The case for Syracuse being DBU is becoming stronger and stronger every day. The newest member of the that group is Darian “Duce” Chestnut, who announced himself to Orange faithful in the season opening win at Ohio.
Chestnut’s performance against the Bobcats Saturday night was key to the Orange victory. In his collegiate debut, Chestnut tabbed eight tackles, one tackle for loss, and one interception. The “Odell-esque”one handed interception Chestnut snagged was a dagger in the heart to the Ohio offense. The interception came in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter in which Chestnut brought the ball out of the endzone for 25 yards before heading out of bounds. Chestnut danced his way to midfield thanking God for his debut performance.
"Definitely everything's faster than the high school level," Chestnut said. "Me and Garrett (Williams) have been talking about this all summer. All summer. Just coming out, locking up, and doing our parts."
Before coming to Syracuse, Chestnut was a four star recruit and ranked as one of the top 25 cornerbacks in his class. "Duce" held offers from Syracuse, Baylor, Boston College, East Carolina, Elon, Miami, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan, and many more. Chestnut is physical cornerback often forcing the receivers to feel contact before even catching the ball. The true freshman's presence haunts receivers as they run their routes downfield making the quarterback throw it elsewhere. The highly touted defensive back reigns from New Jersey, a state where high school football is deemed superior.
Chestnut enrolled at Syracuse last spring, which gave him a leg up in preparation for his collegiate debut.
"Oh it definitely helped me," Chestnut said. "Definitely helped me stay focused, learn the playbook a little faster, get into the college level a little faster. Definitely helped me a lot. Definitely having a lot of reps and having Garrett as a leader for me, definitely helped me a lot."
The Orange are looking forward to their next game against Rutgers in the Dome. This game marks the first time fans will be allowed in the Dome since 2019. With the performance Chestnut put on against Ohio, the fans will be expecting the same. The Scarlet Knights have a ton of receivers including Bo Melton, Aron Cruickshank, and Shameen Jones who the offense relies on. The matchup next week should test the secondary of Syracuse and will make for a competitive game regarding the two teams dominate wins the week prior.
"Definitely a lot to improve on," Chestnut said. "Just come out and be better next game."