Pushing for Plays: Syracuse’s Young & Hungry DBs Are Making Moves

Senior Keon Lyn is will have to look up to notice the youth pushing him at every spot in the secondary.

With the loss of Shamarko Thomas to the NFL, a key focus this preseason is how the secondary will look for Syracuse. Groomed veterans along with some new faces have been impressing at camp and showing off the secondary’s depth thus far with the season opener less than three weeks away.

There is little question as to who the starting corners are going to be. Keon Lyn and Ri’Shard Anderson are both heading into their senior seasons looking to prove they can shut down the best of the ACC. However, there are some newer names giving them some added pressure from further down on the depth chart. Brandon Reddish and Julian Whigham have been catching Scott Shafer’s eye during practice and can challenge for increased playing time. Anderson did not have a spectacular year in ’12 and has to step up early on to avoid giving up playing time up to Reddish, who looked impressive last year. Shafer loves competition even at positions that seem locked up with seniors, so it’s no surprise he noticed Whigham’s stellar interception on the first day of practice. With the secondary being an area where players rotate constantly do not be shocked to see players like Reddish on a big time wide receiver at some point this season.

Durell Eskridge is going to be looked at to fill the shoes of Shamarko. Eskridge showed signs of brilliance last year as a redshirt freshman and has the physical attributes to be the starting strong safety this year. This could be a breakout season for Eskridge with the playing time he will be given. He did have wrist surgery after the season ended but is the frontrunner to land the starting spot. Ritchy Desir, who will also be vying to return punts for the Orange, would back up Eskridge.

The free safety position looks locked up by Jeremi Wilkes. Starting in all 13 games, Wilkes was beaten a few times last year and missed several tackles. However, he still has an aggressive style of play to keep himself in the starting role. Wilkes backup is Wayne Morgan who will be groomed to take over for Wilkes at the end of his tenure. Morgan was a highly touted recruit and a key piece of the NYC puzzle, and could benefit with more playing time because of his move from cornerback to free safety.

With a few weeks to go the defense looks ACC-strong, especially in the secondary and linebacking corps. It will not be surprising to see some breakout stars coming from the defensive side of the ball this fall.

Posted: Zephan Mayell

9 Comments on this Post

  1. Cuse Don't Luse

    good move by wayne morgan with the mediocrity of these starters I’m probably looking forward more to the secondary in 2014 but eskridge is very athletic, wilkes is very polished and both corners have shown flashes but the secondary is definitely a position where Florida speed will take over (Eskridge, Desir, Whigham) in the future. The linebackers lead this years D but next year the secondary will be phenomenal and carry the D sure we lose spruill but just think cam lynch who is apparently a weight room freak and missed SEC offers strictly cus of his height and dyshawn davis who will probably be 1st team all ACC come season close and then Arciniega as a senior in the middle who is a very good player in my opinion then backed by Vigille who is apparently the most underrated LB on the team and Kirkland don’t get me wrong LB will be a strength on this D for at least 2 seasons. I heard Ron Thompson is beasting on the D-Line i think MPB is a big loss opposite him Bromley you know will be good the questions will be with micah robinson or robert welsh (which ever starts because i think thompson wins the other spot) and the nose tackles led by Crume i think will struggle especially in the ACC on offense Allen IS the starter come on they have to make it look close you can’t just let a transfer bunny hop the depth chart but Allen is smart enough do you think a kid from Texas/Oklahoma comes all the way up to Syracuse for 1 year to sit on the bench? unlikely simply because he could be at NC state and after Glennon they are trying to find a QB too but i think Allen will be more successful then people think we all know the backs are great Broyld and BRISLEY ESTIME will be great slot players in Mcdonalds offense West will be consistent Quinta Funderburke will do more than people seem to expect from him at this point Chris Clark will be mediocre Kobena will break out now that he is healthy and Adrian Flemming will be a quality target to though I see him getting injured somewhere this season just too injury free so i have my money on him to get hurt and then of course Wales and Parris will be great TE’s the line will be the line we saw before Pugh came back basically so imagine that I think Hickey Trudo Macpherson will be great Foy will be fine and for me Robinson has the most to prove of any current starter we will see I could see big Omari Palmer or John Miller gobbling that spot

  2. orangeinva

    Donnie Henderson did a good job with the DBs the short time he was here. Can the new coach keep it going?

    Aint it great to have depth? Our weakest area may be Oline (numbers and experience) and WR (talent).

  3. Nice analysis of the positions CDL,..did school start yet in Houston?I guess you’ll still find time to contribute during the season anyway!?!My only REAL concern is how we perform at QB!

  4. @OrangeinVa,the OL’s will help decide that QB performance!

  5. Wilkes safety is weakened with his inability to hold on to potentialI NTs and then staying upright. He also has a tendency to creep up to the LOS and let WRs get behind him with relative ease. Morgan could be a super player back there and you have to love Durell’s talent an root for this kid to make it big for his family.Desir played weell in the SS spot in his time giving Shamarko a breather or when go dinged.Whigham is a surprise and our recruiting iis bringing n a couple big time players for the unit.

  6. Jesse H

    From everything I am hearing, I would not be surprised to see Knapp leapfrog Foy at the starting Right Tackle spot. He is the next first round LT that will come from Cuse. If there is anyone on the Fizz staff that could speak to this I would certainly appreciate the insight.

  7. I have recently started a blog, the info you provide on this site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

  8. Regular visits listed below are the simplest way to thank you for the effort, which means that I’m visiting your website everyday, searching for new, useful info. Several, many thank you!

  9. Fantastic, this is truly a first class a part of jot down which has been find around rather long lengthy time. Can even explore a good web-site.

Comments have been disabled.