Chauncey Scissum was one of the first targets when Scott Shafer took over as head coach of Syracuse. Now that the former 3-star cornerback has joined the Orange officially, he is adapting to a new life and a new scheme.
"I think I'm adjusting at a pretty good speed," Scissum admitted. "I'm just making sure I know my plays and the stuff that the defensive coaches are giving me. Asking the older players what to do, trying to catch up to them. Just making sure I'm putting myself in position to be successful.
"It's been pretty much what I expected. I talked to a lot of older guys who played at the D-1 level last year that have gone to other schools. So they told me what it's going to be like. I've been preparing myself as time has gotten closer."
The defensive scheme that Chuck Bullough is installing has been the biggest adjustment for Scissum. The scheme is expectedly more complex than his high school days, but he feels he making solid progress.
"I'm pretty comfortable with the playbook overall," Scissum declared. "It's just the little things I need to keep working on as always. I like Coach Bullough's scheme a lot. He has a lot of blitzes for both the linebackers and also the secondary. So I like what he's doing back there."
Scissum has spent a lot of time working with defensive backs coach Fred Reed. The feedback and coaching he has received will only help him as he develops.
"He's just letting me know I'm not one of the older guys yet," Scissum recalled. "They know what they're doing and they have the experience. So I just have to make sure I'm doing the little things right to keep progressing and make sure as the years go on, I can keep moving forward."
Most of Scissum's positional teammates are from Florida. He says they often have inside jokes amongst each other, but he has fit right in with the guys. The veterans have been mentoring Scissum in order to try to limit his learning curve in his first year.
"Actually most of the corners have taken me under their wing and helped me out," Scissum claimed. "They've all helped me out with different points of my game. Just making sure that I'm staying aggressive and putting myself in the right situations. The whole secondary has been helping me out a lot.
"My roommate Brisly Estime is a Florida dude too. They all joke around and stuff so it's great. Brisly is a laid back kid but he likes to have fun too. It's not all business all the time with him. When he's around guys he feels comfortable with, he lets loose a little bit."
One thing that has stood out to Scissum since arriving at Syracuse is the leadership of senior linebacker Marquis Spruill. As Scissum becomes more comfortable, he believes he can develop into that role as well.
"Definitely watching the first group, he's the quarterback of the defense," Scissum offered. "He makes sure everybody's in the right spot. He's a great leader who's always doing what he needs to do and make sure everybody else is as well."
"As I learn the plays better, I'm going to start being more vocal. Me and the other defensive backs in my groups have started to be more vocal to make sure we're on the same page. I know Coach Reed is going to play the best players and I'm trying to make sure I'm one of them."