Pinson (Ala.) Clay-Chalkville High defensive tackle Jalen Harvey had done this before. Twice, in fact, had the two star prospect gave a verbal commitment to a school. Once to South Alabama before flipping to Western Kentucky. Harvey says the third time is the charm.
"I liked the coaching staff," Harvey said. "Coach Shafer and the rest of them. With a Syracuse degree, you're pretty much set for life right there. I had to choose Syracuse. I would be crazy not to."
The official visit obviously made a big impression on the 6-foot-2 tackle. But there was a moment when it all clicked and Harvey felt like he was home.
"On Saturday before the game right before we were about to eat dinner," Harvey said. "We went to this house and we were all sitting there. I looked at my dad and said, ‘hey did, I like it here and this is where I want to come.'
"Then my dad said he liked and my mom liked it so they gave me the OK to go ahead and commit."
The Syracuse coaches were understandably excited to have Harvey join the Orange.
"They were so happy," Harvey said. "They were just as happy as I was."
One of the highlights of the visit came after Harvey pulled the trigger on his commitment. He was one of the lucky attendees of the Syracuse/Duke basketball game inside the Carrier Dome. It was an atmosphere Harvey will never forget.
"That game was crazy," Harvey said. "I loved it. I've never been a part of a game like that. It was just a crazy game. I loved it."
Throughout the cycle, there has been a common theme among official visits to Syracuse. Recruits eat like royalty. This past weekend was no exception.
"We ate so much," Harvey said. "It's like you eat, then like an hour later, you turn around and eat again. It's so much fun but you eat so much food.
"I don't know how much food I ate but I think I gained like 20 pounds since I left New York. There was so much food. I guess they did the right thing in feeding me. You can never go wrong with feeding me. I love food."
With signing day just a few days away, Harvey is looking forward to signing his name and making his Syracuse pledge official.
"It's going to be a very exciting moment," Harvey said. "I know I get to go to college somewhere and my parents don't have to pay for it. It's a blessing from God that I got a scholarship to play at a school like Syracuse and get a great degree."