Chris Slayton — Meet the 2016 Syracuse Football team

chris slayton
Slayton starred on defense in SU's spring game
chris slayton
Slayton starred on defense in SU’s spring game

On Thursdays over the summer, The Juice Online is going to highlight individual players on the 2016 Syracuse football team. This week, we’re profiling defensive lineman Chris Slayton.

No one has generated more buzz on the defensive line this spring than redshirt sophomore Chris Slayton.

With Ron Thompson leaving early for the NFL, Syracuse will need someone to pressure the quarterback in its new Tampa 2 defensive scheme, and it appears that Slayton is up for the task.

Slayton is one of the few returning defensive linemen with experience, and his first season at Syracuse earned him an Honorable Mention as a College Football News Freshman All-American. He finished the 2015 season with 22 tackles (14 solo) and finished fourth on SU with 6.0 TFLs.

Slayton is soft spoken, but when asked about the role he’d be playing this fall, he efficiently broke it down in just nine words.

“Make big plays,” Slayton said. “Be a disrupter on every down.”

» More SU football: Colgate Raiders — 2016 Syracuse Football preview

One thing that coaches and teammates have noticed about Slayton is his improved quickness.

That was on display in the spring game, when Slayton forced two fumbles. He also provided a powerful hit on freshman Moe Neal, dropping him for a loss, as the crowd on hand cooed.

“Everyone is progressing,” Slayton said. “From last year until now, we’ve gotten way better.”

Inside slant: Syracuse’s defensive line will consist of some mix of Kayton Samuels, Steven Clark, Jake Pickard, Anthony Giudice, and, of course Slayton. There’s plenty of talent in this group, but not a lot of experience. Look for Slayton to star among this group as a nemesis for opposing quarterbacks.


  • Birthdate: August 1996
  • Hometown: University Park, Ill.
  • High School: Crete Monee
  • Position: Defensive tackle
  • Class: Sophomore
  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 288 lbs

Career highlights: Slayton appeared in all 12 games in the 2015 season, making five starts. He recorded five tackles in a loss against Virginia and another three in a win against Wake Forest. For his efforts, he was named a College Football News Honorable Mention Freshman All-American.

Jim Stechschulte and Nick Salamone contributed to this report.

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]