Syracuse has developed a pipeline into Florida in recent years. The hiring of George McDonald only strengthens that pipeline. Over the last few weeks, the Orange staff has spent some time in the sunshine state checking out prospects. One that they decided to offer was Miami Northwestern High (FL) athlete Ryan Mayes.
"Yes they offered," Mayes said. "He (George McDonald) came to the school and I thought I had gotten an offer. Then later I got information from my coach that they had offered.
"I was very happy. I was very pleased. This was kind of new for Syracuse to recruit me. I had gotten letters and stuff in the mail, and I was interested. This was new when they came down and gave me an offer."
Mayes is very early in his recruitment. He's still learning about Syracuse, but is intrigued by information he received from a family member.
"I'm not quite sure about the program yet," Mayes admitted. "I had talked to my God Father about it and he said it was a good school. They have a wonderful community and the campus is nice. Also, what I want to major in (business and finance), they have that too.
"When I got the offer, he told me it was a wonderful school. He's mostly concerned with academics."
When Mayes does look towards making a final decision, he knows exactly what he be looking for.
"Academics is number one," Mayes explained. "If I can get a good degree in case I can't make it in the NFL. Number two, I want to have a good bond, a good community and a good fit for me for when I go to college. I also want to start as a true freshman.
"When I take a trip to Syracuse, I want to see how the school is, see how they are with the players. I also want to talk to someone who's in the major I want to be in and see what their opinions are about the business and finance program is at Syracuse."
Mayes does not have any favorites, but is receiving interest from some big time programs. He believes summer visits will help him gain some clarity over where he fits best.
"I don't have any favorites," Mayes claimed. "I'm still open like I told the Syracuse coach. But I have a lot of interest in Syracuse, UM (Miami), a lot of interest in Florida, Florida State, I have interest in UCLA, and I also have a lot of interest in LSU. Those are the schools that I have a lot of interest in that I feel are a good fit for me."
Mayes added he is planning on visiting Syracuse over the summer.