Syracuse has been sending out offers fast and furious as of late to add talent in their 2014 class. Their most recent offeree is linebacker Zaire Franklin out of La Salle College High School in Wyndmoor (PA).
"I talked to the head coach (Scott Shafer)," Franklin explained. "I called him on the phone. Originally I was calling Coach (Clark) Lea, the linebackers coach. He gave me the head coach's number. After a couple missed call I called him and he answered. We talked for like ten minutes and he offered me.
"He just reaffirmed what the linebackers coach was saying. The linebackers coach was saying that they're looking for a pretty linebacker heavy class. They really want me to lead it and be in the forefront of that. Really get through the process. They looked at my tape, either today or a few days ago, as a staff and they really were impressed. He wanted to extend the offer and get me on campus and everything."
A visit to the Syracuse campus will be coming sooner rather than later. The 6-foot-1 prospect plans to take a trip to see the hill as soon as next weekend.
"I'm definitely going up next week," Franklin admitted. "I was already planning on going up there before I got the offer. I was talking with the Director of Recruiting, Eric White, and I was planning on trying to make it up there next weekend. That's when I get my spring break, so it works out."
Franklin's interest in the Orange goes back well before the offer was extended. He has been a fan of the program for some time.
"I've been a Syracuse basketball fan," Franklin claimed. "I'm a fan of the program. I watched their game against West Virginia in the slush and all that. I'm just a fan of the program and it's a great school. It's far enough away from home but not too close. It's three hours away which is like the perfect distance.
"I like Syracuse as a whole. I like their whole attitude and that they know what they really want. Coach Lea was telling me that they just want a guy who wants to come in and compete, and that's all I really want. A school that's going to give me an opportunity to be successful. I like to earn things, I don't want to be given anything. That's really it. He was just saying that if I come there I would get an opportunity to compete. Compete in practice, in the weight room, and everything."
The offer clearly made a big impression Franklin. Even with a few other offers on the table, did Syracuse vault to the top of his list?
"I'm pretty bias right now," Franklin declared. "Syracuse is definitely one of my favorites. I can't say they're the favorite yet because I don't have a favorite yet. I'm an emotional guy and my emotions are running right now. But I like Syracuse and I'm looking forward to getting up to campus and seeing everything. I actually wanted to go (visit) prior to my conversation with the coaches."
With the offer from Syracuse and starting to take visits, Franklin knows what he's looking for in a potential landing spot.
"At the end of the day, I think it's going to be not only about the relationships I have with the coaches but really just about the program as a whole," Franklin outlined. "To know about the focal point of a program. That's ultimately the main part of my decision. And, you know, my grandma and family. I want them to be comfortable with it. A lot of things will go into it."