The defensive line is undergoing a facelift this season with the loss of three starters from a year ago. One player who figured to be part of the rotation after contributing in the 2014 season was defensive tackle Marcus Coleman.
But on Tuesday, it was announced that those plans could be in serious jeopardy.
”He’s tried to get going,” head coach Scott Shafer said. “He’s had foot injuries on both sides. It’s been chronic. It looks like he’s probably going to be disqualified to play. It’s a sad state. He’s such a great kid. He embodies what student-athlete is. He’s been a very good student here and he’s worked his tail off to try to get on the field more and more.”
A medical disqualification leaves Syracuse thin at the defensive tackle position. Isaiah Johnson slid inside last season and will likely stay there now to provide more bodies. Chris Slayton, a former three-star defensive end prospect who redshirted last season, is also expected to take some snaps inside. Slayton could be a versatile weapon along the defensive line, able to play inside or out.
Last season, Ron Thompson slide inside in order to get one of Syracuse’s best defensive linemen on the field. Now, he is working at defensive end and will likely stay there heading into training camp this fall.
Over the summer, reinforcements are coming. Class of 2015 signees Tyler Cross, Steven Clark and Anthony Giudice will provide depth at tackle while Jake Pickard, Qaadir Sheppard and Amir Ealey will do the same at end. Kenny Carter will also be in the mix, but he is raw and will likely redshirt.
According to Stephen Bailey from Syracuse.com, Coleman will stay a part of the program by becoming an undergraduate assistant coach under defensive line coach Tim Daoust.