This is not a condemnation of SU’s ability to retain players. It’s just a look at college football in this era and the challenges coaches face in building a program. Also, keep in mind that if these guys had stayed, a lot of the guys we have wouldn’t be here.

Chance Amie QB - Had a great high school highlight film and numbers. We flipped him from Houston in the recruiting process and thought we had a gem but he flipped us, transferring to Blinn junior college after not playing in his redshirt season. He spent a year at Blinn and one at Kilgore JC, then enrolled at Grambling after SU ‘reoffered’ him. He completed 2 of 6 passes for 23 yards and no scores for the Tigers last year. He did have a 20 yard touchdown run vs. Alabama A&M. He’s not on Grambling’s 2023 roster but was listed as a junior last year.
Wil Froumy OL – Redshirted in 2018 and missed 2020 with an injury. He played in just one game here before leaving the program after the 2022 season. I found nothing more on him.
Taj Harris WR – Taj played here for four years and caught 151 balls for 2,028 yards and 10 scores. He didn’t redshirt and transferred to Rutgers, (after committing to Kentucky), for his Covid year in 2022 where he caught 1 pass for 9 yards before “stepping away from football”. I saw an article from last year saying he had “two years of eligibility left” so his last year here must have counted as a redshirt year and 2023 would be his Covid year.
Jarveon Howard RB – In four years at SU, Jarveon gained 731 yards on 151 carries, (4.8), and scored 10 times. He did not redshirt but opted out of 2020 due to the risk of Covid. He transferred to Alcorn State and had a huge year in 2022: 253 carries, 1,270 yards (5.0) and 12TD. He’ll be back for his Covid year in 2023.
Ed Hendrix WR – Ed caught 3 passes for 24 yards but no scores for us in 2020. He had an injury plagued career and hit the portal before the 2021 season. I found nothing on Ed since then. He redshirted in 2018 and missed 2019 due to injury. This would have been his Covid year. He’s mostly famous for bumping into Andre Cisco in a pre-game warm-up, which somehow caused an injury that ended Andre’s stellar career here.
Cam Jonas DB – Cam played 3 games in 2020 and made 5 tackles, forcing a fumble. He transferred to Florida A&M after that season but does not seem to have played there.
Cooper Lutz WR – Cooper played here for three years as a back-up running back. He rushed for 330 yards on 66 carries, (5.0) and caught 13 passes for 94 yards while scoring 3TDs. He redshirted his first year and wasn’t used in his second but became a valuable player in 2020-2021. He then transferred to Vanderbilt where he carried the ball 6 times for 24 yards in 2022 while catching one pass for 27 yards and scoring one touchdown. He has another year of eligibility but does not appear on the Commodore’s 2023 roster.
Anthony Queeley WR – He transferred to Georgia Southern for 2023 after catching 53 passes for 612 yards and scoring 4TDs, (one against Notre Dame) for SU in 1920-22
Carlos Vettorello OL – Carlos red-shirted in 2018 and then played for four up-and-down years in the offensive line. I suppose he could have had a Covid year but he’s not on this year’s roster. He has a resume on Linked-in. He just wanted to get on with his life.
Juan Wallace LB – Played in four games in two years, then transferred to Kent State, (the University of Western Syracuse), where, after sitting out 2020 under the old rules, he played in 15 games and had 13 tackles in two years. I would think he’d have a Covid year but he’s not on their current roster.
Qadir White OL – Ah yes, Qadir, a 4 star man mountain, (6-7 343), who could never get on the field. On 1/27/21 he entered the Transfer Portal and has never come out. Ahhhh!
(Andre Cisco and Trill Williams didn’t redshirt so they would have completed their carers by now, even with a Covid year.)

Luke Benson TE – Luke, a tight end with track speed, played 20 games in three years for us and caught 19 passes for 261 yards (13.7) and 5TDs. People couldn’t figure why we didn’t throw to him more and the transferred to Georgia Tech , where he played in 12 games but caught only 9 balls for 85 yards (9.4) and no scores. He is on this year’s roster, using his Covid year.
Matthew Bergeron OL – Matthew was inserted into the line-up as a freshman and was almost immediately our best offensive lineman. He left without using his Covid year and was drafted in the second round by the Falcons and is already listed as their starting left guard. He was the first SU OL drafted since Justin Pugh a decade ago.
Geoff Cantin-Arku LB – Geoff played in one 2019 game and got one tackle, then played in 21 games in the next two years, recording 104 tackles. Then he surprised a lot of us by transferring to Memphis, a move out of the power 5 when he was already starting for us. He had a big year there, playing in 13 games and making 76 tackles. He will be their starting middle linebacker this year.
Adrian Cole DB – Adrian redshirted, then played in 12 games in the next two years, making 28 tackles, before transferring to Florida International, where he played all 12 games and recorded 36 tackles and returned a pick for a score. He will start at cornerback for the Panthers this year.
Cooper Dawson DL – Cooper was a reserve DL who never played in a game before transferring to Charleston Southern, where in two years he’s had 15 tackles, including 2 sacks. He’s on their roster for this year.
Ishmael Goulbourne DL – Ishamel was a three-star from Florida who saw no action in two years and transferred out prior to the 2021 season. His trail grows cold at that point.
Courtney Jackson WR – Courtney played in one game and caught his first pass in 2019, then was part of the receiver rotation for the next three years and wound up with 63 catches for 662 yards (10.5) and 4 scores. He never became quite the dynamic player people expected him to be and his output faded from 37 catches to 15 last year. He transferred to Arkansas State, where he is projected to start.
Garrison Johnson RB – Garrison redshirted in 2019, then announced he was entering the portal just as training camp started in 2020. He joined fellow Texans Tre Allison and Chance Aime, (all recruited by Kirk Martin, Koda’s Dad), at Kilgore JC. He emerged at Northwest Louisiana in 2022, where he gained 80 yards in 29 attempts (2.8) and scored 3 times. He’s still on their roster as a junior.
Mikel Jones LB – Mikel had a sterling career here, joining the linebacker rotation as a freshman and becoming first team All-ACC as a junior. In four years he had 299 tackles, 22 for a loss intercepted 4 passes and forcing 3 fumbles. He could have come back for a Covid year but decided to go to the pros. Surprisingly, he wasn’t drafted, (he’s a bit small for an NFL LB), but he signed with the Chargers as a free agent.
Jawhar Jordan RB – Jawhar was a small, quick running back who had a big game against Louisville as a freshman, running for 35 yards on 7 carries, catching two passes for 87 yards and returning three kickoffs for 101 yards: 12 touches, 194 yards but, somehow, no scores. He became the #1 running back in 2020 – until he got hurt. Eventually we got down to a 5th stringer named Sean Tucker. Jawhar, like everyone else, saw the writing on the wall and transferred – to Louisville. He was a back-up his first season there but blossomed last year, running for 882 yards, (5.7), catching 10 passes for 85 yards and returning 14 kick-offs for 353 yards. Again, he scored only 5 times but he’s always a threat to go all the way and is their #1 RB this year, as well.
Lee Kpogba LB – Lee (pronounced “Koba”) was another four-star linebacker recruit who came in with Mikel Jones and we saw them as being a tandem, here, hopefully for four years. Lee stayed for two years, playing in one game as a freshman, then playing in 10 games and making 43 tackles in 2020. Unfortunately he got suspended for some unspecified legal trouble. He then transferred to West Virginia, after a year at East Mississippi JC, and tore it up last year, making 92 tackles in 12 games. He’ll be manning the middle for the ‘Neers this year as well.
Steve Linton DL – Steve was a tall, quick edge rusher who never had the bulk to be a down lineman. He played 23 games in four years here. He made 44 tackles, 8 for losses. He decided to transfer to Texas Tech, where he’s projected to be a starter.
Kevin Mital WR – We needed a receiver strong enough to fight for the 50-50 balls and Kevin seemed to fill the bill at 6-1 232. He redshirted one year, then returned to Canada to play for Laval University. Their 2020 season was cancelled but Kevin excelled in 2021, (45/554/7) and 2022 (58/751/12), when he was named outstanding player and had 8/142/1 in the national championship game, which the ‘Rouge et Or’ won. He’ll play one more year for them and then opt for the CFL draft.
Jason Munoz DL – We flipped Jason from Miami to SU but he never played a game here, redshirting in 2019 and not playing in 2020. He then entered the portal and wound up at the University of Ft. Lauderdale, (part of something called the National Christian Athletic Association), where he played in 7 games and made 23 tackles in 2021. He was not on the roster next year.
Neil Nunn DB – Was a 4 star defensive back out of Miami who redshirted in 2019, then played in 9 games from 2020-21, accumulating four tackles. In 2022 he “did not participate”. Injuries and a legal problem later resolved in his favor plagued his career here. He was not on the spring roster.
Anthony Red OL – He redshirted in 2019 and didn’t appear in any games in 2020. He got into three games in 2021-2022, then transferred to Appalachian State.
Joe Rondi DL – Joe redshirted in 2019 but appeared in two games. That was the effective end of his career as he was injured all 2020 and wasn’t used in 2021. He transferred to Monmouth but isn’t on their 2023 roster.
David Summers QB – Wash, rinse, repeat… David redshirted in 2019, didn’t play in 2020 and entered the transfer portal. The only thing I would find about him is an article complaining that he was getting no takers and that his football career might be over before it began. I remember looking at his film and thinking he could be pretty good.
Drew Tuazama DL – A very athletic lineman who played one game in 2019 while redshirting, making a couple of tackles vs. Holy Cross and the had 7 tackles, 2 TFLs, in 6 games as a reserve in 2020. Then came the transfer portal. He joined Lee Kpogba at East Mississippi JC, (hmmm….), before moving on to UAB, where he made 33 tackles 6, for a loss in 13 games. He’ll start at defensive end for them this year.
Garrett Williams DB – Garrett played four games as a true freshman on special teams. He burst out in 2020, returning an interception for a score against Clemson. He led the ACC in passes broken up and made 64 tackles. The next year he had 52 tackles in 10 games, 5 for a loss. Last year he was injured and played only 7 games but had 36 tackles and a couple more interceptions. He then decided to go to the pros and was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals.

Chase Atkinson DB – Chase appeared in no games in his two years as a reserve cornerback. He transferred to Group of 5 power Coastal Carolina He’s a Chanticleer. He made three tackles last year.
Garth Barclay OL-DL – Garth got into two games while redshirting but didn’t play in the two years after that. He was not on the spring roster. I was not able to find out where is now. It seems strange that the only games he played were when he was redshirting. But that’s modern college football.
Ja’had Carter DB – Carter started 28 games at safety here. He first made a splash against Georgia Tech as a true freshman, (the same game Sean Tucker burst out and our only win that season), picking off a pass and, while being tackled, spotting Trill Williams and lateralling the ball to him for a score. He’s made 136 tackles, 5 interceptions and has forced or recovered 3 fumbles. That got the attention of Ohio State, for whom he will be playing this season.
Rob Hanna DB – I remember Rob as a skinny DB, (6-0 170) who threw his body around as if he weighed 220 but got banged up as a result. He’s the guy pressed into service when Andre Cisco went down in 2020 and Rob started 9 games that year. He played in 22 the next two years but with only 3 starts. In his career here, he made 106 tackles, picked off 3 passes and both forced and recovered a fumble. He was not on the spring roster, presumably because of deceased playing time and the competition at his position. Nobody seems to know where he is or what he’s doing but it was suggested he might already have his degree and simply left school.
Latarie Kinsler DL was a highly recruited but under-sized defensive lineman who never got on the field in two years here and transferred to Florida International where he played in 10 games and had 20 tackles last year. He’s on their roster this year but not projected to be part of the two deep.
Ben Labrosse DB Ben was a talented DB who played in 9 games as a reserve in 2020, making 11 tackles, and then the 2021 opener at Ohio U., then decided to go home to Canada. “While Labrosse was listed as a starter, he split time with New Mexico State transfer Jason Simmons in the opener. Both players made three tackles but Simmons earned the larger share of playing time. Simmons started the second game for the Orange, while Labrosse did not play.” He won all-Canada honors for McGill University of Montreal last year. He had 35 tackles, an interception, a 14 yard run, 121 yards on 6 kickoff returns and 79 yards on 4 punt returns.
Kevin Lemieux DL – Still another guy who didn’t play his first year and left. He went back home to Endicott college, a DIII school, shortly after his father died. He may have wanted to be closer to his family. In 2021, Kevin played in 10 games and had 45 tackles with one forced fumble. He does not appear to have been on the team the next year.
Steven Mahar Jr. TE – We were all excited when Steve Mahar Jr. was recruited, and the next year another tight end, Landon Morris. Both were considered pass-catching tight ends. It seemed to signal that SU was now going to use the tight end as an important offensive weapon – as so many other teams in college and the pros are doing. Mahar has played 28 games in three seasons for Syracuse and never caught a pass. He played mostly on special teams.
Dillon Markiewicz QB – Came in with Luke McPhail and JaCobian Morgan to see who would back up Tommy DeVito. Dillon was from the great football state of Texas and many, (including me) thought his highlight tape looked the best of the three. Dillon was here for two years and the only pass he threw was incomplete. He went back home to (East) Texas State, where he didn’t even attempt a pass and isn’t on this year’s roster. On Linked-in he describes himself as “Former Division 1 Athlete with an all-in work ethic’ who is a ”rising senior studying finance at Texas State University”. Good luck to him.
JaCobian Morgan QB – Morgan could make all the plays, too, but he seemed to me to be making them in slow motion in his high school highlight tape and that characterized his play here as well. Nonetheless he won the battle for the #2 job and it was he who led the team in the last three games of the season after Tommy DeVito went down. He completed 31 of 49 passes (63.6%) for 285 yards, 2TDs and 2 interceptions. His sacks overwhelmed his forward rushing yardage for a net of -25. People were hopeful he would develop into a good quarterback someday. He never got the chance due to the arrival of Garrett Shrader and then Carlos Del Rio Wilson. JaCobian completed one pass for 3 yards against NC State in 2021 and that’s been it. He hit the portal and will try it again at Jackson State.
Brandon Peskin PK – Kohl’s rated him the 53rd best kicking prospect of 2020. We never used him in a game so he moved on to Fordham, where he kicked off 15 times in 2021. Last year he was second team all-Patriot League, hitting 12 of 17 field goals and 76 of 77 PATs, (the Rams scored 49.5ppg, between 42 and 59 every game!) for 112 points. He’s having fun.
Sean Tucker RB – Always look at who is 5th string in the guys with the ball in heir hands. That’s what Sean was as a true freshman when two guys opted out due to Covid and two more got hurt – and eventually transferred out, leaving Sean as our #1 running back. He showed he was something special when he was apparently brought down by a Georgia Tech tackle, rolled over him, kept his balance and ran for a touchdown. He gained 636 yards on 137 carries (4.6) and scored 4 times. He caught 8 passes for 113 yards (14.1) but no scores for a 1-10 team that year. Then he had his break-out year, running for 1,498 yards on 246 carries, (6.1) and 12 scores with 20 catches for 255 yards (12.8) and two more scores. He was threat to go all the way on any play. We were hoping to see him in New York City for the 2022 Heisman presentation, maybe even to get it. But it wasn’t to be. In that first game, we lost Chris Elmore, Tucker’s lead blocker, for the season. At some point it’s suspected that Sean may have been injured himself, (an undisclosed medical condition was discovered that prevented him from working out on SU’s Pro day, causing him to go undrafted – maybe he already had it during the season), Sean seemed to lack the explosiveness he had in 2021. It didn’t help that our most effective running play – an option where the quarterback, Shrader could hand off to Sean, going in one direction, or fake it and go in the other, seemed to have been removed from our playbook. Sean gained 1,060 yards on 206 carries (5.1) and 11TDs but that included a game against Wagner that never should have been scheduled, (the Seahawks asked that the 3rd and 4th quarters be reduced to 10 minutes because we were ahead 42-0), in which Sean ran for 232 yards on 23 carries, meaning that in the other 11 games he gained 828 yards in 183 carries (4.5). He was used more as a pass receiver in Robert Anae’s offense, catching 36 passes, (which had to help him impress NFL evaluators), but they were for only 248 yards (6.9). He did score 2 TDs. Fortunately, Sean has been cleared to play now and was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccanneers as an undrafted free agent. Their running back spot seems open and we all hope this is the start of a great NFL career for Sean.
Ja’Vontae Williams WR – He played in 5 games in two years with no stats, then transferred to Highland Community College in Kansas, where he had some very good numbers last year: 50r 748 yards 7TDs, 4 runs for 6 yards and another score, one pass completion, (his only attempt) for 11 yards, 374 yards on 17 kick returns and 67 on 10 punt returns.

Duce Chestnut DB – Duce was lauded as our highest rated recruit in years and a continuation of our excellent recruiting in the defensive backfield. He had a big game against Ohio U. to start his career, which has been good but not quite great. Nonetheless he transferred to Louisiana State, (who obviously thinks he’s pretty good) for the last two years of his career. Athlon doesn’t have him on their two deep. There’s some speculation that his leaving here was a reaction to his involvement in the LeQuint Allen fight but the Tigers would not have taken him if he was just running away from a scandal.
Jatius Geer DL – Jatius disappointed SU fans when he hit the portal because he seemed to be a coming star on the defensive line. He had 33 tackles, 7 for a loss last year, (and a wonderful name). He transferred to South Carolina, probably another lost NIL battle.
Josh Hough RB – Boy, is this a sad story. Josh committed before his senior year, a huge, fast running back at 6-3 255. That season, he put up amazing numbers: he rushed for 2,048 yards and 29 touchdowns on just 124 carries – 16.5 yards per attempt! His highlight film showed him plowing through opposing defenses and running 50, 60, 70 yards for scores routinely. We couldn’t wait for this guy to get here and pair him with Sean Tucker in an old fashioned Nance/Csonka-Little running game. Who was going to stop that? A devastating knee injury in his first fall camp ended his first season here. He came back in 2022 as a 315 pound defensive lineman. I’d noticed that, among all those long runs in his highlight film, there were some great defensive plays, including one in which he pulled down a runner with one hand. I hoped he could become a star for us on defense. But that knee injury hadn’t healed and he didn’t play in 2022, either. He then entered the transfer portal – and hasn’t come out. His college career never started and may be over.
Justin Lamson QB – This was the guys I felt was going to be the successor to Garrett Shrader at quarterback. Actually, I started out thinking he was going to be the successor to Tommy DeVito. He first enrolled here in January, 2021. I loved his tape, which showed a tough, heady, multi-threat quarterback who reminded me of Eric Dungey. He looked great in the spring game but then red-shirted for 2021. He was injured in spring practice for 2022 and missed the season. It looked to some that he was about to win the back-up spot for 2023 when he suddenly announced he was entering the portal. Two weeks later, he committed to Stanford, having, like Josh Hough, never played a game for us, although he was here for more than two years. He’s from California, so he’s going home but getting homesick doesn’t take two years. He may have been informed that he did not win the back-up position, or that the NIL possibilities were bigger at Stanford. We’ll never know for sure. If Stanford joins the ACC, we might see more of Justin- trying to beat us.
Tyler Magnuson OL – Didn’t play in two years and entered the portal. He’s going home to play for St. Thomas, a prominent DIII team now jumping to FCS.
Malik Matthew LB – Malik was a NYC kid we got away from Rutgers. He didn’t play here as a freshman and hit the portal. He transferred to Hampton, where he played in two games but had no stats. He wasn’t on their 2023 roster.
Landon Morris TE – We were all excited when Steve Mahar Jr. was recruited, and the next year another tight end, Landon Morris. Both were considered pass-catching tight ends. It seemed to signal that SU was now going to use the tight end as an important offensive weapon – as so many other teams in college and the pros are doing. Then Morris hit the transfer portal before playing a game, his father saying "He just felt like he wasn't being utilized like he was recruited." Morris has yet to even play a college football game. He went to Utah and never played there so he transferred again to Temple, where he hopes to get into a game this season. I guess the joke was on us.
Willie Tyler OL – Tyler was a 6-7 335 transfer from Texas, (who played his high school ball in Racine Wisconsin), who came here “because he was looking for an opportunity somewhere he can make an impact”. With that body and three years of eligibility, he certainly had a chance to. He announced he was coming on 4/8/21. On 6/11/21, he said “I want to say thank you to Syracuse and the coaching staff for the opportunity to play there! I have decided to decommit.” His presence had no impact but his absence might have. He played for Louisiana-Monroe in 2021, Rutgers in 2022, will play for Louisville in 2023 and, presumably someone else in 2024. (He was at Iowa Western JC before going to Texas). He had nine starts each at ULM and Rutgers and gave up 4 sacks and 9 hurries in 564 pass attempts, so he’s been a pretty good player, just with happy feet.

Dom Foster WR/DB – Dom filled the internet with shots of the great plays he made in high school after he’d committed to Syracuse. When he got here he was assigned to be a DB but later switched to WR. Babers said, “That’s what he said he wanted to do”. Then he was suspended for violating team rules. Then he hit the portal and wound up at Independence CC, where he can make some more great plays.
CJ Hayes WR/DB – After four years at Michigan State he spent his Covid year here and caught one pass for 5 yards, then graduated.
Chad Schuster OL – He was here for one year, didn’t play and transferred to Western Michigan, which means he’ll play against us – maybe.

Comments: I wouldn’t mind having these guys on the current roster:
QB Justin Lamson
RB Sean Tucker, Jarveon Howard, Jawhar Jordan
WR Courtney Jackson, Kevn Mital, Javonte Williams
TE Luke Benson
OL Mathew Bergeron, Willie Tyler, Carlos Vettorello
DL Steve Linton, Drew Tuazama, Jaitus Geer
LB Geoff Cantin-Arku, Mikel Jones, Lee Kpogba
DB Adrian Cole, Neil Nunn, Ja’Had Carter, Rob Hanna, Ben LaBrosse, Duce Chestnut
K- Brandon Peskin
Again, if we had these guys, a lot of guys we have now would not have come here. And a lot of those guys could be really good players, too. This just illustrates how hard it is these days to build a team or to the “La Familia, Ohana”, as Dino Babers is always talking about. To be good these days requires a constant flow of talent into your roster, because you cannot know how long they will be here.


It’s time to kick names and take ass
Aug 31, 2011
Last I checked Willie Tyler was still fishing for a new school so don’t give up hope yet! And even if he does land somewhere else his history suggests we’ll have another shot next year. :)

This thread looks like a lot of work & behind each of these names is a lot of recruiting time and effort by coaches. How frustrating to be a coach nowadays.

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