Syracuse missed out on several New York State prospects last recruiting cycle. In 2015, the staff has made keeping in-state talent home a priority. One of their top targets is New Rochelle (N.Y.) Iona Prep defensive end Qaadir Sheppard.
"The defensive coordinator (Chuck Bullough) called my coach, coach Vick," Sheppard said. "He said Syracuse wants to talk to me. When I got on the phone, he said he loved my highlight tape and then said they were going to offer me a full scholarship.
"He said he likes my athleticism and how I am able to rush the passer. They are recruiting me at defensive end because they run a 4-3."
Picking up an offer from the top school in a prospect's home state is usually a thrilling moment. That was no exception for the 6-foot-3 defensive end.
"I'm very excited," Sheppard said. "I'm pumped up and truly blessed. I really don't know that much about the program," Sheppard said. "But I'm planning to take a visit there soon. It was extremely exciting to get the big in-state offer.
"They're definitely one of the top schools on my list right now."
While Sheppard is still learning about the Orange, he was impressed by coach Bullough when they spoke. He hopes to continue to develop that relationship throughout the process.
"That was the first time I spoke to Syracuse," Sheppard said. "Coach Bullough sounds like a very good guy."
The Iona Prep standout is looking to to make his decision somewhat soon, and knows what he's looking for in a potential landing spot.
"Whether I could play early and I want a good education," Sheppard said. "I an planning to make my decision by the end of the summer."