Syracuse football position battle to watch, No. 8: Jonathan Thomas vs. Ted Taylor

first_img Related Stories Syracuse football preseason storylines, No. 8: Running back depthSyracuse football preseason player file No. 9: Parris BennettSyracuse football position battle to watch, No. 9: 2nd outside receiverSyracuse football preseason storylines, No. 9: How players adjust to revamped conditioningSyracuse football preseason player file No. 10: Cole Murphy With Syracuse football training camp less than a month away, The Daily Orange beat writers, Chris Libonati, Jon Mettus and Matt Schneidman, will analyze one of the top 10 preseason storylines, top 10 position battles or reveal one of 10 player files each day. Check out dailyorange.com and follow along here to countdown to camp.Heading into training camp last year, the primary battle in Syracuse’s linebacker unit was the competition for the third linebacker spot. Parris Bennett beat out Jonathan Thomas to play alongside Marqez Hodge and Zaire Franklin, utilizing his long reach to have the tackling edge.A year later, Bennett has cemented his spot as a starter in the Orange’s second level and Hodge as his backup on the weak side after a lackluster year, especially on the tackling front. Franklin is a captain and arguably the team’s best defensive player, so that leaves a battle between Thomas and Ted Taylor for the starting strong-side linebacker spot.MORE PRESEASON COVERAGE:Countdown to Camp seriesPosition battle, No. 9: Second outside receiverPosition battle, No. 10: Cordell Hudson vs. Juwan Dowels Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on July 20, 2016 at 10:45 am Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman Thomas was listed as the first-stringer on the post-spring depth chart with Taylor, the second-year SU player who transferred from Dodge City (Kansas) Community College, right behind him. Both stand 6 feet 1 inch and showed signs of promise amid SU’s horrific defensive year in 2015. Last season, Thomas recorded 34 tackles to Taylor’s 27, but five of Taylor’s were for a loss while only 1.5 of Thomas’ were for a loss. Taylor started the last four games of the year over Thomas at the strong-side spot following an injury to Bennett.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThomas comes from a soccer background and even played on occasion with some of the SU men’s soccer players last year. He was raw and inexperienced to begin last season but slowly learned the ropes a year after solely contributing on special teams. If his trajectory continues upward, he’ll likely be the third starter and leave Taylor as a backup for the second year in a row.But Taylor himself showed some tackling prowess on special teams and toward the end of 2015. Regardless of if he finds himself on the sideline to begin games or not, Syracuse should be better off being that it didn’t lose a single linebacker compared to the losses of Cameron Lynch and Dyshawn Davis heading into last season. Commentslast_img

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