Syracuse Football’s 2021 recruiting class has been strong, but it is mostly made up of three-star talents. All of that changed today when four-star cornerback Darian “Duce” Chestnut committed to the Orange. He is the first four-star recruit since Trill Williams in the 2018 class.
Chestnut is a huge get for Syracuse (to point out the obvious). He’s from Camden, New Jersey and is going into his senior year at Camden High School. Chestnut is the sixth best player in the state of New Jersey and the 23rd ranked cornerback in his class. He is listed at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, which is fairly similar to Andre Cisco (6’0, 209 lbs).
Chestnut picked the Orange over four other schools in his final-five. Those schools that Syracuse beat out were Louisville, Miami, Michigan State, and Rutgers. He also received scholarship offers from East Carolina, Kansas, Michigan, NC State, Baylor, Maryland, Ole Miss, Temple, and West Virginia. That means Syracuse beat schools from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, and AAC. That is a massive win for the Orange if I’ve ever seen one.
Chestnut plays corner in high school, but has the size and speed to play safety too. He is super aggressive and has some great ball-skills. Chestnut’s tape reminds me of a young Andre Cisco– great vision, instincts and football IQ. Plus, he can change direction and speed on a dime and is extremely explosive.
In 2019, Chestnut was named to the Courier-Post All-South First-Team as a junior. He played on both sides of the ball and was Camden’s punt and kickoff returner. Chestnut also runs track and basketball in high school, so that should tell you what kind of speed and athleticism he has.
At “The Opening Regional” in early 2019, Chestnut logged a handful of drills for scouts. He ran a 4.85 forty, a 4.43 shuttle, and a 26.5 inch vertical. For being a junior in high school at the time, those are some pretty darn impressive stats. They will only improve with time and with the correct coaching, which is what Syracuse can provide him.
The important aspect of Chestnut’s commitment is the timing. He will be joining the Orange in 2021, the year after Andre Cisco (most likely) leaves for the NFL. Plus, Trill Williams might try out the league as well. Either way, there will be a big gap in Syracuse’s secondary, which Chestnut will fill. He has the talent to play right away and be a big contributor to SU’s best positional group.
Syracuse has kind of become “DB-U” recently and Chestnut’s commitment is continuing that legacy. Welcome to the Orange family, Duce!