One of the glaring holes in Syracuse’s defense next season will be the loss of defensive end Chandler Jones, who decided to forgo his final year at SU and declare early for the NFL draft in December. But the sting of losing Jones will be lessened by the Orange’s incoming class, which the University announced Wednesday afternoon.
The Orange signed five defensive linemen, including defensive ends Myles Hilliard, Josh Manley and Markus Pierce-Brewster, and defensive tackles Marcus Coleman and Zian Jones.
Of the group, Zian Jones and Pierce-Brewster may make an immediate impact since they have played junior college football. Zian Jones was at West Los Angeles Community College while Pierce-Brewster played at the City College of San Francisco.
» More NLI day: Syracuse signs 22 players on National Letter of Intent Day
» Are you happy with Syracuse’s recruiting class? Discuss.
» More SU football: Assistant coaches Brumbaugh, Conley will not return
Pierce-Brewster had 62 tackles, including 18.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks, and was named 2011 All-America Community College Defensive Player of the Year. Meanwhile, Zian Jones recorded 45 tackles, including 15 tackles for a loss and four sacks.
“It’s very difficult for us to bring in people with size. We’ve had issues with that trying to find enough players in this area with size,” Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said. “For us to have to go to junior college to get a player like Zian Jones or Markus Pierce-Brewster, people who have been established that have done a very good job is going to help our football team.”
They will need all the help they can get without Jones.
The defensive end was named to the All Big East First Team this season after amassing 38 tackles (30 solo) and 4.5 sacks. Jones missed five games due to a lower body injury, but returned against West Virginia and led the Orange to a 49-23 win over West Virginia with six solo tackles and two sacks for a loss of 19 yards.
But Marrone is confident that the void can be filled.
“The one thing about junior college, for us, we’ve been very successful,” Marrone said. “To this point, every junior college player we’ve brought in has graduated. They’ve been outstanding citizens for us and done a very good job. They’ve all contributed in their own way, whether it be on special teams, offense or defense.”
- Syracuse target Alterique Gilbert commits to UConn — Cuse Clicks - July 6, 2015
- How many games will Syracuse football win this year? - July 6, 2015
- Syracuse target Alterique Gilbert to commit Saturday — Cuse Clicks - July 3, 2015
- ESPN’s McMenamin breaks down former Syracuse basketball stars’ NBA chances - July 2, 2015
- Coach says 2017 Syracuse commit Daewood Davis will ‘stretch the field’ — Cuse Clicks - July 1, 2015
- South Florida Bulls — 2015 Syracuse Football preview - July 1, 2015
- Syracuse picks up first 2017 commit with Daewood Davis — Cuse Clicks - June 30, 2015
- Tyus Battle likes Syracuse ‘a lot’ after his official visit — Cuse Clicks - June 29, 2015
- Syracuse target Christian Colon commits to Penn State — Cuse Clicks - June 26, 2015
- Rakeem Christmas credits Syracuse, Jim Boeheim after being drafted - June 26, 2015