Skip to main content
Syracuse's Duce Chestnut Dives In For Interception

Syracuse's Duce Chestnut Dives In For Interception

Evaluation: Alijah Clark's Fit in Syracuse Secondary

The Rutgers transfer defensive back brings versatility, talent to the Orange.

Are you looking for the inside scoop on Syracuse basketball and football recruiting? Subscribe to All Syracuse, with in-depth and exclusive information brought to you by Mike McAllister, a name you can trust, and his staff. Subscribe today and get the first month of an annual membership for just $1, or a full annual membership at an almost 20% discount!

Frame: Tall and rangy. Has added 15 pounds of muscle since high school with the ability to add 5-10 more to continue to add mass to his lower body. 

Athleticism: Smooth. Flexible hips and ankles; changes directions with ease. Light feet. Above-average speed and burst. Flashes good ball skills. Lacks strength, but arrives with power as tackler. Strength has improved since high school but continues to be an area he can develop. 

Instincts: Quick and decisive. Breaks on ball with speed and aggressiveness in run support. Keen ability to evade blockers from defensive backfield. Embraces physicality. Tracks ball well in air while running downfield with receivers.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Polish: Impressive tackler for cornerback. Fluid backpedaler, but inconsistent footwork otherwise. Little experience jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage in high school, but his physicality in other areas suggests he would develop quickly in that area. 

Fit: There is a reason Clark was projected as a starting corner for Rutgers next season. Clark has a similar frame to Trill Williams, both about 6-1 and around 195 pounds. Trill has bulked up since heading to the NFL, but that's about what he was listed at during his time at Syracuse. Trill played a variety of roles due to his instincts, physicality and athleticism. He played boundary corner, in the slot and safety for the Orange, and Clark has the skills to fill a similar role. With Garrett Williams back next season, Clark could start out as a safety and move to corner when Williams departs. If you use Clark as a safety, he can either come into the box to read and react or even drop down th cover a slot receiver or tight end. 

Bottom Line: Clark combines ideal length for a cornerback with the athleticism and instincts to play safety. Clark is a significant addition to the Orange secondary who brings talent, versatility and an even higher ceiling. He will make an impact right away and beyond the 2022 season.  

Are you looking for the inside scoop on Syracuse basketball and football recruiting? Subscribe to All Syracuse, with in-depth and exclusive information brought to you by Mike McAllister, a name you can trust, and his staff. Subscribe today and get the first month of an annual membership for just $1, or a full annual membership at an almost 20% discount!

Member Exclusive

Get Exclusive Access to All Syracuse Content