Holmes Impressed by Shafer on Syracuse Visit

2017 running back CJ Holmes left Syracuse impressed with head coach Scott Shafer and the direction of the program.

Cheshire (Conn.) Academy running back C.J. Holmes may only be a sophomore, but he is already generating a lot of interest in the northeast. One school that has been recruiting him early is Syracuse. He visited the Orange for the second time when they faced Duke in their home finale over the weekend.

”I was there watching the game,” Holmes said. “But I was able to have field access while the players were warming up.”

While on the trip, Holmes spent time speaking with some of Syracuse’s recruiting staff. That includes both Eric White and Cole Dial.

”We talked about the atmosphere and experiences I would have while playing for ‘Cuse,” Holmes said. “I liked what I heard, you know? My favorite part about going up to ‘Cuse was the family mentality everyone has. Coach Bullough came out early to talk to me and coach Shafer made an effort to talk to me. That meant a lot.”

His conversations with defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough and head coach Scott Shafer were two highlights of the trip.

”Just (about) keeping in contact and my shoulder injury I had over the summer,” Holmes said. “They seemed genuinely interested in my recovery, which was another thing I appreciated. They both were very glad I came up. They personally told me that.”

Having the head coach take time before a game to speak with him was a big deal for the Cheshire Academy standout.

”It meant a lot,” Holmes said. “That showed me that they really do lime me not only as an athlete but as a person. Even back in the summer when I went on my first visit, I talked to Shafer for all of 10 minutes and both me and my father really loved what he was saying about his plans for the ‘Cuse program.

”And how he was implementing a theme of a family to the team. Really enforcing the idea that everyone has to stick together by any means necessary. How could you not want to play for a guy like that?”

While this was Holmes second time on campus, it was the first time he was able to check out a game day atmosphere on the hill. Despite a loss, he was impressed by what he saw.

”I loved the Dome,” Holmes said. “The atmosphere was nice as well. Got to love the idea of not having to worry about inclement weather late in the season at home.”

Syracuse has not offered yet, but their interest is clear. Holmes has the Orange high on his early list.

”I would still have to weigh my options,” Holmes said. “It would be nice to have as many options as possible. Right now they’re definitely in my top five. In no order I’m very interested in Rutgers, Boston College, ‘Cuse, Maryland, Penn State.”

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