To help celebrate one of the most anticipated Syracuse Spring Games in recent memory, The Fizz created its own Orange Two-Deep Depth Chart to culminate a week-long series of spotlights on SU’s 2011 football season. The panel consisted of all seven members of Team Fizz (D.A., Ted Conroy, Andrew Kanell, Craig Hoffman, Steve Neikam, Dave Van Moffaert, Alex Plavin), each with a ballot for their two-deep. Players received two points for a first string vote and one for a second string vote. As a rule, these were not predictions on how the the roster would be built, but how we each felt it should be. We did not want to crawl inside the minds of the coaches. We acted as though we were the coaches.
If you’re headed out to the Spring Game tomorrow, print out our depth charts and bring them along as a way to decipher who should be seeing significant playing time heading into the season. If you can’t make it to the game, follow The Fizz on Twitter for constant updates all afternoon long regarding the action on the field.
There were a lot of close races, plenty of landslides, and a couple of WTFs from Team Fizz, so here we go.
CATEGORY 1: TEAM ALL-BIG EAST
Ryan Nassib, big defensive ends, Antwon Bailey, Adam Harris, and the offensive line stole the show. All of Team Fizz is sold on a young and undersized Macky MacPherson at center as well. Nick Provo was a unanimous selection, along with Bailey, Nassib, Harris, and all but Zach Chibane on the offensive line. Marcus Sales’ Pinstripe performance earned him a runaway win as well.
Just to keep you interested, Phillip Thomas also took unanimous honors at safety, but not Shamarko. We’ll get to that later.
CATEGORY 2: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
There were a couple of great battles, two of the closest being on the receiving end of the offense. Van Chew’s banged-up spring pitted him in a battle against Alec Lemon on the Fizz Chart. I sided with Lemon, who Hoffman says dropped his 40-yard dash down to 4.5. In the end, Chew and his big-play potential pushed him to the top in an 11-10 decision.
The second tight-end slot was a battle as well. David Stevens edged Louie Addazio by just one point, not bad for Addazio, who was sidelined with shoulder problems. If Beckett Wales doesn’t return from his leave of absence, The Fizz sees plenty of playing time for Steve’s son.
On defense, the big battle came at strongside linebacker. Dan Vaughan had a late lead before Siriki Dirabate stole our hearts (10-8 the final). We really believe in the juco transfer who should promise big hits.
CATEGORY 3: WASN’T HE A WALK-ON LAST YEAR?
Here’s a chance to blow up everyone on The Fizz who had a silly-as-all hell pick.
DA, whose ballot was determined to run everyone over the age of 20 out of town, put Donnie Simmons ahead of Brandon Sharpe at backup defensive end. He also kept Olando Fisher off the chart, replacing him with Shutang Mungwa (who is a highly-regarded recruit, but Fisher has serious playing time).
Hoffman kept Ollie Haney on his chart as a backup defensive tackle. Haney missed all of last year with an injury. He missed the spring with an injury. He is the Carl Cutler of defensive tackles (who Hoff also slotted in as a tight end, despite his 120th torn ACL).
Kanell was also enamored with youth. He placed Robert Trudo and Eric Crume in as backups. These youngsters, I’ll tell ya!
Shamarko Thomas was knocked off the first string by Plavin, who had Fisher there. Thomas has earned his time, as mentioned above, but #SHAMARKO is the only logical response.
INTERESTING AND UNUSUAL NOTES
We have Brandon Reddish slotted in at second string defensive back. The PSAL wide receiving star will be converted to corner and has quick feet and is extremely athletic.
Incoming freshman Cameron Lynch got some votes for backup linebacker, and a couple of us (me included) put him in as a starter. Many insiders have said with two more inches on his 5’11″ frame, he would have had multiple SEC offers.
Jonathan Fisher, who will join the team this summer as a freshman was slotted at punter, a unanimous pick to start. That’s less about Fisher and speaks more to the 30-yard bombs Shane Raupers has put booted this spring. There is a serious need at the position Rob Long is vacating, and Fisher is going to have to step in quickly.
The Fizz Depth Chart puts some people in places you may not expect. Check it out, agree or scream at us, and we’ll make sure to answer your questions in the Fizz Feedback this weekend and discuss our picks in the FizzCast.
Posted: Ted Conroy