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Dedge prosecutor details decision-making process

first_img‘I am truly sorry that he got convicted wrongly and he spent 22 years in prison’ Jan Pudlow Senior Editor The prosecutor who sent Wilton Dedge to prison for two life terms for a rape he didn’t commit said he is sorry for the injustice done to an innocent man, but he doesn’t know how to avoid making the same mistakes again. “You know, there’s only one way to feel about it, and that is to feel like it is a terrible thing for someone to have been convicted for something that they didn’t do,” said Assistant State Attorney Chris White, of the 18th Judicial Circuit, in Sanford. “That’s the only logical way to feel about it and the only emotional response that you could expect.” Once DNA evidence finally cleared Dedge in 2004, after he spent 22 years in prison, White said, “You go through a stage of disbelief. Because we honestly believed that he had committed the offense.. . . I still wanted to believe the victim, but yet I had DNA staring me in the face that’s saying it’s not him. I am forced to the conclusion that it was not Wilton Dedge, despite how strongly she believed it was.” Dedge, 44, was arrested when he was 20 and wrongly convicted twice for a brutal rape, spending half of his life locked in prison. Dedge is the first person in Florida exonerated by DNA evidence to receive compensation from the state. During December’s special legislative session, legislators apologized to Dedge and gave him $2 million in compensation. But, Dedge noted, he had never received a face-to-face apology from his prosecutors. Asked whether he would apologize to Dedge, White responded: “I wouldn’t have any problem with telling him that I am truly sorry that he got convicted wrongly and he spent 22 years in prison.” White added that he believed the $2 million in compensation was fair. But he was less certain about what can be learned from mistakes made in the Dedge case built on the testimony of a jailhouse snitch, Clarence Zacke; a discredited dog handler with a dog who could supposedly track cold scents months and years later; and a 17-year-old victim who described her rapist as 6 feet tall and 180-200 pounds, though Dedge is a 5-foot-5-inch, slender man. Jurors also disregarded alibi testimony from six co-workers at an auto body shop who said Dedge was at work at the time of the crime. “It’s not a nice thing to happen to Wilton Dedge or for me or for the system,” White said. “I wish we could have a system that could be beyond human error. I think we all wish that. But the problem is the system is populated by humans, and so human error is in fact possible.” In Dedge’s case, human error was rampant, as detailed by Dedge’s pro bono attorney on the compensation issue, Sandy D’Alemberte, who said he hopes Florida can create a better process for evaluating such missteps in criminal prosecutions in order to improve the system. “I don’t know how to explain why it happened, exactly. But it did,” White said. “Frankly, I took the case over from the first prosecutor and it was already formed.. . . All the evidence was there.” The Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed Dedge’s first conviction on December 22, 1983, finding that the trial judge should not have allowed dog scent testimony that lacked reliability. The court noted that evidence of Dedge’s guilt was “minimal.” For the second trial, the dog scent evidence was out. But White used the testimony of Zacke, who was the only inmate on a prison transport van with Dedge and claimed Dedge had confessed. Once a millionaire, Zacke had been convicted of murder, five counts of conspiracy to commit murder, and received 180 years in prison. In agreeing to testify as an informant in several cases, 130 years were wiped off his sentence. White stressed Zacke wasn’t promised anything specifically in Dedge’s case. “You’ve got to remember that Clarence Zacke, for everything you say about him, he wasn’t offered and wasn’t given anything for his testimony,” White said. “How do you turn down that testimony, you know, when a guy says, ‘Look, I’ll come testify for you?’ We don’t have to give him anything for it. How do you say, ‘No, I won’t put that on?’” The most compelling evidence, White said, was the victim’s identification. “There is a lot of talk about her misidentifying the defendant,” White said. “But, frankly, that comes out of a statement she made in the emergency room to a nurse. What she described in her first statement to the police is noticeably different in terms of the height and weight and all that. I don’t place as much credence in that variance, myself.. . . And she had done a drawing. It was the best one I had ever seen. It looked just like him, I swear.” During Dedge’s second trial in 1984, the state relied on testimony of a hair micro-analyst who said foreign hair recovered from the victim’s bed established that Dedge could not be eliminated as the source, but the prosecutor argued the hair was a match. D’Alemberte has claimed that evidence is based on “junk science.” In 1988, while in prison serving two life terms, Dedge began his quest for DNA testing to prove his innocence, eventually getting help from the Innocence Project. It would take another dozen years until June 2000 for a court order for the state to release evidence for DNA testing. The results showed the hairs could not be Dedge’s. But that was still not enough to exonerate Dedge. “At first, it was, ‘We had DNA done on the hairs found in the bed. They don’t match Wilton Dedge. They don’t match the victim either.’ But was it necessarily the perpetrator? Or was it some other person’s who had been in her bedroom? Had they been transferred?” White explained. “They wanted us to throw in the towel because there were hairs that didn’t match the victim or the defendant. And we refused to do that.” It was not until a July 2004 hearing that it was revealed that traces of DNA extract from anal slides, taken during the inconclusive earlier DNA testing, remained at the lab and could possibly be used in the newly developed Y-Chromosome DNA testing. Two days later, the judge ordered expedited testing, which conclusively excluded Dedge as the rapist. The next day, Dedge walked out of the Brevard County Jail a free man. After all these years, White said, he also knows of no way to find the real rapist. “There was never any other suspect we could think of at the time, way back then. To my knowledge, there is just no one,” White said. “If you had some thoughts that maybe these guys could have done it, then you could maybe do a DNA comparison. But I don’t believe we have any such pool of possible suspects.” What can be learned from the Dedge case so mistakes don’t happen again? “I can’t think of any concrete thing we can do to avoid this from possibly happening. The defendant is entitled to counsel. The state has to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. He’s entitled to a jury trial. All that is there. I don’t know what else we can do. Are you going to raise the standard of proof beyond all possible doubt? Unless you change the standard, how are you going to affect a change? I don’t know how to do it. I really don’t.” Dedge prosecutor details decision-making process Dedge prosecutor details decision-making processcenter_img February 1, 2006 Regular Newslast_img read more

Design your lifestyle to become a better leader

first_imgBecome a better leader by developing a positive mindset and deepening your relationships with staff, bestselling author Tim Sanders advised CUNA Lending Council Conference attendees in his keynote address Monday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.“I’m going to take you on a journey about emotional talent—this idea that we harness our emotional intelligence and design our lifestyle to become a leader,” said Sanders, the former Chief Solutions Officer and Leadership Coach at Yahoo!, and cofounder of research firm Deeper Media, Inc.Feed your mind good stuffLeaders must define reality and provide hope, Sanders said.When you feed your mind negative and random information, you let the world define your emotional stability. Positive thinking is the outcome of the lifestyle decisions you make, according to Sanders, who suggested leaders follow these steps to transform their minds: continue reading » 39SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Is your financial marketing worthy of C-Suite status?

first_imgAccording to McKinsey, 83% of CEOs globally believe marketing can be a major driver of growth. This is obviously a new phenomenon, given that marketing traditionally was viewed as a “cost center” that would spend resources on advertising, branding and other mass media options. Unfortunately, despite the raised status of marketing, 23% of CEOs do not feel that marketing is actually delivering the growth needed by the organization.Financial marketers need skills and a mindset that is vastly different from marketers of the past. Winning or losing is happening almost instantaneously, and will be determined by how well marketers embrace change, are willing to take risks, and will disrupt themselves.In a world where information, devices and technology are all interconnected, where data is collected wherever the consumer is, and where marketing performance is reaching perfection, marketers have an opportunity to be at the epicenter of the customer experience. Despite all of the technology and digitization, human traits like creativity, imagination, intuition and ethics will be more important than ever. But the application of these traits will need to be done with a future sense three-five years out. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Book sale helps Broome County Public Library meet needs

first_img“Without the friends organizing the book sale for us we wouldn’t be able to do all of the programming that we do and they also purchase furniture and do some other programs that are needed,” Kowalski said. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — The Friends of the Broome County Public Library held a book sale Saturday with used books, CDs, records and more. All items were donated and proceeds from the sale go directly to library funding. Director Sherri Kowalksi tells 12 News that without sales like this one, the library would be unable to purchase many of the items needed to operate. If you missed today’s sale Kowalski tells 12 News they are held about once every six weeks and the next one will be on March 14.last_img read more

U.S. economy needs ‘really big’ Covid relief package, says Paul Krugman

first_imgKrugman, an economics professor at City University of New York’s Graduate Center, said it’s difficult to put a total price tag on an ideal relief package for the U.S. But he stressed that a “really, really big” one is needed given that the U.S. hasn’t managed to contain the virus.The economist, whose research interest includes macroeconomics and international economics, won the Nobel prize in 2008 for his analysis on trade patterns and location of economic activity. – Advertisement – “We’re still 11 million jobs down from where we were before this thing hit and all of those people are without wages, state local governments are in extreme financial distress, thousands of businesses — maybe hundreds of thousands — are on the verge of collapse,” he said.“So we need a lot to keep this thing afloat.”  The U.S. enacted a $2 trillion package known as the CARES Act in March, but those benefits have either expired or will soon end. Negotiations for another pandemic relief has been at an impasse for months after Republicans and Democrats failed to agree on what should be in the package.Democrats proposed another $2.2 trillion relief package that includes funding for state and local governments, as well as extending enhanced unemployment benefits of an additional $600 weekly subsidy. Republicans, meanwhile, wanted a smaller deal that would focus more on payment to individuals and business loans. Paul KrugmanNobel prize-winning economist A lot of people are going to be out of work, a lot of businesses are going to be stressed. We need to just make life tolerable for them.- Advertisement – The U.S. may need several hundred billion dollars a month in “disaster relief” to keep the economy afloat as a raging coronavirus outbreak continues to suppress prospects for workers and businesses, Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said on Thursday.“We really are still very much in the disaster relief stage,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.”“A lot of people are going to be out of work, a lot of businesses are going to be stressed. We need to just make life tolerable for them,” he added.- Advertisement – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has won his reelection bid for a seventh term, said on Wednesday that the additional relief package will be his priority when the chamber reconvenes next week.Still, Krugman said there’s no indication that McConnell would agree to a large relief bill or extend enhanced unemployment benefits which have been the “most important policy” to cushion the pandemic’s economic impact.Republicans, he noted, viewed those benefits as “rewarding people for not working” and therefore, may not be inclined to renew that payout.“That was far more effective than anything else in the package, but we’ve seen very, very little … on the part of Senate Republicans to resume enhanced employment benefits,” he said. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.Panayiotis Tzamaros | ullstein bild via Getty Images – Advertisement –last_img read more

Gold Coast mega mansion sells for $7.5 million

first_img311 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters. 311 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters.Among the six-bedroom, five bathroom mega mansion’s standout features are a fully equipped gym, expansive formal and informal living areas, an outdoor kitchen, double pontoon and state-of-the-art technology throughout.Ray White Prestige agent Matt Gates, who marketed the property with Sherry Smith, said it attracted a lot of interest with numerous parties negotiating in the lead up to the sale.“(While) we had substantial interstate inquiry on the property, our local buyers trulyMore from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa13 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoappreciated the significance of Monaco St,” he said.MORE NEWS: Costly fallout of V8 star’s split form wife Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 4:18Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -4:18 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels576p576p400p400p320p320p228p228pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenNovember 6: Prestige listings04:19 311 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters.A LUXURY waterfront mansion on one of the Gold Coast’s most prestigious streets has sold for a whopping $7.5 million.The landmark sale of 311 Monaco St sets the bar for the new year, marking the highest sale on the Gold Coast so far.Sellers Tony and Alicia Stephens, who built the house in 2014, said it was a bitter sweet time for the family as they prepared to move.“It is the most breathtaking home we have ever lived in but we have decided to move onfor a change of scenery and to experience beachside living,” Mr Stephens said.“Our young children have grown up in this river fronting home and we’ve truly made themost of what the location and the home has to offer.” 311 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters.There were more than 300 inspections of the property in the five months it was on the market.Ray White Surfers Paradise Group chief executive Andrew Bell said the number of inspections was a strong indication of the level of interest for spectacular homes on the Gold Coast.Mr Bell believed the Gold Coast would be one of the nation’s best performing property markets this year following strong economic growth and billions-of-dollars worth of development over the years.“The reality is now clear that the Gold Coast is done with the major booms and busts we’ve seen over many decades, and that’s because so much has changed from a micro and macro level to prevent that from happening,” Mr Bell said.“The stability we’ve seen in the property market for more than five years now is testament to this change and we believe the year ahead will be no different.”The highest sale last year was set by the property at 9 Hedges Ave, which billionaire businessman and politician Clive Palmer bought for $12 million.center_img 311 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters. MORE NEWS: How to earn $87,460 more instantly “The central location and benefits of the wide Nerang River frontage saw this young familyoutbid all other potential buyers.”The Broadbeach Waters mansion hit the market in August under an expressions of interest campaign before a $9.75 million price tag was put on it almost two months later.Its price was further slashed to $7.995 million in November.last_img read more

July 25, 2017 Police Blotter

first_imgJuly 25, 2017 Police Blotter072517 Batesville Police Blotter072517 Decatur County EMS Report072517 Decatur County Fire Report072517 Decatur County Jail Report072517 Decatur County Law Reportlast_img

Tennis : Jensen emphasizes importance of team play to young Orange squad

first_img Comments The goal is simple for Syracuse this season: to win a national championship.Syracuse head coach Luke Jensen said he considers this SU team to be one of his best ever.‘We have everything it takes to be No. 1 at the end of the season,’ Jensen said.But to win, Jensen expects Syracuse (0-1) to prepare and play as a team. To meet his goal, Jensen must teach his players to override the ‘me-first’ tennis culture that some of his junior stars developed in singles play. Both on and off the court, Jensen is working to hammer home his message and build a team-focused atmosphere.‘If the team wins, everybody wins,’ he said. ‘If the team loses, everybody loses.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe majority of Syracuse’s players have already seen individual success. Six of the team’s eight scholarship players boast a professional Women’s Tennis Association ranking, and two have won matches on tour. All nine players hope to go pro.The team members who played tennis or another team sport for their high schools generally understand the team concept, Jensen said. Other players, such as those who played exclusively junior tennis — which is not a team sport — have a harder time adapting.‘The players who adapt right away were the kids that played high school tennis, the kids who played other sports growing up,’ Jensen said. ‘(They) get the team concept.’Emily Harman, a senior and the team’s captain, has experience in both. Tennis is an individualized sport, especially in a junior setting, she said. But her experience playing other high school sports helped reinforce the benefits of a team.Harman said playing so many team sports gave her a team feeling that she has carried to SU.Unlike Harman, three of the seven players who played in last Saturday’s 5-2 loss to South Florida did not play tennis for their high school team.‘If you’re very, very individual growing up and you’re into tennis from the very beginning, then it’s a little bit of a different story,’ Harman said.To combat the potential pitfalls of a team full of aspiring professionals, Jensen works to establish individual roles within a larger team framework. The upperclassmen work to reinforce the team ethos to the freshmen, Harman said.For Harman, helping her younger teammates makes the biggest difference on and off the court. Everything from the on-court performance to off-court activities, such as attending class, studying and keeping a good diet, helps the team improve on a daily basis.‘Everything has to be as close to perfect as we can make it,’ she said. ‘And this team is shooting for a goal that is extremely high, and we don’t have time to waste on the little things and little mistakes that can be prevented.’Jensen stresses to the players that everybody has a role in making the team successful.Jensen does still provide his players with individual opportunities. Last week, his players played in a pair of pro tournaments in Innisbrook, Fla., before the USF match. They played another in Plantation, Fla., after losing to the Bulls.But although they were playing individually, Harman said there was still a level of team support.Said Harman: ‘For us to go as a team and show the Syracuse colors in that arena, it’s awesome.’jmkling@syr.edu Published on January 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Jacob: jmklinge@syr.edu | @Jacob_Klinger_center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

New coach Enfield’s dream comes true

first_imgThe first question posed to new USC men’s basketball head coach Andy Enfield during his introductory press conference on Wednesday carried a bit of local flavor.On the map · After vaulting little-known FGCU onto the national stage, Athletic Director Pat Haden (left) hopes Enfield can do the same at USC. — Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan“What are your initial thoughts on the crosstown rivalry with UCLA?” he was asked.Enfield stood tall. Without much hesitation, he respectfully acknowledged the Bruins’ history of success on the hardwood. And before long, he changed the subject.“I’m focused on the future of USC basketball and no one else,” he said.Enfield’s focus on USC’s future is hardly surprising, if only because the Trojans’ past, particularly their recent past, has been marked by a number of difficulties on the court. Over the last two seasons, USC has gone 20-44, including a school-worst 26 losses during the 2011-12 season. In short, Enfield has his work cut out for him.“USC basketball should be relevant, but let’s be honest, it has not been relevant,” Athletic Director Pat Haden said Wednesday. “We’re about to change that, we believe.”Haden believes that in part because of Enfield’s recent success at Florida Gulf Coast University, where he guided the Eagles to a Sweet 16 appearance in just their second season of Division I eligibility. They also became the first-ever 15th seed to advance past the first weekend of the NCAA tournament.FGCU’s run in the NCAA tournament helped launch the 43-year-old Enfield, a former assistant at Florida State and in the NBA, onto the national stage, as he employed an entertaining, above-the-rim style of play affectionately referred to as “Dunk City.” In its two tournament wins, FGCU averaged 80 points per game.“Basketball is entertainment,” Enfield said. “So is every sport. You have to entertain the fans and make them want to come. If you play a slow down style and you don’t win, they’re not going to show up.”USC knows that all too well. Under former coach Kevin O’Neill, who was fired in mid-January, it ranked last in points per game among schools from the “power six” conferences, which includes the ACC, Big Ten, Big East, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC, according to ESPN. And though that figure increased over the final two months of the season under interim head coach Bob Cantu, the Trojans still averaged just 65.7 points per game, good for 217th nationally.Under Enfield’s fast-paced, up-tempo style, that will hopefully change.“It’s exciting,” junior guard Byron Wesley said. “It’s going to be able to draw a lot of fans here. L.A. is the perfect place for it. And it can definitely be a huge boost for our team and our community.”Though Haden maintains realistic expectations for the team moving forward, USC is hoping the transition isn’t a long one.“One of the big things that impressed me was the turnaround they saw at Florida Gulf Coast in his two years at the school,” Haden said. “That’s what we want at USC. We want to reset the basketball culture, and that starts today.”Time will tell if that works.For now, Enfield will need to finalize the rest of his coaching staff, a process he said he hopes to finish within the next seven to 10 days.Enfield met with Cantu, assistant coaches Dieter Horton and Tony Miller and players Wednesday morning. All three coaches could be retained by Enfield, but there is no certainty that they will be.NotesWhen USC formally announced the hiring of Enfield on Monday night via Twitter and on its website, the school used the hashtag #DunkCityUSC, a play off his old team’s nickname. FGCU officials, though, weren’t pleased. “There is only one Dunk City, USA: It’s here in Southwest Florida,” Athletic Director Ken Kavanagh said in a press conference on Tuesday. Haden said USC would in fact stop using the moniker. … A police investigation into the March incident involving USC players Dewayne Dedmon and James Blasczyk remains ongoing. When asked about Dedmon’s status with the team, Haden declined to comment. Dedmon was in attendance at Wednesday’s team meeting with Enfield, sources said.last_img read more

Syracuse’s improved defensive line faces toughest test of season against No. 25 LSU

first_imgOn the drive after Syracuse took a 24-17 lead against Central Michigan, its defensive line ensured the Chippewas would not score again.Earlier in the second quarter, CMU drove 91 yards in 11 plays to give it a 17-10 lead, and it had been wearing on Syracuse, stringing together short runs and passes for long drives. With SU up a touchdown, Central Michigan quarterback Shane Morris slung an incomplete pass on first down because SU defensive lineman Jonathan Kingsley hurried him. The next play, defensive end Kendall Coleman helped stuff a Chippewas run for a three-yard loss. Finally, Coleman stopped a swing pass for only a three-yard gain. The defense jogged off the field and CMU didn’t score for the rest of the game.“I just don’t think it’s the same defense,” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said in the preseason when asked about where his team improved most. “I think our D-line has greatly improved.”The defensive line’s play will be critical for Syracuse (2-1) on Saturday at 7 p.m. in “Death Valley” against No. 25 Louisiana State (2-1) because, to give the Orange any hope of squeaking out an upset, it must stymie a potent Tigers offense. LSU boasts one of the nation’s top rushing attacks — each of its three running backs with double-digit rushes averages at least 5.3 yards per carry. LSU has also only allowed four sacks in three games, one of the NCAA’s best rates, despite returning one starting offensive lineman from last year’s unit.Now, LSU faces its toughest front four this season, per FootballStudyHall.com’s havoc-rate statistic. Improved depth, splitting coaching duties and added experience has helped SU’s defensive line become a disruptive force, ranking 31st in the metric that measures the percentage of plays in which a defense either records a tackle for loss, forces a fumble, or defends a pass.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“The D-Line controls the defense,” Josh Black said. “For example, if there’s a long ball thrown down the field, it’s not the corner’s fault that the wide receiver caught it. It could be primarily the fault of the defensive ends for not getting the efficient pass rush on the quarterback.”The Orange saw Black’s scenario play out during the Sept. 10 upset loss to Middle Tennessee State. SU sacked MTSU quarterback Brent Stockstill once for one yard, while he navigated in a mostly clean pocket, from which he hung 269 passing yards on the Orange. Last season, opposing offenses surpassed that passing yardage total seven times as SU struggled to dial up pressure while starting two true freshmen, Kendall Coleman and Black, at defensive end.Now, Coleman leads the unit’s renaissance with a team-high 16 tackles (two for loss) and five run stuffs. In 12 games last season, Syracuse hit the quarterback 15 times. In three games this season, 11 hits. Last year, Coleman said, he tried to know all of the offense’s formations but that ended up making him overthink at the line of scrimmage. Now, he looks more for pre-snap visual keys in one offensive lineman’s alignment or certain tackle splits. Black echoed the advantage familiarity brings, and honing in on what to process rather than trying to process everything.“Last year,” Black said, “we were all really young. … Some of us, we played because we were the only players that could play. We didn’t have enough depth, so we were kind of thrown in there. Right now, we know what we’re doing because we’re mature and we’re growing up and our bodies are more mature also, so we can adapt more to the ACC environment.”Syracuse bolstered its line by dipping into the junior-college recruiting pool, from which it added Brandon Berry, Shaq Grosvenor and quick-burst edge rusher Alton Robinson, a former Texas A&M commit before legal issues prevented him from attending. SU also brought in four freshmen defensive linemen in the Class of 2017. Now, with newfound depth, the Orange shifted Black to defensive tackle, one season after he started all 12 games at defensive end.“It has to do with trying to balance out the areas,” Babers said, “and making sure we have enough players at each position. Enough of a rotation of players that we can get through the schedule we have to play. … We have a lot of ends. There’s one big guy who can go inside, so we did it.”The team also doubled-down on its commitment to teaching the position by splitting the defensive-line job into two positions, defensive ends and defensive tackles, before this season. Steve Stanard, hired in March from Wyoming, came in to specifically coach defensive ends. Vinson Reynolds, who coached the entire defensive line last season, shifted to defensive-tackles coach. The two coach’s biggest points of emphasis for the unit this season, multiple lineman said, has been getting off the ball quicker to generate a rush sooner.The result has been more pressure for a unit that preaches getting into the backfield early and often. Last year, Syracuse allowed opposing offenses to convert 41.4 percent of its third-downs. This season, it’s just 16.3 percent, and even when it lost to MTSU, the Blue Raiders converted just 3-of-12 of those opportunities.“We’re not going to be playing all these snaps in a row this year,” Black said before the season. “We’re going to have fresh legs coming on third down. We’re pursuing all the time downfield.“When you see the D-Linemen downfield trying to catch a receiver, that’s just a culture change we’ve been going through.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 22, 2017 at 1:58 pm Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TRlast_img read more