Guntersville (Ala.) Brindlee Mountain defensive tackle Steven Clark was one of 14 prospects on the Syracuse campus for official visits over the weekend. It was his first time checking out the Orange in person, and he got to see every aspect of the program during his trip.
”It was awesome,” Clark said. “I loved it. Friday was cool, we ate a lot. Had fun talking to everybody. Met the coaches and players. They were all great. We had a jam-packed Saturday with academic meetings and player meetings. They were great. Saturday night was even better because we got to go to the game. We ate like four or five times in like an hour period. It was awesome. The campus was amazing. They put on a show for us. I actually walked into my hotel and they had a cookie cake waiting for me. So I ate a little bit of that.
”I hung out with the guys that night. We watched the Florida State/Georgia Tech game. After that, we went out and had a blast. All of the players were there. It was wild and it was crazy. It was awesome. Then Sunday morning we had breakfast with coach Shafer. We talked about football and just hung out. It blew my mind how great they treated us. It was a lot to take in but they did a great job communicating and presenting everything to you. It was amazing.”
One highlight of the visit was trying on a Syracuse jersey. He loved the way it felt and that he got to wear number 72.
”The jersey was a big deal for me and I love the material it’s made out of,” Clark said. “It’s stretchy but also tight to your body so that way linemen can’t hold you without it being real obvious or the refs seeing it. And of course, it’s my number. Being able to keep my number from high school is great because I’ve worn it for four or five years now. Uniforms are always nice and always sick.”
Another impressionable moment was taking in the Syracuse versus St. John’s basketball game. While it was not the same sport he would be playing should he choose the Orange, it did give him some insight into the fan base and how loud the Dome can get.
”The game day atmosphere was incredible,” Clark said. “They cut off half of the Carrier Dome for the basketball game and that place was just buzzing. It was insane the amount of people in there cheering and going crazy. The atmosphere was incredible. It’s something that I’ve never been a part of. I come from a really small school so I haven’t been a part of that a lot.
”That was just awesome. It was great to see all of the community support because I know they’ve had a rough year football wise with injuries on the offensive line. The support was crazy and that was awesome. I love the support.”
Lastly, Clark spent time with several Syracuse coaches throughout the trip. Position coach and primary recruiter Tim Daoust has already made an early impression. But this was time for Clark to meet the rest of the staff, specifically head coach Scott Shafer. The 6-foot-3 defensive tackle left holding coach Shafer in high regards.
”He’s awesome,” Clark said. “He’s a great guy and a great family guy too. I met his family and all of the coaches’ families. That lets me know that they’re all great family guys and will treat us as players like family. That’s really important for me just to be a part of a family and not just a football team. Syracuse is really awesome.
”He talked to me about the business aspect of it and that they’re only taking one more d-tackle and they want it to be me. They also know I have other schools looking at me. After this visit, I’m going to sleep on it. I know the Minnesota coaches are coming down Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully Monday so we can get this a little easier. If I don’t connect to them real well, I’ll probably end up pulling the trigger on Syracuse Monday or Tuesday more than likely. I really love the coaches at Syracuse.”