Syracuse brought in an impressive 2014 recruiting class to their program over the summer. Since then, they have spent the remaining portion of the offseason learning the playbook and working hard during fall camp. A lot has been learned about each and what their expected role could be this season.
Parris Bennett: Bennett will be primary reserve at outside linebacker. He could spell either Cam Lynch or Dyshawn Davis if needed. Expect him to contribute on special teams and make his way onto the field in specific defensive packages.
Antwan Cordy: One of three freshmen in the mix to play as the dime corner, Cordy has been the least discusses option. That does not mean he should be discounted, however. He could contribute on special teams and be called upon to play in the secondary.
Jamal Custis: Custis started with the receivers but is also learning the tight end position. He has spent most of the last couple of weeks of camp with the tight end group and will likely make an impact there. With Josh Parris out early on with a lower body injury, Custis could contribute earlier than originally planned. His size can make him a matchup nightmare for opponents. Look for Custis to be part of the game plan throughout the season.
Keaton Darney: A walk-on offensive lineman, Darney is not expected to contribute this season. He will likely redshirt.
Juwan Dowels: Expect Dowels to play this year. He will play in dime situations and may contribute on special teams. Dowels has a high ceiling and is a pure cover corner.
Adly Enoicy: Enoicy was having an impressive camp prior being sidelined by a lower body injury. When he returns, he could contribute as a receiver or tight end as he was learning both during training camp. It may not come until later in the season, but don’t be surprised if Enoicy sees the field this season. That said, the injury could change the original plan and a redshirt is possible.
Donnie Foster: A walk-on center, Foster is not likely to play this season. Expect him to redshirt.
Zaire Franklin: Franklin has worked inside and outside with the linebackers during camp. Despite the plethora of talented linebackers on the team, Franklin is still expected to contribute. He will rotate in with the linebackers and play special teams.
Jalen Harvey: Harvey was a late addition to Syracuse’s 2014 class. Defensive tackle does not have a lot of depth which could force him into action in a situational/rotational role.
Nathan Hines: A walk-on long snapper, Hines will likely redshirt.
Naesean Howard: Howard is a strong redshirt candidate. With the number of safeties Syracuse has and the emergence of Williams, he will not need to play.
Cordell Hudson: Similar to Dowels, Hudson is in line to play this season. Likely on in dime situations, but he should see the field.
Steve Ishmael: Ishmael has moved up the depth chart throughout training camp and is now a primary reserve at receiver. He has big play ability and excellent hands. Look for Ishmael’s role to grow as the season progresses.
A.J. Long: Long was thought to be leading the backup quarterback battle until an injury took him out of practice. Regardless, the goal is to keep Hunt healthy and have him the vast majority of snaps this season. The staff won’t likely burn Long’s redshirt season in mop-up duty.
Colton Moskal: Another freshman linebacker with a lot of ability, Moskal may not need to play this season with several options at middle linebacker. He may be tough to keep off the field, however, and could find a role on special teams.
Cole Murphy: The primary backup to kicker Ryan Norton, Murphy will only see the field if Norton struggles. That is possible as he was inconsistent last season, so keep an eye on Murphy as a potential option in the kicking game.
Ervin Philips: The freshman running back has impressed throughout training camp. He will have a small offensive role this year but will make his biggest impact in the return game. He is elusive in the open field and has explosive play ability.
Aaron Roberts: Syracuse has a lot of depth along the offensive line this season. Roberts will not be needed most likely and is a strong redshirt candidate.
Kayton Samuels: Similar to Harvey, the lack of tackle depth could mean Syracuse has to play Samuels to have the number of bodies in the rotation that they would prefer.
Chris Slayton: Syracuse has strong numbers at defensive end. Slayton has a lot of upside but won’t be needed this season. Expect him to redshirt.
Jonathan Thomas: One of the best physical specimens of the incoming players, Thomas will play a reserve linebacker role and contribute on special teams.
Denzel Ward: Similar to Roberts, Ward will not be needed this season as Syracuse has several offensive tackles who can play. He will be fighting for a starting job next season, but expect him to redshirt this year.
Rodney Williams: Originally, most assumed Williams would redshirt this season. However, after a strong camp where he was among the standouts in the secondary, Williams will rotate in as part of the Okie package on defense.
Wayne Williams: While not a freshman, the junior college transfer is in his first season with the Orange. Look for Williams to be part of the defensive tackle rotation and become a bigger force later in the year.