Right before the ACC Media Days start Wednesday, Syracuse released its new depth chart with plenty of changes.
New depth chart is out.
⬆️: WR T. Jackson, RT A. Red, LB M. Jones, CB I. Melifonwu
⬇️: CB S. Bradshaw, LB T. Richards
Plus, reshuffling on O line with Servais back at center: pic.twitter.com/nvXb0C2tLK
— Orange Fizz (@OrangeFizz) July 16, 2019
The biggest takeaway on paper is the offensive line. Airon Servais has moved from starting right tackle on the spring depth chart to starting center (his position from last year). With the senior back at center, that leaves two freshman in the starting tackle spots right now (Carlos Vetterello at LT and Anthony Red at RT). South Alabama grad transfer Ryan Alexander is listed as the backup right tackle currently.
Keep in mind, Alexander hasn’t been on campus that long, which could be contributing to him not being a starter. It’s been assumed that he would slide in sorta like Koda Martin did as a grad transfer last year and add some experience to the tackle positions. While that still very well may happen, it feels less like a sure thing now. Syracuse needs Alexander to be that guy or else you’re either starting two freshman at the tackle spots or moving around Servais to a new position. This doesn’t mean Alexander isn’t the long-term answer but it’s something to watch going forward.
The wide receivers also saw some reshuffling on this new depth chart. The big news is Trishton Jackson is now listed as a starting wideout. The four-star transfer from Michigan enters his first full season with big expectations. This is great news and lends you to believe he is on his way to potentially becoming one of the “guys” in the offense.
Outside of Jackson, the Orange also shrunk the number of names from eighth in March to now just six.
Removed from WR Depth Chart
Added to WR Depth Chart
Courtney Jackson (FR)
Courtney Jackson was listed as an OR behind Nykeim Johnson and Sean Riley. The freshman is likely there because N. Johnson has been battling some injuries. Furthermore, while this does show the coaching staff has liked what they’ve seen from Jackson, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s ahead of someone like a Cameron Jordan in terms of field time. At 5-10, 171, Jackson has a similar style and quickness to the slot guys listed above him in Riley and N. Johnson. This could just be the coaching staff saying, we like what we’ve seen from Jackson and he might have to play some early to give us another speedy slot receiver option if Nykeim is still banged up.
The biggest change on the defensive side of the ball is it appears Ifeatu Melifonwu has jumped Scoop Bradshaw for a starting spot. This probably comes as music to plenty of fans ears. After shining in the UNC game last year, Melifonwu has garnered some hype. If he could be an improved version of Bradshaw, it would make a loaded secondary on paper even better. Not to mention, at 6-3, 207 pounds, he gives them a physical starting corner compared to Bradshaws 5-11, 178. With Melifonwu on the field, a bigger receiver is less likely to give SU problems like a Kelvin Harmon did last year for N.C. State.
The competition at linebacker has also seen some new developments. Mikel Jones is now listed on the two-deep as a backup and Tyrell Richards has been bumped off. Jones is one of the top rated recruits in this most recent class from IMG Academy, the same school that Andre Cisco played his high school ball at. Like Cisco, Jones could be in for a big role as a freshman and perhaps a breakout campaign.
Finally, another notable thing is still no Antwan Cordy listed at all. Cordy announced he was coming back to the team for a sixth season after garnering a medical redshirt. Dino will likely give us more answers on that starting Wednesday at the ACC Media Kickoff and we will let you know. For full coverage of the ACC Media Days follow us @OrangeFizz on twitter and here on OrangeFizz.net all week.