It’s no secret that the projected weak link of the 2022 version of Syracuse football is the defensive line. SU doesn’t return any of its consistent starters from last season and has a depth chart that’s thinner than a slice of prosciutto. The Orange could have fixed that problem by getting busy in the transfer portal, but those efforts failed.
Now, the ‘Cuse heads into the fall with little experience, little talent, and meager depth. If any of the top three players get injured you can kiss any shot at a bowl berth goodbye. Let’s look beyond this year though and determine how this issue can be resolved. The simple answer, lock the gates of the state.
SU already locked up a promising trenchman in Rashard Perry. The Buffalo native pledged to the Orange back in early April and at the time was an unranked, unknown recruit.
Fast forward two months later, 247sports has quietly tabbed the rising senior as the top recruit in the Empire State! Perry is listed at 6’3, 245. Those numbers probably aren’t accurate at this point but with that frame, Perry projects to be a good fit as a three-down linemen in the 3-3-5 in the future.
On top of Perry, Syracuse has two must-gets and they both reside in New York. First, there’s Tyriq Blanding who is considered the top recruit in NY via the 247sports composite. Dillan Fontus is right behind Blanding at the two spot. Both of these players are from downstate, near the city and figure to be studs on the defensive line wherever they go.
It is absolutely paramount that Tony White and staff get these signatures come November or February. Blanding is 6’3, 275 and could slot into the middle of the d-line as a true freshman. The 3-star with a very impressive offer list could be the heart and soul of the defense. That’s why Michigan, Penn State, and Miami are all going after him relentlessly.
Fontus would be a massive get for this team as well. The Brooklyn native is listed at 6’5, 245. Those are very impressive numbers for a player that projects to have his hand in the dirt on the edge or maybe even play some outside linebacker. The top 1,000 recruit is another prospect that could see time early.
Take a second and imagine a 2023 class which features the three best defensive linemen in the nation. That sounds pretty darn good doesn’t it? Well it’s very realistic, but Syracuse needs to pursue Blanding and Fontus to the max and also rekindle some excitement in the program by putting together wins on the television screen.
Come 2025, we could be talking about a defensive line that goes like this: Fontus and Perry on the ends, and Blanding holding down the middle…