Football

Shafer calls Thompson another starter on defensive line

Ron Thompson isn’t listed as a starter on Syracuse’s Week 1 depth chart, but head coach Scott Shafer doesn’t see it that way.

“He’s going to have a great season, I really believe that,” Shafer said during his Wednesday morning press conference. “I look at Ron Thompson as one of the starters up front.”

Recruited as a four-star tight end, Thompson was moved to defensive end after spring practice last year. As the Orange battled through injuries at defensive tackle during training camp as it looked to replace Jay Bromley, Thompson got some reps in the middle of the line and the coaches may end up using him there during the season.

“He could play tackle if he had to,” Shafer said. “He’ll be a different type of tackle because of his speed and his quickness when we use him in such a way.”

Stepping up in Bromley’s absence will be a committee of defensive tackles, Shafer added later Wednesday morning in the Atlantic Coast Conference coaches’ teleconference.

Junior Marcus Coleman is ahead of sophomore Isaiah Johnson on the depth chart and Eric Crume is first at nose tackle, but Thompson could very well find himself mixing into that rotation in addition to working off the edge.

“There could be occasions where you see two Detroit kids next to each other inside throughout the course of this season, Eric Crume and Ron Thompson,” Shafer said. “And I like that Detroit toughness that they bring to the table.”

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