Ward recaps 'great' Syracuse official

Denzel Ward is a big priority for Syracuse in the 2014 class. Over the weekend, he took an official visit to check out the Orange program. He breaks down the trip, and its impact, with CuseNation.com inside.

Chicago (Ill.) Simeon offensive tackle Denzel Ward took his first visit to the Syracuse campus during his official over the weekend. Things went well according to the three star talent.

"It was a great visit overall," Ward said. "I came in with my eyes open and my mind open. Of course I got to meet with (head) coach (Scott) Shafer. He's a great guy. It was great just to see how the city is. Everything revolves around Syracuse University. It's great to see things like that.

"And then, it was great to look around campus and see those guys and what it's like. Then to see game day for the basketball team, that was great. I met with sports management, and I was kind of on the verge on which one I was going to major in; broadcasting or sports management. They definitely sold me on the sports management program, which is number one here.

"It's a great family atmosphere here with the coaches and the players," Ward continued. "Everybody really cares about each other here. I have a great opportunity to play early here. The coaches said it's all up to me and how I develop. Syracuse is a great place."

Ward had the opportunity to meet with head coach Scott Shafer, offensive coordinator George McDonald, and offensive line coach Pat Perles.

"They were just saying that I really have an opportunity to play early," Ward said. "I have an opportunity to be on the two deep rotation as a freshman. Really, I just have to keep working hard this offseason to be where they expect me to be. Coach Shafer is a great person and he's coming to visit me at home this week. That will definitely be a big thing."

Ward also had the opportunity to get a peak at what a game day atmosphere would be like if he decided to play his football in the Carrier Dome.

"It was pretty nice," Ward said. "Overall, it was the loudest stadium I've been in. That stadium, with basketball games they can't even do it all the way around. So just imagine what it would be like for football games, it would be much louder. So it was amazing to see that."

The visit went about as well as Syracuse could have hoped.

"After my South Florida visit, I told people it was them and Syracuse neck and neck," Ward said. "Syracuse is probably close to the top position right now."

Originally, Ward was looking at taking two more official visits before signing day. Now, he is looking at making his decision between two schools that have been high on his list for some time.

"Probably not," Ward said. "I don't know for sure, but probably not. It's just those two. They are 50/50 right now between those two. First of all, coach Shafer still hasn't met my parents yet. So I want him to meet my parents first before I make a decision.

"My mother is very important to my decision, so I definitely want to see how Tuesday goes (Scott Shafer in-home visit). After Tuesday, we will see how things go after that."

Ward added that even if he makes his decision before signing day, he will likely wait until then to announce his decision.


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