After a busy off-season, which saw the addition of a new head coach and the installation of a completely new mentality, Syracuse football is finally ready to start the season. Ahead of the first game of the season on Friday night, Syracuse has released its depth chart and there are surely some notable starters.
There is no surprise that Eric Dungey finds himself on the top of the pile in terms of quarterbacks. Dungey led the Orange in passing yards (1,298), completion percentage (59.7%), passing touchdowns (11) and passer rating (136.6). Zach Mahoney, who was awarded a scholarship last week after filling in when Dungey was sidelined by injury, finds himself listed as the back-up.
The biggest surprise may be that Sophomore Dontae Strickland has been named the starting running back for the game against Colgate. Jordan Fredericks is listed as the second running back on the depth chart. Fredericks led the team in carries (107), and rushing yards (607). Strickland was 7th on the team in yards on the ground and only got 21 carriers last season. It is certainly possible, likely even, that Babers chose Strickland as the starter because he fits better into a fast-paced offense. With that said, one should still expect Fredericks to get plenty of touches.
Looking up and down the depth chart on both sides of the ball, there is only true freshman slated to start. Defensive End Kendall Coleman is listed as the number one player at his position. Redshirt sophomore Chris Slayton is set to start at the other defensive end position.
Of course, one cannot discuss the Syracuse football depth chart without mentioning who will fill in for the “legendary” punter, Riley Dixon, who as of now, is still on the Denver Broncos roster. Well, his replacement is redshirt freshman Sterling Hofrichter. Only time will tell how well Hofrichter can handle the pressure of following in the footsteps of Dixon.
Surely, things will change and adjustments will be made, but for now, we have our first look at how Dino Babers will set up his team in his debut season.