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Should Syracuse Fans Want Duce Chestnut Back?

Photo Courtesy of Syracuse Athletics

In this day and age of collegiate athletics, anything is seemingly possible. So much so to the point where its not unheard of that players that have transferred end up back at their original schools through another trip in the transfer portal. Qudus Wahab did it with Georgetown Basketball a few years ago, and now old friend Duce Chestnut might do the same. At least, Justin Barron wants him to. Regardless of what a presumed captain next year thinks, does a reunion make sense?

During his time at Syracuse, Chestnut looked like he MIGHT join the growing list of highly-touted defensive backs to play on the hill and garner national recognition. As a true freshman in 2021, the Camden, NJ native compiled 43 total tackles with eight passes broken up, and he was the only player on the team with multiple interceptions (three of them). 2022 wasn’t nearly as pretty, but he still recorded 40 total tackles and a pick-six, but the struggles go beyond the stat sheet. When Garrett Williams sustained his season-ending injury, all of the focus went on Chestnut, and it wasn’t exactly pretty. He was always a high-ceiling player, but the Williams injury exposed a low floor.

After the 2021 season, Chestnut was one of two Orange defensive backs to leave SU for a higher-profile school (shoutout Dino Babers’ “depth is gone… and it gets bought away” quote). Ja’Had Carter bolted for Ohio State, while Chestnut headed down south to LSU. His career in purple and gold got off to an excellent start when he picked off Florida State gunslinger Jordan Travis in the first game of the season, but from there he fell off the face of the Baton Rouge earth. Including the game against the Seminoles, Chestnut only saw the field twice as a Tiger.

That’s the risk you run when you go from what Syracuse was to a high-profile school like LSU.

So, does a reunion make sense? To answer that question, we have to answer another question. Does Chestnut fit in Fran Brown’s system/program? If he does not a reunion doesn’t make sense. Immediately after Brown was named Head Coach, a decent-sized flock of recruits reopened their commitment. The standard has evidently changed based off Brown’s introductory press conference, does Chestnut fit that standard? Is it worth the risk to bring back a one-time good but probably not great player into a system with a new head coach and defensive coordinator?

There’s one certainty from this hypothetical. If Duce Chestnut does come back, social media will have a field day. Reactions will be mixed for sure, many extreme too. It would be one heck of a story if he does.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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