The new Syracuse staff hit the Midwest hard when wrapping up the 2013 class. That strategy has not changed in 2014, as they continue to offer talented prospects in that area. One of the most recent to receive an offer is Lombard (IL) Montini Catholic High product Dylan Thompson.
"It was Coach Tim Lester," Thompson recalled. "I was a little bit surprised. I hadn't been in a great amount of contact with Syracuse. Just basically through e-mail and Facebook. I was very surprised that I was offered a scholarship, but excited."
While the two have only started to develop their relationship early in the recruiting process, Thompson likes the way things have been going with Lester.
"Coach Lester had been in the school early in the year recruiting me," Thompson admitted. "From talking to him on the phone, he seems like a really cool guy. He's new to Syracuse but he loves it there. I can't want to get out there this summer for a visit. I'm not sure about the date yet though.
"He really likes how I play with how explosive I am off the line. I can be versatile and play anywhere on the line. Defensive end or d-tackle if I got bigger. Those are the types of things he says."
Syracuse is not the only school after the talented prospect. Thompson has eight offers already, with three coming very recently.
"I picked up three offers recently," the 6-foot-5 defensive lineman claimed. "From Purdue, Syracuse, and Ole Miss. USC is really interested. I've been in contact with Michigan State earlier this year. Notre Dame seems like they're really interested.
The interest in Thompson has come after he thought schools were not interested. But once the first offer came in, things got rolling from there for the Montini Catholic standout.
"It's huge for me," Thompson claimed. "Early in the year I was a little bit disappointed around New Years. I saw all these people, like Clifton Garrett and Nyles Morgan, up to 20-something offers. I thought that was it for me, that I wouldn't get any.
"Illinois started it off by giving me my first offer. The next day I called Indiana and they offered. A week later, Ohio State offered me. Things then started picking up with Syracuse, Purdue, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt. It was crazy."
With big name schools after Thompson early, where does Syracuse fit in? That will be determined on the visit over the summer where the Orange have a chance to make a big impression.
"I'm really not sure," Thompson offered. "I think it's a great school. I watched The Express so I know a lot about the university with Ernie Davis. I can't wait to get out there, see how things are on the visit, and see if I like it out there."
Despite all of the interest, Thompson says he has no early favorites. He is continuing to evaluate the schools showing interest, and won't be deciding anytime soon.
"I'm taking things slow right now," Thompson said. "I don't have enough information on the schools yet. My ultimate goal right now is to go to the pros. So a school that can prepare me for that. At the same time, if I blow my knee out in college, I want a school that can set me up for the rest of my life academically.
"There is no place like home. Mom makes the best food I've ever had in my life. I don't think that will be that big of a deal if I got out to USC, which is on the other side of the country, or Syracuse which is also kind of far away. I just can't wait to see those schools."