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Syracuse’s Most Important Players: #5 Josh Black

Courtesy: Brett Carlson/ Getty Images

Josh Black is one of the most intriguing players on the SU football team. He’s experienced the high of starting nine games as a freshman and the low of a season ending injury as a sophomore. As a junior in 2019, Black flashed his potential making multiple tackles in 11 of 12 games and earning ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week for his efforts in the opener against Liberty. 

Going into his senior year, Black has the potential to lead the Orange defense and be a force inside. 

Why SU Needs Him 

Experience: Black is a seasoned veteran, having been with the program for four seasons and playing in 37 games. He’s started 25 of those contests, and has experience at both tackle and end. This makes him a very valuable asset for defensive coordinator Tony White. Black’s experience and versatility allow the new DC to use him creatively, either on the inside or the outside.  

Chemistry: Every member of SU’s starting D-line going into week 1 is a senior. This includes Black, McKinley Williams, and Kingsley Jonathan. Black actually shared snaps with Williams at tackle in 2018. Going into 2020, Williams has kicked outside to anchor one of the end positions. The trio has started a combined 40 games. That amount of experience playing alongside each other can only bode well for this SU D-line, especially in a year of schematic transition. 

Best Case Scenario

Black stays healthy, and for a second consecutive year plays in every game. He’s a run-stuffer inside, taking pressure off of the linebackers, and gets a few sacks in the pass rush. New DC White fully utilizes Black’s athleticism and versatility, making him someone opposing offensive lines, tight ends and running backs have to account for on every single play. Teams are forced to gameplan around him.

Worst Case Scenario

On the flip side, Black gets injured early in the season and SU loses a key cog in the middle. Behind Black is redshirt-senior Curtis Harper, who’s been around the block as well, but has never started a game. Without Black, teams will run all over SU due to a lack of size and ineptitude at the linebacker position. The onus will fall on the offense to keep up. 

Monday, September 7- #5 Josh Black 

Tuesday, September 8- #4 ? 

Wednesday, September 9-#3? 

Thursday, September 10-#2? 

Friday, September 11, #1?

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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