When the Orange heads back to camp to prepare for the 2019 season, it will do so without a number of primary contributors from last season. However, in some spots, SU brings back some key cogs, with a few potentially exciting players poised to fill new vacancies as well. With that said, there’s a good chance many Syracuse fans will get to know some new faces on the gridiron this coming season. So, we might as well take a look at a who a few of them might be.
QB Tommy DeVito
Obviously, many people might see this one as a no-brainer. Eric Dungey is onto greener pastures and Chance Amie is transferring, which very most likely means DeVito will be starting under center in ’19. In a limited sample size last season, DeVito completed just about half of his passes with a 4-to-3 touchdown to interception ratio. A bright spot last year for DeVito was when he led the Orange to a comeback win over North Carolina. In building on last season’s success, it’s safe to say Syracuse will need several efforts like that one in the season ahead.
OT Ryan Alexander
As one of the big dogs up front, Alexander’s value might get a bit overlooked next season, but don’t sleep. The South Alabama graduate transfer is going to be crucial to a Syracuse team that no longer has Cody Conway or Koda Martin. Alexander was an all-Sun Belt Conference honorable mention for the Jaguars in 2018, and started 28 of the team’s 29 games over his career.
LB Andrew Armstrong
A senior from Youngstown, Ohio, Armstrong has made an impact through three years with the Orange, but we could see him take it to the next level in 2019. Armstrong was ninth on the team in tackles a season ago, but the only two linebackers ahead of him on that list are not returning for Syracuse next season (Ryan Guthrie and Kielan Whitner). Furthermore, Armstrong has made it known that he’s got a chip on his shoulder heading into 2019. Armstrong has never lacked the drive or work ethic. Now, with Guthrie and Whitner both gone, it might just be his time to shine.
RB Abdul Adams & WR Trishton Jackson
These two are grouped together here because both come in as transfers next season with a chance to help out Syracuse tremendously. They’ve already made impacts, both finding the end zone – Adams twice – in SU’s Camping World Bowl victory over West Virginia. Adams and Jackson will have to earn starting spots, but their extremely early contributions would lead many to believe that both players will be heavily involved this coming season. As a sophomore at Oklahoma in 2017, Adams finished third on the team in rushing yards despite leading the Sooners with a whopping 9.2 yards per carry. His lack of opportunity is what brought him to Syracuse, where he looks to ball out in a backfield highlighted by senior Moe Neal and sophomore Jarveon Howard. Freshman Jawhar Jordan will also be part of that unit, and could see snaps next season as well. In the case of Jackson, he comes over from Michigan State, where caught just 17 passes for a total of 232 yards and one touchdown through two seasons. Next season with the Orange, he should see his workload increase. All in all, however much opportunities he gets, it will be important he takes advantage. If he doesn’t, Syracuse might have serious trouble making up for the loss of the NFL-bound Jamal Custis.
These may have just been five names, but Syracuse fans sure wouldn’t mind more than five players breaking out in 2019. Surely, the list of potential breakout players is not limited to just these five, but if each player on this list shows out for the Orange next season, SU will certainly have a far more viable opportunity to build on last season’s success.