Syracuse Football: Josh Black could excel in new role for the Orange

Syracuse football defensive lineman Josh Black could excel in his new role in the 3-3-5 defense. Here are all the details and how he fits in.

Ever since Syracuse football announced the hiring of new defensive coordinator Zach Arnett formerly of San Diego State, everyone’s been scrambling for information on this “3-3-5 defense.”

What kind of defense is this? Who could possibly benefit on the 2020 Syracuse roster?

After speaking with Stephen Bailey of one of the top breakout candidates is Syracuse defensive lineman Josh Black:

“With McKinley Williams set to return, he’ll likely be the perfect guy to plug in the middle of the 3-3-5 defense. He’s Syracuse’s best run defender and McKinley seems to be a good fit there.

Which will allow Josh Black to slide out and be one of the outside linemen in the 3-3-5. Rather than going up against guards and centers he’ll be going up against opposing tackles. While he’s put on some weight since moving inside he’s not quite where McKinley Williams is.

Last year Josh was one of the guys who was asked to stop the run. It was a tall task, especially with McKinley out, and Josh and KJ Ruff gave a lot of effort. I think Josh is really in a position to succeed as a faster defensive end or whatever you want to call it in the 3-3-5 defense. He’s someone who can really benefit.”

The 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive lineman looks like he was chiseled out of stone. Despite not necessarily having the same brutus beefcake of the slightly larger McKinley Williams, Black started all 12 games last season at nose tackle.

On the year he secured 39 tackles (18 of those via the solo variety) six tackles for loss, four sacks, a pass breakup, fumble recovery, and he even blocked a kick.

With Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman pursuing their NFL careers, there is a massive void on the defensive line. This 3-3-5 switch is almost godsend considering who is leaving and the pieces they currently have on the roster.

Black should be able to increase his sack production as a senior in that scheme and start to show the NFL that he’s an intriguing piece of clay that teams can work with moving forward in 2021.