SU edge rushing stalwarts Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman both have just a year of eligibility remaining. And with so many first time offensive tackle starters on the schedule, both players can expect to record monstrous seasons. But after they graduate, who will replace potentially the best edge rush tandem in SU history? We’ll take a look at three players from the past three recruiting classes that could fill the void.
Kingsley Jonathan – Junior
Jonathan often rotates in when Coleman or Robinson need a breather. Last year Jonathan finished the year with five sacks and six tackles for loss. Obviously those numbers would be even higher with more playing time. But five sacks for a backup edge rusher is extraordinary. Babers has done a great job of building depth across the defensive line, and Jonathan easily steps in with little dip in production. He flips his hips to maneuver around offensive tackles very well, and once past the blocker, does a great job of moving laterally.
Caleb Okechukwu – Redshirt Freshman
Okechukwu redshirted last season, and only played in one game against Louisville where he didn’t record a stat. At 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, he fits the mold of an Orange edge rusher. While he likely won’t make the two-deep lineup this season, he was one of SU’s highest rated recruits in the 2018 class according to ESPN. Besides Syracuse, Okechukwu also had offers from Tennessee, Arkansas, and Arizona.
Jason Munoz – Freshman
Munoz has yet to play a down of college football, but originally signed with Miami and Mark Richt until he stepped down as the Hurricanes head coach. Then Babers snatched up the former 3-star recruit in January. Munoz, along with 13 other freshmen enrolled on July 5th. At 6-foot-4, 275 Munoz is big for an edge rusher, and will likely fulfill more of a strongside defensive end role. But he’s very quick and fills gaps nicely, opening up one on one situations for edge rushers.