About a month ago, I put a poll up on Twitter, asking fans which freshman defensive end would have the biggest immediate impact. Not overly surprisingly, Kenneth Ruff was the runaway choice, based (I assume) largely on the fact that he’s been on campus since January and went through spring practice. Meanwhile, Kendall Coleman got the fewest votes. Based on buzz coming out of camp, we could be in for a huge surprise.
Here was the poll in question:
Which freshman DE will have the biggest impact for Syracuse this year?
— OttosGrove.com (@OttosGrove) July 28, 2016
Now, there are some pretty solid reasons for how things shook out in that poll. Ruff was the “winner” (so to speak) for obvious reasons, and Coleman is coming off of surgery for a torn labrum. He’s had a more limited summer in terms of being able to get into the weight room, which would presumably give his fellow freshmen defensive ends a leg up on him.
But don’t be surprised if Coleman emerges as one of the biggest surprises on the roster this year. With plenty of room for defensive ends to work their way into the rotation, the chance is there for Coleman to become an instant impact player. The buzz coming out of camp has been extremely positive, and he’s gotten some run with the starting defense, according to media reports from the Post-Standard.
Now, the 6-foot-3, 252 pounder from Indianapolis seems to have momentum on his side. Assuming his health is back up to 100% (and there’s no reason to believe it isn’t, based on the fact that he’s been full go throughout fall camp), he could become a key player on the defense from the get-go.
As we get closer to the start of the season, we’re going to get a look at the depth chart sooner or later. It may not come out until “Colgate Week” officially kicks off, of course. But when that 2-deep comes out, keep your eyes peeled for Kendall Coleman. It’s seeming more and more likely that he’s going to play this year, and play a lot.