Lowell (Mass.) High outside linebacker Shyheim Cullen has seen his recruitment start slower than anticipated. Things picked up a bit this week as Syracuse was the first school to extend a scholarship offer to the 6-foot-1 prospect.
"They showed some interest in me over the past month," Cullen said. "They came by the school on Wednesday and talked to my coach. Then my coach called and was on the phone with the defensive coordinator, coach (Chuck) Bullough. They were on the phone for a while and it went from there.
"He said after watching my highlights that they're definitely all about me and they love what I can do on the field. He told my coach that he could see that I have a bright future and he could see potential in me."
Picking up the first offer is always a special moment for any player. In this case, it led to tears of joy.
"My reaction was I was ecstatic," Cullen said. "I was wicked happy. I was excited. I couldn't believe that it actually happened. My parents were just as happy. My mom was crying and there was just a bunch of excitement in the room."
With Syracuse the only school to pull the trigger, Cullen is still learning about the program. A key for the Lowell High standout will be checking out the program in person, which should happen this summer.
"My interest level right now, with them offering me and having belief in me, that definitely helps," Cullen said. "As of right now, I haven't seen the campus. I'm looking forward to getting down there this summer and seeing what they're all about. I was looking into their academics and have they have my major.
"I'm actually going to go down to their camp. I don't really have a specific date but I know it's sometime in June. After talking with my family and my parents, we feel that it's a little too early (to commit) but we definitely have good vibes with Syracuse right now."