- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Only a few competitions remain before the opener Saturday against Austin Peay. At right guard, it will be either Austen Bujnoch or Andre Cureton. Chris Williams and Reuben Johnson are still fighting for the nickelback spot.
The Bearcats have plenty of true freshmen sprinkled throughout the two-deep. Alex Chisum and Shaq Washington are listed as backup receivers. Ralph David Abernathy IV is listed as the kickoff returner. But at linebacker, three true freshmen should play: Nick Temple, Clemente Casseus and Dwight Jackson. Though Jameel Poteat had a good camp, George Winn still is the backup behind Isaiah Pead at running back.
There are still position competitions ongoing: at left guard, Gary Bardzak or Steve Greene will start; at tight end, Ryan Griffin or John Delahunt. Even at tailback, where it will be D.J. Shoemate or Lyle McCombs.
Paul Carrezola and D.C. Jefferson are still competing for the starting tight end job. Defense also still has some positions up in the air. Manny Abreu or Michael Larrow will start at defensive end; Marvin Booker or Ka'Lial Glaud will start at the other end; Anthony DiPaula and Justin Doerner are competing to be the punter.
There are true freshmen listed on the two-deep at critical spots: backup quarterback Gary Nova, backup right tackle Kaleb Johnson; backup defensive tackle Kenneth Kirksey and backup linebacker Kevin Snyder. You also have Savon Huggins, who might start at running back.
There are not many surprises on the Syracuse depth chart. With Keon Lyn hurt for a chunk of spring, Ri'Shard Anderson will start at cornerback. Prince-Tyson Gulley or Jeremiah Kobena will handle kickoffs.
As expected, freshman Dyshawn Davis will start at linebacker. Freshman Brandon Reddish, who turned heads during fall camp, will be a backup to Kevyn Scott at cornerback.
We heard a lot about the speedsters at receiver, and true freshmen Andre Davis and Ruben Gonzalez, but none are listed on the two-deep. Behind A.J. Love, Sterling Griffin and Joel Miller, you have Deonte Welch, Victor Marc and Stephen Bravo-Brown, a former walk-on who just earned a scholarship.
Defensive tackle Elkino Watson and punter Mattias Ciabatti are the only true freshmen listed on the two deep.