Every football camp season there are some surprise players that shoot up the depth chart. This year has been no different for Syracuse. Plenty of players have been getting rave reviews and seeing more time than maybe initially expected. Here are the biggest ones to note.
WR Courtney Jackson
Jackson made news for being the first commit of the 2019 football class for Syracuse, but outside of that wasn’t much of a headliner. With an overall rating of 84 on 247sports.com, many expected the three-star wide receiver to not start seeing playing time till maybe his sophomore campaign. That was until, he popped up on the fall depth chart released right before the ACC Kickoff.
Since that point the speedy wideout has turned some heads in camp with the amount of playing time he is receiving and a couple highlight reel plays, including this one below.
Jackson is clearly rising up the ranks at the wide receiver group and someone the coaches really like. The 5-10 freshman still might not see a ton of time in a crowded receivers groups this year, but he appears to be a playmaker for the future at the position and have more potential then his initial recruiting ranking may of led many to believe.
TE Luke Benson
Benson maybe has made the biggest move during camp of any player on the Syracuse roster. The freshman tight end has gone from relatively unknown to catching two touchdowns in a camp scrimmage and possibly working his way into some playing time week one.
At 6-3, 210, Benson isn’t your typical bruiser of a tight end. However, it appears that might be working to his advantage. With expected starters Aaron Hackett and Chris Elmore checking in at roughly 235 pounds and 295 pounds respectively, Benson’s contrasting style could be an appeal to the coaching staff.
There is a realistic shot they use Benson in some different packages, potentially trying to split him out wide to present some mismatches on slower, stockier linebackers. At times in the past it’s felt like Syracuse hasn’t utilized their tight ends in much of a pass-catching role in Dino’s system. That could change in the future with Benson and we may even see some signs of that this year based on his performance and participation in camp thus far.
RB Jawhar Jordan
A lot like Jackson, Jordan, another freshman, has been rising up the crowded ranks of a skill position group. With Neal, Adams and Howard all in the mix at running back, there won’t be a lot of carries left to go around outside of that. It appears that Jordan has inserted himself as the fourth option at the moment though, based mainly on his speed. The 5-10, 160 pound back is arguably the fastest player on the team.
It’s hard to say whether he will carve out much of a role in the backfield his freshman year. Unless injuries of course may force him up the ladder. Regardless though, the coaching staff is probably looking for a way to use Jordan’s speed in the return game and he appears to be yet another young weapon on this Syracuse team.
Honorable Mention: WR Anthony Queeley, DE Tyrell Richards, S Devon Clarke