Notable Additions: QB Joe Fields 6-0 213 Washington High School (TX), S AJ Brown 6-0 197 Liberty High School (VA), LB Jamar Atkinson 6-3 220 transfer.
Notable Subtractions: WR Johnnie Morant, drafted by Raiders, LB Rich Scanlon, signed with Chiefs, QB RJ Anderson, DE Josh Thomas, signed with Colts, FB Thump Belton, signed with Lions.
Notable Returnees: LB Kellen Pruitt 6-3 225 junior, DE Julian Pollard 6-4 258 senior, C Matt Tarullo 6-5 332 senior.
|2004 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE|
Defensive Overview: Two years ago, Syracuse's defense finished last, or next to it, in every statistical category in Division I football. Two years later, the defense figures to be a strength. Steve Dunlap takes over as defensive coordinator and will have to work in a new starting line and new cornerbacks. Tony Jenkins, Kader Drame and Julian Pollard will start on the defensive line. They have big shoes to fill after the graduations of Louis Gachelin, Christian Ferrara and Josh Thomas. Speaking of big shoes, the middle linebacker spot now belongs to Jerry Mackey, the great nephew of Syracuse legend John Mackey. He joins returning starters Kelvin Smith and Kellen Pruitt. The Orange swapped two-year starting cornerback Steve Gregory for receiver Marcus Clayton in spring ball. Clayton will step in right away as a starter at cornerback. He's quick and athletic and joins safeties Diamond Ferri and Anthony Smith in the secondary. Kicker Collin Barber and punter Brendan Carney are back after both earned second-team All-Big East honors last year. Carney has a powerful leg and can boom punts, but needs to work on his kicking time - last year, he had five punts blocked.
For Orange fans that love to dream,... Syracuse has an outside chance of winning the Big East. Swing games include Rutgers, Connecticut and Pittsburgh. If Syracuse is able to take these games while conceding a loss at West Virginia, then the Orange's final game against Boston College will decide who wins the Big East. This will hinge on whether Syracuse's defense is as good as advertised, and whether Syracuse can form a functional passing game.
|TheInsiders.com 2004 College Football Preview|
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