T.J. Harrell has a very impressive offer list that includes Boise State, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Tennessee, UCLA, and many others. The latest to offer the 3-star Tampa Catholic (FL) safety was Syracuse.
"Yes sir, yes sir," Harrell said of being offered by Syracuse. "What had happened was they came out to the school the day before and they looked at me and everything. The next day, my head coach told me to give them a call after football practice. Then the offer came in on the phone from Coach (Tim) Lester.
"He's a really cool guy, man. He's down to earth. He came to me saying he wants to find the best thing for me. The best thing for my family. He wants me to go somewhere I have a connection. And I kind of do if I were to go to Syracuse. I know Jeremi Wilkes. He's a guy that always come down and talks to people. He's a real cool cat. I've known him for a while."
That connection Harrell has to current safety Jeremi Wilkes could be something that helps the Orange throughout the recruiting process. While the two haven't discussed the situation yet, they should be having that conversation in the near future.
"He told me that he wants to talk to me in person," Harrell explained. "I think he's probably going to come to the school one of these days so we can talk in person about it. I have his number so I texted him and told him I got the Syracuse offer.
"He told me he'd have to talk to me about everything. I'll talk to him soon in the next couple of days."
Right now, Harrell says he has no favorites. He hasn't had a chance to visit many schools, but does plan on taking the trip up north to check out the Orange.
"As far as falling in the mix, it's a mix of a bunch of schools that I haven't seen," Harrell admitted. "They're in that mix. I've seen all the Florida schools. There's reports going out that I like Florida State and I like USF (South Florida). Well those are the only school that I've seen that have impressed me.
"As far as me going out and seeing these other schools, which Syracuse will be one, I'm sure things will chance. A lot of schools will start to pop up in my top ten or top five. But I put them in with the bunch that I haven't seen. I haven't really been out of state other than to Georgia but that wasn't one of the schools I really liked or looked at. I'm wide open."
Syracuse remains of interest to Harrell, and Wilkes has helped him answer one question he had relating to the Central New York weather.
"I heard Syracuse was cold but that's one thing I have heard about even before they offered," Harrell described. "I talked to Jeremi about the cold. He said as long as you're out on the field running around, it's cool.
"He told me the one thing is there are a lot of Florida boys. He said it feels like home. There's not anybody with an accent like that. All your Florida boys are there and can chill and relate to that Florida weather."
Harrell added his decision isn't likely to come until after his senior season.