"It was a great trip," said Shawn Curtis. "It was a great game, they really put it on UConn, too."
The Orlando (Fla.) Olympia offensive tackle arrived in Central New York on Friday just before Syracuse took on Connecticut on national television. Not only was the game impressive to him on his official visit, but the way the staff and the players on the team treated him stood out.
"It's a great feeling knowing the team I'm being recruited by plays well," he added. "They're not having the best season…but I know we can get it right. It was a great game to watch."
Sophomore offensive lineman Nick Robinson hosted the three-star prospect, who stayed in town until Sunday morning.
"Great guy, he's very nice," said Curtis of Robinson. "We got to talk about a lot of things, and we met up with a lot of the other guys throughout the night. The offensive line is very close; we actually had a couple come to dinner with us at the coach's house."
"It was a very nice experience."
Doug Marrone has been very intense in 2012 on the field, but Curtis was able to see the other side of the fourth-year coach while eating dinner at his house on Saturday before taking in some of Saturday's primetime college football games with Williams and fellow offensive linemen Rob Trudo and Zack Chibane.
"He's a relaxed coach," Curtis admitted. "We all relaxed, it was casual gear – I definitely saw a different side of him that you don't see on the football field."
Curtis also got the chance to see more of the Syracuse roster in different element while stepping out with players after the UConn game and after dinner at Marrone's.
"I actually got to go out both nights," he said with excitement. "It was great. I met pretty much all the starters and all the backups, too. They're a close bunch of guys."
The combination of the Syracuse atmosphere, the tight-knit nature of the team and overall visit has helped the Orange climb up Curtis' list. But he didn't necessarily expect that heading into the weekend.
"It definitely does," he admitted on his perception of the future ACC school. "I didn't think (of SU) as highly probably…but now they're easily one of my top (schools) if not my top."
But Curtis wasn't quite ready to pull the trigger because of his official visit plan. He already took a trip to Virginia, and has official visits set up for Iowa State this weekend and Wake Forest the following weekend. While the fifth school is still to be determined, his plan is set in stone.
"No matter what I have to take all my visits before I make my commitment," he maintained.
Curtis expects to sit down with his father at some point in the next few weeks to figure out his final official visit destination, therefore a timetable for his decision does not exist at this point.