The Orange has been doing a great job reeling in recruits for the 2015 season, and even scored a defensive lineman from Connecticut earlier in the week. While the position seems to be taking form for the future, this season’s defensive line looks pretty solid at this point. In fact, both lines look like a major strength heading into this season. That’s some Scott Shafer football right there.
The Orange will have to fix the gaping hole at defensive tackle that departed senior Jay Bromley left. Bromley was drafted by the New York Giants in last month’s NFL Draft.
With Bromley gone, the Orange will turn to Eric Crume to anchor the defensive line. Crume played in every game for the Orange last year and totaled 28 tackles. Once a 2-star prospect, the senior should be huge for Syracuse.
Starting next to Crume at tackle is probably going to be Ryan Sloan. The junior played in five games last season and has great size at 6’2”, 320 pounds. If one of these guys can’t go, waiting to step in is sophomore Marcus Coleman. He played sparingly last season.
The Orange seems to have even more depth at defensive end. Leading the way is senior Robert Welsh, who has become a staple in the SU defensive line. He has played in every game for the Orange in the past two seasons and totaled 32 tackles last year. He even picked off Christian Hackenberg in the season opener. Also in the mix at defensive end is one-time tight end Ron Thompson. He converted to end at the beginning of last season and tallied 20 tackles. He was once rated a 4-star prospect and the 13th best tight end in the nation.
The other probable starter on the defensive line for the Orange is senior Micah Robinson. Like Welsh, he has played in all of Syracuse’s games in the past two seasons. Despite making 22 tackles last year, Shafer has considered shifting Robinson to tackle in case the current players can’t fill Bromley’s shoes.
Behind Robinson sits Donnie Simmons, who could fight for some playing time. Simmons tore his ACL and missed all of last season.
Syracuse also has the luxury of JUCO transfer Wayne Williams. The 6’4”, 330-pound lineman could factor into the Orange rotation after he improves his conditioning. Whether his work ethic can match his potential is yet to be seen, but he could be a huge addition down the line.
Coach Shafer and defensive line coach Tim Daoust have the luxury of experience on their defensive line heading into the 2014-2015 season. As long as the unit can generate pressure on the quarterback without Bromley, the line should not be an issue. With three seniors potentially anchoring it, the front seven will certainly lead the defense as the football team trends upward.
Posted by: Jason Weingold