It’s game week ladies and gents! Syracuse football opens up its 2022 campaign this weekend against Louisville in the Dome. There’s a lot of anticipation with the fresh season upon us. There was also a lot of build up around what the week one depth chart would look like for the ‘Cuse. Well we don’t have to wait anymore because the two-deep has dropped. Here are the surprises and big takeaways from the first rendition of Syracuse’s depth chart.
Oronde Gadsden at Tight End?
The Floridian is a player being talked about as a potential breakout star at the wide receiver position. However, the depth chart has listed the second-year receiver at the tight end spot? Well don’t be alarmed because that’s exactly how the lanky pass catcher was being used in the spring and in the spring game. Admittedly, it was a head scratcher back then as well.
It seems like Robert Anae wants to deploy Gadsden as a psuedo second slot receiver and have him line up close to the line. This will allow for the NFL legacy to create and win mismatches against bigger, bulkier defenders and beat defenses laterally. So no, the receiver did not put on 50 pounds in the offseason and switch to tight end.
Expect a Lot of Rotations in the Receiver Room
If you look closely you’ll see ever receiver position includes “or” meaning one player could start or the other. How that can also translate is that Syracuse is planning on really moving and shaking the split out players over the course the game. SU has a very diverse wide receiver room in terms of experience and athleticism and in the spring game we almost saw complete hockey style line changes amongst the pass catchers. Expect the Orange to reach deep in their bag to find some playmakers on the outside.Also where the heck is Anthony Queeley? He’s really fallen off.
Mix Up in the Trenches
This was a talking point the entire season, how would the front five look in the trenches for Syracuse. Well there a couple surprises. First, Carlos Vettorello moving inside the line from right tackle back to the center position he has held down previously. In his place, former right guard Dakota Davis kicked out to anchor the right side of the line. The experienced trench member finished the season on the edge of the line and did a pretty solid job, much better than Darius Tisdale at least. What’s not surprising is seeing All-ACC left tackle Matthew Bergeron reclaiming his throne as well as Kalan Ellis and Chris Bleich returning to their guard spots.
Alijah Clark Earns Starting Safety Gig
This isn’t much of a head spinner if you’ve been tuned into our latest camp intel. Alijah Clark has seized one of the safety spots alongside Ja’Had Carter. The Rutgers transfer displaced incumbent starter Jason Simmons Jr. who had an up and down first season on the Hill in 2021. The New Mexico State transfer has been nursing an injury recently in camp which must have propelled Clark to the secondary gig. Clark is a former four-star recruit with high upside and is also cousins with Syracuse cornerback Duce Chestnut.