Long Continues to Recruit for Syracuse

A.J. Long has been working hard to help Syracuse being in a talented 2014 class. Two of his biggest targets are K.J. Williams and Zaire Franklin. He gives an update on both, discusses a recent visit, breaks down his Elite 11 performance and more inside.

Syracuse commit A.J. Long has been as solid as a verbal pledge can get this early in the recruiting process. He took another visit up to Syracuse over the last week and got to see a few things that he did not have the opportunity to experience during previous trips.

"I went up Monday night and was there until Friday morning," Long described. "I really just got to hang out with the guys and see how college life was. Going to class, lifting, going to film room, seeing how they interact with each other. I hadn't been able to do that on other visits because they were on break or it was over the summer where school wasn't going on.

"It was cool to finally be able to see that aspect of it. It was cool to be able to be around that. See how the top players handle it so that they can be at the top of their game all the time."

Zaire Franklin joined Long at Syracuse for part of the visit. Long says he expects Franklin and his cousin K.J. Williams to end up with the Orange.

"The cool thing about it was being able to get Zaire Franklin there," Long declared. "He was there Thursday, Friday, and he just left today (Saturday). We are expecting him that when Coach Clark (Lea) calls him, he's going to be the next commit. After that, maybe K.J. Williams.

"Those two are just waiting on each other to commit. Now we should be able to get the ball rolling. We should have one heck of a recruiting class."

Long says pitching Syracuse to Franklin was easy. Having him experience different parts of the program speaks for itself.

"Really it was nothing that I had to tell him," Long explained. "One thing that I kept stressing to him was to get him up there for a visit. I knew it would help if I was there because Jarrod West is my cousin. And I know if he is with me and Jarrod, he's taken care of. That was the biggest thing, because I knew if he got up there, there aren't many kids that won't love what Syracuse has to offer.

"Just being up there, it's an amazing feeling. Being around the fan base and knowing those people want you there. Not only because your athletic ability helps, but once they get to know what kind of person you are, they love you even more for that."

With Williams, Long says Syracuse has moved past Michigan as the top choice. He believes a commitment could be coming soon.

"We are his top school right now," Long said of his four star cousin. "We're his top school. "He told Coach McDonald that he's close to committing. So we'll see how this plays out. I'll probably talk to him soon and see how everything's going and see what's new with him.

"As far as KJ and Zaire, those two are the next two I'm expecting to commit within the next week to week and a half."

Long also had the opportunity to compete in the Elite 11 camp in Columbus (OH). While he didn't perform as well as he would have liked, he insists it was worth the trip.

"The experience was great," Long admitted. "Especially having the opportunity to go from my freshman year up until the beginning of my senior year. It's been a great experience and a great ride to be able to be a part of the Elite 11. They have great coaches with Trent Dilfer and others.

"All those coaches there are amazing. I'm grateful for that opportunity. I did alright. I didn't do as well as I would have liked to. But I have the Nike camp coming up and I'm going to do there what I should have done at the Elite 11."

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